Alaska Performance Scholarship

Alaska High School Students –

Earn the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) to pay for college or career training in Alaska

Attention: New SAT cut scores for APS**

reward offered
Level 1

up to $4,755 per year

  • High School GPA 3.5
  • ACT 25 -or old SAT* 1680 -or new SAT** 1210
  • Specified high school curriculum
Level 2

up to $3,566 per year

  • High School GPA 3.0
  • ACT 23 -or old SAT* 1560 -or new SAT** 1130
  • Specified high school curriculum
Level 3

up to $2,378 per year

  • High School GPA 2.5
  • ACT 21 -or old SAT* 1450 -or new SAT** 1060
  • Specified high school curriculum
*taken before March 1, 2016 (2400 point scale)

** taken after March 1, 2016 (1600 point scale)

Note: the new SAT cut scores for the APS levels were approved by the State Board of Education at the June 17, 2016 meeting. Click here to find out important details.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) awards can be earned with a qualifying WorkKeys score; however, the APS can only be used for certificate programs of study. CTE awards cannot be used for collegiate programs of study.
  • Same curriculum requirements and award levels as the collegiate award
  • The student's GPA determines their award level      

  • About the APS
  • Getting Ready
  • Qualifying/Eligibility
  • Testing
  • Application Information
  • Receiving the First Award
  • Continuing to Receive Awards
  • Download APS Checklists
  • Private/Homechool Students
  • Program Rules and Reports
  • Postsecondary Institutions
  • FAQs

WHAT is the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS)?

The Alaska Performance Scholarship provides an opportunity for Alaska high school students to earn a scholarship to help cover the cost of an Alaska postsecondary education. Alaska high school students who take a more rigorous curriculum, get good grades, and score well on college placement or work ready exams, can earn an Alaska Performance Scholarship to qualified Alaska colleges, universities, or vocational/technical programs.

WHO can get the APS?

Alaska residents who graduate from an Alaska high school (public, private, or home school), in 2011 or later and meet the qualifying requirements are eligible for an APS award.

WHERE can the APS be used?

The APS can be used at any participating college or university in Alaska, or for approved career and technical education programs in the state. Click here for more information on participating Alaska postsecondary institutions.

HOW MUCH is the APS?

There are three maximum annual award levels: up to $4,755, $3,566, and $2,378. Maximum levels are established based on a combination of minimum GPA and test scores. An APS award may not exceed qualifying costs of attendance (which typically include tuition; fees; required books, supplies, and equipment; room and board; and transportation) remaining after considering all other non-loan aid the student is eligible for. Students may remain eligible for up to 8 semesters, but must fully use the APS within six years of high school graduation.

WHEN will the APS be available?

The APS is sent to schools in two payments, usually 50% of the award when the student begins attendance, and the other 50% at the start of the next term or midpoint of a CTE program. Generally, your school will first apply your APS funds to your outstanding school debt for that year, if any, and then pay any remaining funds to you. Final award notification is made after the postsecondary education confirms qualifying enrollment. Students can monitor their status in their Alaska Student Aid Portal (ASAP) account.

Does the scholarship expire?

Yes. It must be used within six years of graduating high school unless the recipient qualifies for an extension. Students who wish to apply for an extension must send a written request to the commissioner, accompanied by a signed statement from the institution of higher learning in which the student is enrolled. See 4 AAC 43.045 for more information on extending the scholarship eligibility period. Additional allowable extensions will be set in regulation by the State Board of Education and Early Development through a public policy.

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.

 

 

As a parent, how can I access my student's APS eligibility information?

You can discuss the eligibility requirements with your student and meet with your student's high school counselor or school district office to verify the curriculum, GPA, and test scores that are part of your student's permanent record. These are used in the calculation of the eligibility status and award level. You can compare this information to the requirements for qualifying and determining award level.

 

As a student, after I graduate, how can I access my APS eligibility status and award level information?

Students may also choose to register for an optional Alaska Student Aid Portal (ASAP) account, in which they can review the eligibility status and award level reported by their school district in late July following high school graduation, and track scholarship usage. The student is the only person who may register for and access their ASAP account. Logging on to ASAP requires that a user affirm that the individual logging on is the student in question, so it is not possible for a parent to access ASAP on behalf of a child, even if your student is under 18.

