What does a “rigorous high school curriculum” mean?

There are two curriculum options students may choose from to be eligible for the scholarship. The two options are:

  • Math and Science: Four years of math, four years of English, four years of science, and four years of social studies. However, one of the four years of social studies can be substituted with one year of foreign language, Alaska Native language, American Sign Language, fine arts, or cultural heritage.
  • Social Studies and Language: Three years of math, four years of English, three years of science, four years of social studies, and two years of the same foreign language, Alaska Native language, or American Sign Language.

Please note: Beginning with the high school graduating class of 2015, a menu of specific course titles that can be used will be associated with each subject area. Curriculum requirements were phased in for the classes of 2011 and 2012. Refer to the APS requirements for your class year for details.

Students who are independently home schooled or who attend private schools must provide information about their courses and grades to the Department of Education & Early Development through the APS Private School Eligibility Determination Request Form to be considered for eligibility.

Is there anything I can do if my school doesn't offer enough courses to meet the curriculum requirements?

There is no exemption from the curriculum requirements for each respective high school graduating class. Students are encouraged to discuss options available to them with their guidance counselor, such as distance education.

However, otherwise eligible students who have met the applicable GPA and test score requirements, may apply, within 30 days of high school graduation, for a grace period that may allow them to complete the curriculum requirements after high school graduation.

Such grace periods will be considered only when circumstances beyond the student’s control made it impossible to complete the curriculum. These circumstances include the required curriculum not being reasonably available to the student because the student attended a small and remote high school in the state; but do not include the student’s attendance at a high school outside of the state.

Students who are approved for a grace period to meet the curriculum requirement during that period, may elect to satisfy the unmet requirement by enrolling in a high school course or take an equivalent course at a postsecondary institution.

A student who chooses to enroll in a degree program at a participating postsecondary institution during the grace period may be eligible to receive an Alaska Performance Scholarship award during that year, as long as the student meets all other enrollment requirements. Students who use an APS award during their grace period will need to meet all continuing academic eligibility requirements, in addition to completing the curricular requirements, to continue to be eligible for the award. No more than a total 4 years (8 semesters) of APS aid will be awarded.

Download the APS Grace Period Application Form