Alaska Defunds Scholarships for Thousands of University Students Ahead of Fall Semester

The program has specific qualifications for students to be eligible, and some students spend their high school years taking certain classes, maintaining a high GPA, and studying to get good SAT or ACT scores in order to qualify

Sian Gonzales found out he would no longer be receiving the almost $5,000 he has been awarded annually from the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) on July 9 — a month and a half shy of the first day of classes for his junior year at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Gonzales, 21, didn’t lose the scholarship money because his grades slipped or because he violated any school rules, NBC News reports. Instead, Gonzales and 2,500 other students in Alaska lost the scholarship because the state is no longer funding it.

“I’m scared,” Gonzales, a nursing student, told NBC News. Raised in Juneau, Gonzales decided to stay in Alaska for college in large part because of the APS, and even worked toward earning the scholarship during high school.

The APS began awarding students money in 2012 to encourage bright high school seniors to stay in their home state for higher education and prevent a brain drain.The legislature has tried and failed to restore the APS, which was defunded because of something called “the sweep.”

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