skip to Main Content

Nonprofit Removes Financial Barriers To College Applications For Arkansas Students

Student Launch – Northwest Arkansas offers professional guidance and financial aid to qualifying Northwest Arkansas public schoolers applying to college. Created by University of Arkansas (U of A) Master of Business Administration (MBA) students, the nonprofit was founded to remove the financial barriers preventing public school pupils from applying to colleges and trade schools — even from taking required tests, such as the ACT or SAT.

“Cost is the number one barrier to higher education,” Abby Roberts, Student Launch – Northwest Arkansas co-founder and chairwoman, told KNWA Fox 24.

Photo Courtesy Student Launch Northwest Arkansas 

Roberts and five other Walton MBA students at the U of A started the organization in 2022 to help public high schoolers in Benton, Madison, and Washington counties get a fiscal leg-up on college and trade school admissions. The idea came from the university’s Do Good Project,” where MBA students are charged with doing something that adds value to the world. 

For Roberts and friends, a first overseas project didn’t pan out, but when they stumbled on the idea to help deserving local high school students have a fair shot at college admissions, they knew they were on to something important. 

Photo Courtesy Student Launch Northwest Arkansas 

“We knew we could minimize, if not eliminate the first set [of] barriers that Northwest Arkansas high school students face when applying to higher education,” Roberts said to KNWA Fox 24. “As a group, we brainstormed different ideas about what eliminating these barriers will look like, how we can eliminate these barriers, and who we can eliminate these barriers for. After that brainstorming session, Student Launch – Northwest Arkansas was founded.”

Financial issues are a leading cause of students’ inability to apply for higher education opportunities. Successful college admission is often the result of significant money spent on preparatory courses, test fees, and application fees. In fact, colleges with the highest application fees are mostly top-ranked national universities. The goal is to ensure all students have a shot at a life-changing educational opportunity.

Student Launch – Northwest Arkansas not only offers financial aid to cover the cost of such classes and fees, but it connects high schoolers with college students who act as mentors. It also helps with applications, resumes, and even Linkedin profiles for the applicants.

Photo Courtesy studentlaunch_nwa

Applications for assistance are available on the Student Launch – Northwest Arkansas website. Applicants are chosen solely based on financial need and the availability of funds at the time of application. Donations are also accepted on the site. They will be used to pay for student study material, exam fees, application fees, and general organizational operations.“Managing the nonprofit while being full-time students is no small task,” Roberts told KNWA Fox 24. “But knowing that we are going to make a difference in the lives of young students makes the work so much easier and more fun.”

Share on Social

Back To Top