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UAF Launches 4-Year Need-Based Scholarship Program

by | Dec 18, 2020 | Education, Finance

UAF campus.

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UAF has established a new renewable need-based scholarship program that could cover up to half of tuition costs for undergraduate students who qualify.

The Nanook Commitment Scholarship is the only one of its kind in the University of Alaska system.

“The availability of substantial renewable need-based financial aid has long been a challenge for Alaska students. It has been a gap for decades,” says Anna Gagne-Hawes, UAF acting director of admissions. “While UAF has many merit-based and discipline-specific scholarships, a holistic need-based scholarship program is a new and positive opportunity at UAF.“

When paired with the companion merit-based Nanook Pledge Scholarship and other state and federal grants and scholarships, the Nanook Commitment Scholarship brings the prospect of a full ride within grasp for UAF students.

Riley von Borstel, president of UAF’s student government, says scholarships can make or break a student’s ability to pursue higher education.

“I speak from personal experience,” she says. “If it weren’t for the generosity of scholarship donors, I wouldn’t have near as many opportunities in my education and in my future.”

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Students automatically apply for both Nanook Commitment and Nanook Pledge scholarships when they apply to UAF, submit their transcripts and fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA, by June 15. No additional scholarship application is necessary.

Award amounts will vary depending on the student’s or their family’s income and the student’s cost of attendance. In some cases, the Nanook Commitment Scholarship will cover nearly half of a student’s tuition for four years.

The Nanook Pledge and Nanook Commitment scholarships are currently open to incoming fall 2021 students seeking bachelor’s degrees, but UAF is planning to expand Nanook Commitment eligibility to include new students pursuing associate degrees and certificates.

“We know that finances are one of the biggest challenges that students face when considering their college plans,” Gagne-Hawes says. “We want to make sure that every student who wants to come to UAF is able to do so.”

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