While looking up the Cost of Attendance at any given school, you will find it made up of direct costs (tuition, books, fees) and indirect costs (housing, food, transportation). It is spelled out pretty simple, but sometimes life isn’t that simple, and the ability to pay for an education could be challenging. We recommend that you complete your FAFSA, apply for scholarships, and talk to your financial aid office to find as many options as you can. Additionally, there may be some local resources that you may have forgotten about, or just didn’t know existed. I’ve gathered some resources, specific to Alaskans:
The Child Care Assistance Program provides assistance with childcare expenses for eligible families who are working or participating in an education or training program. Contact them today for more information about childcare assistance.
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) is one of the resources that can assist low-income Alaskans with housing. They have programs like:
- Housing Choice Voucher Program which helps eligible low-income Alaskans lease privately owned rental units from participating landlords
- Public Housing – safe, quality and affordable rental units for low-income Alaskans. Housing is available in 13 communities across Alaska
One can’t fully function – physically and mentally – when faced with a lack of food/nutrition. Check with your institution to see if they have any programs that offer food assistance. When I attended the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), the UAA Student Health and Counseling Center had an emergency food cache to assist students who were in need of food. Below are a few resources to help Alaskans –
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps) – The Alaska Food Stamp Program provides food benefits to low-income households.
- Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) – A public health program providing nutrition and breastfeeding education, counseling, support, nutritious foods and referrals to needed services. WIC serves babies and children up to age 5, pregnant women, and new mothers. Dads, grandparents, foster parents of young children, and working families are welcome at WIC too!
- Food Bank – Food Bank of Alaska provides food to nearly 200 partner food pantries and meal programs all around Alaska. They provide a chart lists pantries and meal programs in the Anchorage area (other areas in Alaska available here).
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
FWS provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing you to earn money to help pay education expenses. FWS is a great option because it is part-time and most FWS jobs are located on campus – making it convenient for you to go to work in between, before, or after classes. Contact your school financial aid office for more information.
The Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska provides a Community Resource List compiled by the Department of Health & Human Services. This list has the contact numbers of resources for housing, food, financial assistance, Childcare/Emergency Childcare, Health Care Info, and more! Save this list and forward it on to others who might benefit from these resources.
If you need any help navigating the college process and/or developing a plan for your postsecondary goals, contact the ACPE Success Center 907-269-7980 or ACPESuccessCenter@alaska.gov for free assistance!