State suspends higher education scholarship programs, leaving students in limbo

In another setback for higher education in Alaska, the state has suspended scholarship programs for students.

It appears that Gov. Mike Dunleavy decided to expand the so-called “sweep” at the end of the fiscal year, which took the money for scholarships out of circulation, at least temporarily. Dunleavy hasn’t explained his thinking.

“Nothing technical is driving an expanded sweep—any expansion of the list is a policy decision completely in the hands of the governor,” according to the Division of Legislative Finance.

The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education says that until the Legislature acts there will be no money for the Alaska Performance Scholarship, the Alaska Education Grant and for students attending medical school under the WWAMI program.

The commission says that anyone who had been expecting a scholarship should apply so that if and when the money becomes available, it will be provided.

“We are hopeful that this situation will be resolved with legislation over the next month; however, as of this time, ACPE is not able to make awards under these programs,” the commission said.

Here is the FAQ from the commission on the shutdown.

What happens if the WWAMI funds for medical school students are not reinstated?

“If funding does not become available, the University of Washington School of Medicine is making a number of options available for WWAMI students, depending upon their year of study. We anticipate holding a Webinar for WWAMI students in the next few weeks to discuss these options.”

Dermot Cole9 Comments