Alaska Performance Scholarship Outcomes Report

The 2014 APS Outcomes Report analyzes the characteristics of high school graduates, those who were eligible to receive the scholarship, and those who went on to make use of it during the three years of the scholarship’s existence.  The analysis includes their geographic, gender, ethnic and socioeconomic characteristics. It also provides a more in-depth analysis of graduates from the class of AY11, the first class eligible to receive the award, as they progress through their second and third years of postsecondary studies.

An overview of the report's findings were presented in its Executive Summary, below, and the entire report can be downloaded here. The 2013 and 2012 APS Outcomes Reports are also available.

Executive Summary

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 the third annual report on the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS). The scholarship has awarded over $16.7 million to high school graduates beginning with the class of AY11, with more than 3,000 graduates having received the APS to pursue and continue their postsecondary education. An additional 4,000 are currently eligible to take advantage of the scholarship's benefits in the future1. Fifty of the state's 54 districts have graduated APS-eligible students, and graduates from 46 of these districts have used the scholarship to pursue their postsecondary studies2.

Graduates in the class of AY13 had differing patterns in their eligibility to receive and their use of the scholarship the semester following their graduation when compared to prior years' classes. Changes in the APS eligibility requirements likely drove some of these differences, while others reflect recent graduates' ability to better plan their postsecondary education strategies to include the APS as compared to their peers in prior years.

Eligibility requirement changes included more course hours of study in the APS-required disciplines, but also included a decrease in the minimum WorkKeys scores required for eligibility to receive a career and technical (CTE) scholarship. Increases in the rigor of the curriculum required to become eligible for the APS likely kept increases in eligibility rates down, though the WorkKeys score modifications were the likely cause of an increase in the number of CTE-only eligible graduates in AY14.

AY13 APS-eligible high school graduates were better able to plan for receipt of the scholarship than were prior years' eligible graduates, which likely drove another change in their use of it. For the first year since its inception, Level 1 eligible graduates made use of the APS at a higher rate than Level 2 or 3 eligible graduates. Level 1 eligible graduates have always been more likely to attend a postsecondary institution than their level 2 or level 3 cohorts, but until this year they were much more likely to attend out of state.

The vast majority of APS recipients continue to pursue their postsec¬ondary studies at one of the University of Alaska campuses, where most enroll on a full-time basis in pursuit of a bachelor's degree. They also require on average fewer hours of remedial studies than the overall population of new UA entrants, they enroll in more credit hours per semester, and they are more likely to continue their studies in the future than their non-eligible peers.

1 APS-eligible graduates have up to six years following high school graduation to use their awards (e.g. 2011 graduates may use their APS through academic year 2016-17).
2 There are 53 public school districts in Alaska plus the Mt. Edgecumbe boarding school in Sitka, which is managed by EED.