It was spring of my senior year in high school and I received the best news ever – I got in to the pre-law program at UCLA! The high school cohort I was a part of had the “go out-of-state” mentality regarding college and I shared the same sentiment. Fast-forward to the summer after graduation, I had a family emergency which resulted in me deferring my admissions. After talking with my family, I reluctantly decided to stay in state and go to the local university. Although I was reluctant back then, I am glad I made the decision to stay because it was a HUGE cost savings and my college experience was amazing!
When looking for college or career training options, there’s nothing bad about going out of state but there are great benefits to staying in state – specifically in Alaska. Below are a few I’ve listed;
Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS)
The APS provides an opportunity for Alaska high school students to earn a scholarship to help cover the cost of an Alaska postsecondary education. Students can earn four years of funding, starting from $2,378 to $4,755 a year. Not only are there monetary benefits to being an APS scholar, but there are huge college-readiness benefits, too. 97% of APS Scholars did not need any developmental math coursework at UA in 2017. For more information about the outcomes and benefits of the APS click here.
Check your full financial aid package for each school you’re considering to determine if choosing to study in Alaska will save you money. You may even want to think about attending in Alaska for the first year or two before transferring to a higher-cost institution outside of Alaska.
Travel, especially over the holidays, may be expensive. When selecting a school, consider your travel desires and compare them to the cost of traveling over greater distances. Unless traveling from Washington State, there are very few direct flights to Alaska, which adds more time to your traveling ventures to and from home.
When you hit the bumps of life, consider the value of having your support network nearby. Attending college or training closer to home can help you avoid some of the stresses and culture shock of traveling away from home.
Connections to Alaska Employers
Alaska employers are actively seeking to add educated employees to their workforce. By attending an institution in Alaska, you can make use of in-state apprenticeship and job placement opportunities.
Regardless of where you decide to attend, in state or out of state, it is always wise to review all of your options to ensure an informed decision. If you need any assistance with reviewing your options, feel free to contact the ACPE Success Center at 907-269-7980 or at ACPESuccessCenter@alaska.gov.