College students across the great state of Alaska are taking comfort in a new state scholarship program that was recently put into law. It is categorically known as Senate Bill 221 but the warm and fuzzy moniker is going to be the Alaska Merit Scholarship.
These scholarship funds won’t go to waste on the not-so-brightest and academic underachievers. The emphasis that Governor Parnell put on this program is that the scholarships go to students that have a proven academic track record and will be sure to put the funds to good use. This aspect of the scholarship program differs from many other state scholarship programs across the nation that are more need-based and not directly tied to academic performance.
“Positioning Alaska’s economy for growth and our children and families for opportunity — I can’t imagine anything more fundamental to providing opportunities than doing everything possible to make sure our youth stay in school, get their diplomas, and move on to job training or college prepared to work,” Governor Parnell added.
Students with a 3.5 GPA (or above) will be eligible for $4,755 a year. Students with a GPA of a 3.0 will get $3,566 annually, and those with a GPA of 2.5 will benefit with $2,378. Below a 2.5 on your GPA (or less than a B-) and you will net nothing from this scholarship program.
In addition to GPA requirements, students will need to take four years of math, science, and language arts during their high school experience. Students must also obtain a minimum score on college entrance exams (I have not heard what the threshold for those exams as of this time).
Funding for this scholarship program is still being worked through. The Governor has assigned a task force with the responsibility of researching different funding methods to insure the scholarship program is in existence for years to come.
If you would like to find more information about the Alaska Merit Scholarship or Governor Parnell’s approach on education matters in Alaska, please feel free to check out this link for more details.