What can families do now?
Encourage and support your student to take challenging courses and do well in school. Remember, an Alaska Performance Scholarship is based on rigorous course selection, overall grade-point average in high school and an examination score. Achieving a higher grade-point average and exam score will result in a student eligible for a higher level of scholarship -- The difference could be several thousand dollars over a student’s postsecondary years.
If your student is in middle school, take time to talk about career aspirations and goals for education beyond high school, and help your student select 9th grade classes wisely. Students who want to earn an Alaska Performance Scholarship need to be prepared to take a challenging curriculum for all four years of high school.
When your student is selecting high school courses for the upcoming year, consult with your student’s school counselors on academic courses that will best prepare and align your student for an Alaska Performance Scholarship award. Have your student create a portfolio on the Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS), either through their school's AKCIS account or individually through the Alaska statewide Zip Code login. In addition to many other great tools and program, when students click on "My Course Plan" in their student portfolio, they can create a course plan using pre-filled suggested course schedules to meet Alaska Performance Scholarship requirements. Students can create their student portfolio and begin to plan their courses as early as middle school, and can transfer a portfolio to their high school's AKCIS site at any time.
In addition, plan to apply for other aid. Remember that award recipients must apply for and use any other non-loan aid they receive, such as state or federal grants or other scholarships before they may apply an Alaska Performance Scholarship toward their remaining costs of attendance.