Steps to Qualify for the APS

  1. Make a plan to complete the APS curriculum with your high school counselor. Start with the checklist for your class year (see below) and/or "My Course Plan" in your Alaska Career Information System (AKCIS) portfolio.
  2. Work to achieve the highest GPA you can.
  3. Prepare for and take the SAT and/or ACT test. Take it early, so you can retake it if you want to better your score. Also, explore your options based on WorkKeys scores.
  4. Research participating Alaska colleges and training programs and choose the one that's right for you. Apply early.
  5. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) soon after October 1, the fall BEFORE the semester starts, for every year you want to use the award.
  6. Optional: Create an account in to the Alaska Student Aid Portal (ASAP) to track your status.
 

SAT and ACT scores have a big impact on your APS eligibility.

Take the test early, and make sure you have your scores sent directly to your high school.

Sending scores directly to the high school

SAT Online Registration: Include your high school code when you register. Your scores will be sent about five weeks after the test.

ACT Online Registration: List your high school and check the "YES" box to authorize ACT to release your scores. Your scores will be sent 3-8 weeks after the test.

 

2016-2017 National (Saturday) Test Dates

 

WorkKeys

  • Students should check with their high school counselors to see if any WorkKeys testing exists in their school district.
 

* Test dates after April 2015 might not allow adequate time for test scores to be recorded prior to high school graduation. High school seniors should plan to take earlier tests in order insure scores are considered for APS qualification.

Remember: Qualifying WorkKeys scores allow you to use an APS for certificate programs only.

For more information regarding the new College & Career Readiness Assessments to include ACT In-School and SAT School Day information visit your school counselor or go to this website: http://education.alaska.gov/tls/assessment/ccra.html

 

What about WorkKeys?

If you know of a career and technical education certificate that leads to your career goals, you have another option. You can qualify for a Career and Technical Education (CTE) APS using WorkKeys scores. The CTE APS can be used for attendance in a career and technical education certification program, but not for a degree program. Learn more about the WorkKeys test.

By qualifying with an ACT or SAT score, you will be eligible to pursue a certificate or a degree program. Download the APS Eligibility Progress Checklist for your class year to review the full requirements for either the Collegiate or the CTE Award.

Beginning with the Class of 2013, a combined WorkKeys score of 13 (with no score lower than 4) meets the test score requirements for the CTE APS award.

 

The APS application is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).*

Want free help filling it out? Watch the College Goal Alaska Video, which provides an overview of the FAFSA and a line-by-line walkthrough of the questions on the application.

The priority deadline for filing your FAFSA for the APS is June 30 - but try to complete it as early as possible. As of October 2016, the FAFSA becomes available in October for the school year beginning the following Fall. Many financial aid programs using the FAFSA have early deadlines.

You need to file a FAFSA each academic year you plan to use the award. When you file, be sure to list at least one Alaska institution on your FAFSA - the institution you plan to attend should be listed first - and to list Alaska as your state of residency.

 
Did you know?

Beginning in 2016, you can file the FAFSA in the fall with the tax information you already have on hand! Learn more about the FAFSA.

 

*Private School and Home-School Students Only

Students who are privately home-schooled or attend private schools must submit a request to the Department of Education and Early Development to determine their APS eligibility. The completed request form and all supporting documents must be submitted by July 15 for a determination prior to the upcoming APS award year.

Download APS Eligibility Determination Request Form

Don't forget - you must also complete the FAFSA by June 30 each year you plan to use the award!

 
 

Already Applied?

Log in to the Alaska Student Aid Portal (ASAP) to verify that ACPE has received your data. If you applied via the FAFSA on the Web, your information should be available in ASAP within five business days.

Remember you need to file a FAFSA every year in which you plan to use an APS award.

An Alternative APS application is available through ASAP for students attending schools that do not receive FAFSA data.

 

So you've qualified and applied for the APS - now what?

To receive the first award, you must also:

  • be admitted to a qualifying degree or certificate program at a participating Alaska institution;
  • notify your institution before the enrollment certification deadline that you plan to attend using an APS award;
  • enroll in at least 12 credits per term to receive a full-time award (6 credits per term for a reduced half-time award); or a qualifying clock-hour CTE program
  • have unmet costs of attendance of $500 or more after considering all other non-loan aid, such as grants and other scholarships.
 

