Where can the scholarship be used?
The APS can be used at participating postsecondary institutions in Alaska. The scholarship will be sent directly to the postsecondary institution for disbursement.
The APS can generally be used for certificate and degree programs offered by participating regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, with rare exceptions. At participating career and technical institutions, the APS can be used for certificate and/or degree programs approved for the APS by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Note that students qualifying for the APS with WorkKeys scores can use the award for a career and technical education certificate program at either type of institution, but not for a degree program.
What costs can be covered by the scholarship?
Award recipients may use the funds for unpaid costs of attendance certified by the postsecondary institution. These costs may include tuition, fees, books, required tools and supplies, room and board and transportation, in accordance with the standard budgets published by the institution. However, recipients must apply for other non-loan aid, such as state or federal grants or other scholarships. The sum of all other non-loan aid for which a student is eligible (including the UA Scholars award, if a student is designated by a qualified Alaska high school) will be deducted from the cost of attendance. Scholarship recipients will not receive an Alaska Performance Scholarship amount that is more than the remaining cost. The expected family contribution (EFC) identified on completion of the FAFSA is considered self-help and does not impact the Alaska Performance Scholarship amount a student may receive.
A prorated Alaska Performance Scholarship award may be available for eligible students studying at least half-time.
How are unmet costs of attendance calculated?
Costs of attendance are certified by the postsecondary institution. The cost of attendance may include tuition, fees, books, required tools and supplies, room and board and transportation. Cost of attendance is published in standard budgets for each institution.
All other non-loan aid (scholarships, grants, veteran's benefits, etc.) for which a student is eligible is deducted from the cost of attendance to calculate unmet cost of attendance. Scholarship recipients will not receive an Alaska Performance Scholarship amount that is more than the remaining unmet cost. Work-study aid, loan aid, and the federal expected family contribution (EFC), do not reduce a student’s maximum APS amount.
In this example, the total non-loan aid the student receives does not impact the maximum eligibility for the APS. The maximum APS amount is also impacted by the award level – in this example, the student qualified for a level 1 award based on the GPA and test score combination achieved.
In this example, the remaining costs of attendance are greater than the APS award amount, so the student is eligible for the full award of $4,755.
In this example, the total non-loan aid the student receives does impact the maximum eligibility for the APS. The maximum APS amount is also impacted by the award level – in this example, the student qualified for a level 1 award (up to $4,755) based on the GPA and test score combination achieved; however the maximum eligibility amount has been reduced to no more than the remaining unmet costs.
Here, the remaining costs of attendance are less than the APS award amount, so the maximum amount the student may receive has been reduced accordingly.
Must award recipients be enrolled full-time in the postsecondary institution?
Although full-time enrollment will impact the amount a student can receive, students enrolled at least half time or for at least six semester credits can receive scholarships. Half-time graduate students enrolled in at least five semester credits and half-time vocational students enrolled in programs meeting at least 30 hours per week for at least six weeks may also qualify for a scholarship award. The scholarship award amount will be proportionally reduced. Note that a half-time term counts equally as a full-time term towards the maximum 8 terms (4 years) of APS awards a student can receive.
Can the Alaska Performance Scholarship award be used for study abroad or study in another state as part of an exchange program?
Only if the study outside Alaska is part of a formal exchange program with an Alaska institution. As long as the otherwise qualified student remains enrolled in a degree program through an approved Alaska institution, and the Alaska institution is the recipient of the scholarship funds during the student’s participation in an exchange program, the award can be used towards costs of attendance for the exchange program.
Can students begin their studies out of state and then use the award later if they return to Alaska to complete their studies, and/or to go to graduate school?
Students cannot use the award to attend postsecondary training or college outside of Alaska. However, students who are eligible for the award, but choose to study outside of Alaska, can return to Alaska and be certified to use their award at a later time. It is important to remember the award may only be used within six years of high school graduation, and the students must qualify as Alaska residents.
Can I take a year off before or during my postsecondary education?
The APS provides for up to 6 years in which to use the maximum of 8 semesters of aid. If you take time off before college, remember that you must complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1 but no later than June 30 in the year you plan to attend. If you take a year off while already in college, be sure to review the requirements for continuing eligibility. For example, as a first-year APS recipient, you are required to complete 24 credits and achieve a 2.0 GPA for the academic year. If you then take a year off and return the year after, you are considered a second-year recipient and must complete 30 credits and achieve a 2.5 GPA for continued eligibility.
Does the scholarship expire?
Yes. It must be used within six years of graduating high school unless the recipient qualifies for an extension, such as military service. Allowable extensions will be set in regulation by the State Board of Education & Early Development through a public process.
Can a student who is eligible for different levels of the APS based on the WorkKeys and the SAT/ACT requirement receive different level awards if the student pursues both a CTE certificate and a degree program?
In some cases, a student may qualify for two different levels of award based on different combinations of their GPA and test scores. For example, an eligible student might have a GPA of 3.5, an ACT score of 21, and WorkKeys scores of 5. In this case, a student is eligible for a level 1 award for pursuit of a career and technical education certificate program, but for a level 3 award for pursuit of a collegiate program such as an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree.
A student with two eligibility levels may elect to pursue either or both program types. However, they cannot be used simultaneously; and the total APS aid received may not exceed a total of eight semesters. For example, a student could pursue a one-year certificate using two semesters of level 1 aid, and then enter a bachelor’s degree to use up to six additional semesters of level 3 aid.
A student in this situation could also use up to the four total years of APS level 1 aid to receive multiple CTE certificates in sequence. Note - no more than one year of an award will be made for pursuit of the same career and technical certificate program, regardless of program length.
In either scenario, the student must still meet all continuing eligibility requirements to be eligible for an APS award for any subsequent certificate or term of study, including minimum GPA and credit accumulation requirements.
Can the APS be used during the summer?
Typically the award is disbursed in two halves – one for the fall and one for the spring term. If a student has not yet used the full annual award in preceding terms, a student may be able to receive an award for a summer term. Contact the financial aid office at the postsecondary institution you attend to learn more.
Once students receive the scholarship, what do they need to do to continue to qualify?
To continue to receive the scholarship, students need to:
- file a new FAFSA or approved alternate application by the deadline each year;
- continue to be enrolled in a qualifying program of study; and
- meet the annual satisfactory academic progress requirements, including number of credits earned and GPA applicable to your postsecondary grade level
At a minimum, satisfactory academic progress requirements include:
- During your 1st year as an APS recipient:
- complete 24 semester credits or equivalent for full-time students (12 for half-time students receiving a prorated award)
- achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
- During your subsequent years as an APS recipient:
- complete 30 semester credits or equivalent for full-time students (15 for half-time students receiving a prorated award)
- achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
- As a graduate student:
- achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
You must also meet all requirements for satisfactory academic progress set by your institution, including requirements that may be higher.
I plan to take far more than the minimum credits required, and graduate with a bachelor's degree in three years instead of the usual four. Can I get all four years worth of awards in the three-year time period?
Yes. An APS recipient may request scholarship funds on an accelerated basis in which the standard four years/eight semesters of funding is compressed into a three years/six semester timeframe. An APS recipient electing to do so must meet accelerated credit completion requirements, including completion of 36 semester hours in the first year of enrollment and 45 semester hours in each of the next two years of enrollment. Learn more.