Don’t cut the Alaska Performance Scholarhip APS3.jpg - Ben Edwards, a student in the Aerospace Engineering program supporting his fellow students Friday at University Lake. Photo credit: Casey Peterson Full view

Don’t cut the Alaska Performance Scholarhip

Dear Alaska State Legislators,

Seven of my 16 staff are able to go to school because of the Alaska Performance Scholarship. Without it each of us probably wouldn’t have come to UAA or stayed in Alaska. On behalf of my staff and myself, I thank all of you in the senate finance committee who decided to kill SB 208 and keep the Alaska Performance Scholarship alive.

I personally would have had no desire to stay in Alaska after high school if it weren’t for the APS or UA Scholars program. I would have left the state and never looked back. I had scholarship opportunities at many of the schools I applied for, but the APS and UA Scholars scholarships gave me the closest to a full ride scholarship as I could get. Without them, I would have attended UMaine and taken out a student loan and never come back to the state. With them, I have been able to attend UAA pursuing a double major in journalism and biology and spend my free time giving back to my community in Alaska. Most of my staff has similar stories to my own about how the scholarships they received kept them in Alaska.

Your decision to kill SB208 has been welcomed by students. We send you our resounding support in this decision.

Written by Kelly Ireland