Governor Parnell Applauds Second Class Eligible for Scholarships
August 28, 2012, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell congratulated the second high school graduating class to earn Alaska Performance Scholarships (APS) on continuing their studies in state.
Students completing a rigorous high school curriculum and achieving qualifying grade point averages and test scores are eligible for scholarships worth up to $4,755 a year for college or technical education. The state is phasing in the scholarship’s curriculum requirements, and the Class of 2012 faced more rigorous requirements than did the Class of 2011.
“I am extremely proud of the students across Alaska who went above and beyond and tackled a demanding curriculum to qualify for the Alaska Performance Scholarships,” Governor Parnell said. “I also want to recognize the schools that ensure the required curriculum is available so these students can achieve their goals.”
School districts continue to submit eligibility information, but preliminary data show that at least 2,170 members of the Class of 2012 are eligible for an Alaska Performance Scholarship. That number is equal to 30 percent of this year’s 7,180 graduates, slightly higher than the Class of 2011’s 29 percent eligibility rate. Figures are not yet available for the number of students in the Class of 2012 who will choose to use the scholarship.
Scholarship awards are granted in three levels, based on students’ grade point averages and scores on college-ready or work-ready assessments. Of the APS-eligible students in the Class of 2012, nearly 76 percent qualified for one of the top two levels of awards, compared with 69 percent of the APS-eligible students in the Class of 2011.
“The scholarship curriculum requirements for the Class of 2012 were more rigorous than for the inaugural Class of 2011, yet the percentage of eligible graduates held steady at 30 percent. That’s good news,” said Alaska Education Commissioner Mike Hanley. “What’s more, a higher percentage of eligible students are qualifying for the top two scholarship levels. One of the scholarship’s goals is to incentivize that sort of improvement and reduce the need for remediation in college.”
Diane Barrans, executive director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, which administers the scholarship, said: “The scholarship represents our state’s shared responsibility pact with young residents. If students commit to academically prepare themselves for a strong, successful future, then the APS rewards that effort and helps them gain the academic or career credential that can lead to success in the workforce.”