If you want to receive the maximum number of awards, remember:

  1. You must file a new FAFSA every year.
  2. You must meet continuing eligibility requirements.
  3. You have six years after high school graduation to fully use up to four years (eight semesters) of awards.
 

First Award Action Timeline

October 1 - June 30

Apply by the June 30 deadline.

Be sure to file the FAFSA for the academic year you plan to attend - not the previous year. Apply early (as soon as possible after October 1) to be considered for additional aid programs with the same application.

Log on to the Alaska Student Aid Portal (ASAP) to verify if your application has been received. If you apply via the FAFSA-on-the-Web, your information should be available on ASAP within five business days of completion.

August

Individual student high school eligibility status is available in ASAP.

Students can log into ASAP after August 1st to securely access their eligibility information. If your eligibility information isn't available, check back weekly, as high school eligibility data is uploaded to ASAP on an ongoing basis.

August - September

Postsecondary schools certify APS-qualifying enrollment status.

Be sure that, prior to school certification:

  1. your ASAP record lists the correct school you plan to attend. Unless you otherwise indicate, this is the school you list first on your FAFSA or alternate application. Request an institution transfer in ASAP if you need to change the institution listed.
  2. you have been admitted to a qualifying degree or certificate program at the school you plan to attend for the upcoming academic year. For questions about admissions, contact your school's registrar office.
  3. you are enrolled in the appropriate program or number of credits by your school's enrollment deadline.
September 1 - 30

Schools begin requesting APS funds on behalf of their APS-eligible students.

The APS is sent to schools in two payments, usually 50% of the award when the student begins attendance, and the other 50% at the start of the next term or midpoint of a CTE program. Generally, your school will first apply your APS funds to your outstanding school debt for that year, if any, and then pay any remaining funds to you.

Work with your financial aid office to ensure you meet all payment deadlines.

 

You can get up to eight semesters (four years) of APS aid to use within six years of high school graduation.

To continue to receive the scholarship, you need to:

  1. File a new FAFSA by June 30 each year;
  2. Continue to enroll in a sufficient number of credits or clock hours;
  3. Meet annual satisfactory academic progress requirements;
  4. Continue to have unmet costs of attendance of $500 or more; and,
  5. If enrolled in a certificate program, receive the certificate.
 

Annual Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

During your first year:

  • earn 24 semester credits (12 for half-time students)
  • maintain a 2.0+ cumulative GPA     

During future years:

  • earn 30 semester credits (15 for half-time students
  • maintain a 2.5+ cumulative GPA     

As a graduate student:

  • earn 18 semester credits (10+ for half-time students)
  • maintain a 2.5+ cumulative GPA

You must also meet any satisfactory academic progress requirements of your postsecondary institution and program.

APS Collegiate

APS checklist with information for students planning to complete a certificate program, associates degree, bachelor's degree, or those who are undecided. Reverse side has information and a checklist on how to keep the APS award once you achieve it.

APS Career/Technical

APS checklist with information for students planning to complete a career or technical certificate program only. Reverse side has information and a checklist on how to keep the APS award once you achieve it.

Private / Homeschool Students Only

Students who are privately home-schooled or attend private schools must submit a request to the Department of Education and Early Development to determine their APS eligibility. The completed request form and all supporting documents must be submitted by July 15 for a determination prior to the upcoming APS award year.

Download the APS Private School/Homeschool Eligibility Determination Application Form

Don't forget - you must also complete the FAFSA by June 30 each year you plan to use the award!

Program Information

Program Statistics

Data on Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) student eligibility, applications, and award acceptance for the first two academic years are now available. View More Statistics.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Download the FAQs  Here

 

 

Alaska School Contact Lookup Tool

Click the button below to see school APS contacts.

Please report incorrect school contact information to Deb Riddle.


Click here for the APS School Look Up Tool

Information for School District Staff

Thank you for your work helping students prepare to be eligible for the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS).

Deb Riddle is the APS Program Coordinator for the Department of Education & Early Development (EED). She is responsible for helping school districts meet their obligations to: 1) determine students’ APS eligibility, 2) ensure this information becomes part of each student’s permanent school records, and, 3) ensure student eligibility status is transmitted to EED.

