The 2013 APS Outcomes Report analyzes AY12 high school graduates, those who were eligible to receive the scholarship, and those who went on to make use of it, including their geographic, gender, ethnic and socioeconomic characteristics. It also analyzes graduates from the class of AY11, the first class eligible to receive the award, into their second year after graduation.
An overview of the report's findings were presented in its Executive Summary, below, and the entire report can be downloaded here. The 2012 APS Outcomes Report is also available for download here.
In accordance with Alaska statute the departments of Education & Early Development (EED) and Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD), the University of Alaska (UA), and the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) present this second annual report on the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS). With two cohorts of Alaska high school graduates now in the APS pipeline, $8.67 million has been awarded to nearly 1,900 Alaskans to assist in paying for their postsecondary education. More than 2,700 other 2011 (AY11) and 2012 (AY12) APS-eligible graduates remain eligible to take advantage of the scholarship in coming years if they pursue qualifying postsecondary training in Alaska. Provided in this year's report are: analysis of the class of 2012's APS eligibility and use, cohort comparisons, and status updates on 2011's APS-eligible and recipient students.
While APS academic eligibility requirements were more rigorous for the AY12 class, there was only a slight drop in the percentage of eligible students. Eligible AY12 graduates were more likely to use the scholarship, possibly resulting from wider and more timely scholarship awareness. In the scholarship's first year, APS-eligible students reported they had already made plans for attending out-of-state institutions and so did not use the APS during their first year of study. However, some of these students are now pursuing their postsecondary studies in Alaska. Also, some students simply delay pursuing their postsecondary studies but later take advantage of the scholarship. For AY11 APS-eligible graduates, 103 received their first scholarship payment in fall 2012, bringing the total of AY11 graduates receiving the scholarship to 1,032.
As with 2011 graduates, AY12 graduates eligible for the top award level were least likely to use the scholarship; however, 88% of them did pursue postsecondary education in the fall following their high school graduation. When we consider all AY12 APS-eligible graduates, 37.3% used the scholarship in fall 2012, and just over 80% were enrolled in a postsecondary institution. Fewer than one-in-five did not continue their education the fall following their high school graduation.
In last year's report we noted that AY11 APS-eligible graduates attending UA took fewer preparatory classes and enrolled in more total credit hours on average than did first-time freshmen who were non- APS eligible. Because preparatory credits, also known as remedial or developmental courses, do not count toward degree requirements APS-eligible students would, if they successfully completed their studies, end their first semester with 4.2 more credit hours applicable to a degree than their non-APS eligible peers.
For AY12 graduates attending UA, the differences were even greater. While the course load and preparatory course hours taken by non-APS eligible students remained nearly unchanged compared to last year, all levels of APS-eligible students increased the number of hours attempted, and decreased the average number of preparatory hours taken. In fall 2012, APS-eligible graduates successfully completing their planned studies would end the semester with five more credit hours to apply toward their degree than their non-APS eligible peers.
The availability of UA enrollment data for fall 2012 allows for a comparison of AY11 APS-eligible graduates' persistence into their second year of postsecondary studies to non-APS eligible students'. On average approximately 70% of all UA students attending in the fall following their high school graduation returned to pursue their studies for a second year. For AY11 APS-eligible graduates attending UA in fall 2011, 82.9% returned to UA for the fall 2012 semester, a second year persistence rate which is notably higher than the overall rate for UA students.
1 Academic years begin on July 1, and AY11 includes July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.