Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation creating a sustainable fund for the Alaska Performance Scholarship and the AlaskAdvantage grants. The merit-based scholarships were created through 2010 legislation spearheaded by Governor Parnell.
The governor signed the bill this morning at Unalaska High School, a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School.
"When we allow our young people to earn scholarships by taking more rigorous courses, we are investing in our state's future, one graduating class at a time," Governor Parnell said. "This will lead to increased academic performance in our high schools, increased parental involvement, and increased graduation rates."
The legislation creates the Alaska Performance Scholarship award fund, which will be capitalized with $400 million secured by Governor Parnell in 2011. Interest from the fund will be used for the scholarships and grants. The fund will consist of appropriations, donations, and income earned from the fund's asset investments. The bill also authorizes certain tax credits for contributions made to the scholarship.
The Alaska Performance Scholarship rewards Alaska students for taking a rigorous curriculum with funding for postsecondary education. The scholarships help a variety of students - those who seek career and technical training, as well as university studies - to realize their dreams through their own hard work.
Since the scholarship's inception in 2011, more than 4,500 Alaska students have met the academic eligibility requirements for the Alaska Performance Scholarship.