School districts will provide this information to EED through their Summer OASIS reporting. The due date for the Summer OASIS data collection is July 15. EED encourages school districts to submit their complete and accurate data in a timely fashion so that students will receive ample notice of their eligibility status.

Check back frequently for new information or subscribe to updates for important changes.

 

APS Program Participation For Educational Institutions

APS LogoAll schools or postsecondary training providers requesting to administer Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) funds must:

1. Have an established status with the Commission on Postsecondary Education.

2. Submit the Program Participation Agreement and all supporting documentation.

View a list of participating Alaska postsecondary institutions.

 

Important Information: The deadline for the application period for Alaska postsecondary institutions wishing to enroll students receiving APS funds is March 31 of the year prior to the academic year beginning July 1. For more information, please contact our office at ACPE@alaska.gov or 800.441.2962 (In Juneau, dial 907.465.2962).

 

 

Required Forms:

Application and Certification:  Required for all institutions requesting to administer APS funds.

Career and Technical Education CTE Certificate Program Information: Complete for each APS-eligible CTE certificate program. For purposes of scholarship determination, a CTE certificate program is a terminal non-degree program intended to lead directly to employment.

The following sample documents must be included for each CTE certificate program the institution intends to be APS-eligible:

  1. The enrollment contract and/or admissions application provided to students.

  2. The institutional catalog, program brochure and/or other information provided to students containing program description and itemized student costs.

Required Forms:

Application and Certification: Required for all institutions requesting to administer APS funds.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Certificate Program Information: For the purposes of scholarship determination, a CTE certificate program is a terminal non-degree program intended to lead directly to employment.  Attach one CTE Certificate Program Information Form for each CTE certificate program.

The following sample documents must be included for each CTE certificate program the institution intends to be APS-eligible:

  1. The enrollment contract and/or admissions application provided to students.

  2. The institutional catalog, program brochure and/or other information provided to students containing program description and itemized student costs.

Institutional financial information for the most recently completed fiscal year.

Consent for Release of Information to the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. (Required for sole proprietorships and related non-corporate ownership structures.)
 

MEET APS RECIPIENTS – We are proud of all the dedicated students that have received the APS. Here are 3 student stories.
Andrew Lastimoso
-- APS Level 2, 2013
Money was tight when Andrew's parents were raised in the Philippines, so tight that as children they would study by candlelight because their families couldn't afford electricity. Both parents, knowing the value of an education, pursued and instilled that same value in Dimond HS graduate Andrew Lastimoso. Andrew now shares his journey for the Alaska Performance Scholarship with the rest of us.
Sheryce Marshall
-- APS Level 3, 2012
Life didn't always come easy for Thunder Mountain High School graduate Sheryce Marshall. But with a positive attitude, perseverance, and a little help from the Alaska Performance Scholarship Sheryce is living the dream she's envisioned for herself. This is Sheryce's story.
Ian Sanders
-- APS Level 1, 2011
Ian said his family could not afford to send him to college. Then he learned about the Alaska Performance Scholarship from his Bethel High School College & Career Guide. Loaded with this information and focused determination, Ian graduated with a 4.4 GPA! He is now attending UAA and ready to change the world! This is Ian's story.

Login to ASAP

Alaska Student Aid Portal

 

Track your Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) and Alaska Education Grant (AEG).

  • Was my FAFSA received?
  • What APS level did my school report for me?
  • How much time do I have left to use my awards?  

APS Checklists
Download the APS Checklists!

Current checklist:
Class of 2016 and Beyond

Previous checklists:
Class of 2015  - Collegiate Award
Class of 2015  - Career/Technical Award

APS Webinars

Students, parents, educators, and other interested parties are welcome to join us to learn more about the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS). Participants will learn about eligibility requirements, award levels, the application process, and using the award.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

  • APS Webinar: Thursday, April 13, 11am - Noon

To register CLICK HERE.

I want to be alerted to new scholarship information!

APS Join/Leave Listserv Request for the General Public:

APS Join/Leave Listserv

APS Join/Leave Listserv Request for Educators:

Educators Join/Leave Listserv