General scholarships available system-wide

The new University of Alaska AcademicWorks scholarship application has made the process of applying for UA scholarships “as easy as 1-2-3-4.”

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Photo credit: Jian Bautista

Caitlin Lipka, a representative from the UA Scholars office, recommends applying for scholarships through AcademicWorks.

“We always encourage students to apply for as many scholarship opportunities as possible, they are a great resource to help pay for your education,” Lipka said. “The more scholarships you apply for and receive, the less money you will need to take out in loans, and the less debt you will acquire.”

The application for general scholarships is available on the UAOnline accounts of current students. The application helps reduce the time spent applying for scholarships with new features it offers. One feature is filtering searches based on both the UA general application and UAA campus-specific forms. This helps students find the scholarships most specific and beneficial to them.

To use the system, students must sign in to their UAOnline and then complete the general application. Once submitted, the system automatically syncs the data and matches students with scholarships that they meet the criteria for.

After applying, students will receive an email to their UA or preferred email address notifying them of the scholarship they were awarded.

Michelle Cuddihy, third year nursing student, is a UA Scholar, and receiving the scholarship motivated her to do well in high school and attend college in-state.

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“The benefits of receiving scholarships are so significant. It has allowed for my tuition and fees to almost be completely covered, so I can just focus on my degree and what I’m learning not on how to pay for it,” Cuddihy said.

In addition to the general application, UAA departments offer many more scholarships to students. The applications have specific eligibility requirements for students to earn funds within specific colleges.

Judith Owens-Manley, director of the UAA Center for Community Engagement and Learning, encourages students to branch out and apply for the lesser known scholarships in order to take advantage of unique opportunities.

“Our scholarships [at the CCEL] are different than most in that they’re not just providing financial aid for school, but they are also providing valuable learning experiences in culture and engagement,” Owens-Manley said.

The CCEL offers a variety of scholarships, awards and internship opportunities to students interested in community engagement. One of the largest is the Second Bridge Scholarship Award.

The award offers up to $2,000 for a student to design a community engaged experience for themselves. The experience can be almost anything, and take place in any part of Alaska and the United States. Last year’s recipient, Amanda Sassi, took a course on permaculture to assist community partners in Girdwood in improving upon their community garden programs.

Application and proposals for Second Bridge Scholarship Award projects should be emailed to uaa.ccel@alaska.edu on Friday, Feb. 16, due to an extension.

UAA also offers a variety of workshop sessions to help students apply for scholarships and learn to navigate their money more effectively. Topics of the workshops include filing the FAFSA, budgeting and managing student loans.

A demonstration of navigating the new AcademicWorks application will take place on Feb. 7 from 4 to 5 p.m. in Rasmuson Hall, Room 106 and on Feb. 9 from 12 to 1 p.m. in Rasmuson Hall, Room 215. Attending one or more sessions allows for students to enter to win a UAA Administration scholarship.

Workshops to help students with submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid are also being offered in the next month. Located in the University Center One-Stop Lobby, the sessions take place on Feb. 13 and March 20 from 6 to 8 p.m.

A full schedule of workshops and helpful sessions can be found on the scholarship page on UAA’s website, along with additional information on the AcademicWorks application.