The Best Scholarships in Alaska

​Alaska has a history of providing income for those who are able to withstand harsh weather and who have an adventurous spirit. Alaskan people are familiar with hardship beyond the weather as well, with a slowing economy due to lower oil prices as the oil industry provides a significant number of jobs in Alaska.

Due to the states vastness, areas are depressed economically, causing many families to be unable to provide college tuition for their children. However, there are many scholarships available for residents of Alaska, as well as those who want to attend school in the state or who are willing to relocate there after graduation.

1. Alaska Space Grant Program Fellowships

Offered in partnership with the Alaska Space Grant Program, the Alaska Space Grant Fellowship provides scholarships to students who choose to major in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. Only students who attend Alaskan institutes of higher learning are eligible to apply with preference given to women, Alaska Natives, Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders and those with disabilities. Students must be in good academic standing, and successful candidates are chosen based on their scholastic achievement, the strength of recommendations provided and proposed project merit.

Applicants must identify a faculty mentor who will agree to write a letter of collaboration. At the end of the stipend period, the student must submit a brief report to the ASGP office on their experience and accomplishments. The report should include future academic or career plans, degree granted, awards or honors received, research performed and papers published.

You can learn more about the ​Alaska Space Grant Program Fellowships here

2. AlaskAdvantage Education Grant 

The Alaskan legislature created the AlaskAdvantage Education Grant Program in order to provide financial assistance to eligible Alaskan students planning to attend qualified higher education institutions in Alaska, especially those enrolled in workforce shortage programs. Applicants must demonstrate exceptional academic preparedness for higher education and financial need. The program provides match dollars for participation in the Leverage Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP) with grant awards between $500 and $3,000 per year. All applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

Applicants must be Alaskan residents and be admitted to an undergraduate degree or vocational certification program at a qualifying Alaskan institution. Students must be enrolled at least half-time and not have already earned a bachelor’s degree. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

You can learn more about the ​AlaskAdvantage Education Grant here

3. ARC of Washington Trust Fund Research Grants

The ARC of Washington Trust Fund provides scholarships for students who plan to research causes, prevention and treatment of intellectual disabilities and the consequences of those disabilities on a person’s social, personal and legal activity. Scholarships are available to applicants in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Preference is given to junior investigators, and the funds should be used as seed money for future research.

Most successful applicants are affiliated with research universities and have experience with educational, medical or psychological research. A letter of intent must be sent that outlines the applicant’s proposal and how it fits the Trust’s purposes. The letter must also include an estimate of the amount of support necessary. The maximum award is $10,000. If the applicant’s letter of intent is chosen for further review, they must provide a formal grant proposal in both hard copy and electronic form. Applicants may be asked to present the proposal in person at the October meeting of The Trust.

You can learn more about the ​ARC of Washington Trust Fund Research Grants here

4. ASTA Pacific Northwest Chapter – William Hunt Professional Development Scholarship

Tourism Cares awards scholarships of up to $500 to be applied toward an ASTA or The Travel Institute Educational Program. The award may also be used for the registration fee to attend the ASTA International Destination Expo. Applicants must have up to two years’ experience in the travel industry and have successfully completed the program or participated in the conference.

Applicants must also be individual members of the ASTA Pacific Northwest Chapter, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington or employed at an office where at least one travel agent is a member. The scholarship works on a reimbursement basis, and completion of the course or attendance at the conference must be no more than 12 months before the application.

You can learn more about the ASTA Pacific Northwest Chapter – William Hunt Professional Development Scholarship here

5. BBB Foundation’s Students of Integrity Scholarship

The BBB Foundation offers the Students of Integrity Scholarship to high school seniors residing in Alaska, Oregon or Northwest Washington. Students must personify high ethics which may be demonstrated through community service, overall personal integrity or academic accomplishments.

Applicants must submit a 90-second video that demonstrates how BBB helps people become smart consumers. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.5, or higher and finalists must provide an official transcript. Group applications are accepted, but the group must have no more than three members. The maximum award is $10,000.

You can learn more about the ​BBB Foundation’s Students of Integrity Scholarship here

6. Chef Cotter Scholarship

The Chef Cotter Scholarship assists Alaskan high school students who plan to pursue secondary education in the culinary arts or other tourism and hospitality profession. Students must demonstrate a strong work ethic and passion for success in their industry.

You can learn more about the ​Chef Cotter Scholarship here

7. Church’s Chicken Community Scholarship

Church’s Partners Foundation, Inc. offers one $1,000 scholarship to a high school senior residing in one of 16 states, including Alaska, who plans to attend an institute of higher learning. The scholarships are available for both part- and full-time students at accredited colleges or universities.

You can learn more about the ​Church’s Chicken Community Scholarship here

8. Dr. Merritt C. Olson Scholarship

The Dr. Merritt C. Olson Scholarship is a $2,500 per year award for four years to a West High School student who is a graduating senior. Applicant must have a 3.0 GPA and demonstrate academic motivation. Applicant must be enrolled as a full-time college student for the upcoming year and must demonstrate financial need.

Applicant must also demonstrate leadership qualities through extracurricular and community involvement. Letters of recommendation are required. Preference is given to students who plan to pursue a career in education, specifically as math, history or English teacher or as a guidance counselor.

You can learn more about the ​Dr. Merritt C. Olson Scholarship here

9. Frank and Carol Pinkerton Orchestral Scholarship

The Frank and Carl Pinkerton Orchestral String Instrument Scholarship is for students who demonstrate motivation and musical potential who plan to pursue a degree in music education with an emphasis on string instruments. Applicants must be Alaska residents and a graduating high school senior or currently enrolled college student.

Applicant must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and pursuing a field of music education. They must be enrolled full-time by the beginning of the semester in which the award will be used. Applicants can reapply each year and preference is given to previous awardees.

You can learn more about the ​Frank and Carol Pinkerton Orchestral Scholarship here

10. Gary Martin Swim Scholarship

The Gary Martin Swim Scholarship is for Alaskan students who are entering or enrolled in colleges or trade schools. Applicants must have been involved in competitive swimming at the high school level, and preference is given to those who demonstrate financial need. Students must have a GPA ranging from 2.5 to 3.5.

You can learn more about the ​Gary Martin Swim Scholarship here

11. Luella James Scholarship

The Luella James Scholarship is for graduating seniors attending Seward High School, who can demonstrate financial need. Students must provide proof of academic performance that includes GPA, transcripts, and class rank. Applicants must also provide documentation of extracurricular activities and community involvement. A personal essay and statement of financial need is also required.

You can learn more about the ​Luella James Scholarship here

12. Heidelberg University Out-of-State Grant

Heidelberg University offers an out-of-state grant for any first-time or transfer student who is not an Ohio resident to attend the University. The grant is renewable for four years as long as the student continues to make satisfactory academic progress.

You can learn more about the ​Heidelberg University Out-of-State Grant here

13. Henry & Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship

High school seniors and college students who plan to pursue a degree in theater arts who reside in one of nine states, including Alaska, may apply for the Henry & Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship. The applicant must be able to demonstrate financial need by submitting a statement that includes specific information regarding anticipated income, information about assets, including savings, parental income, costs of education, normal living expenses and other financial factors that may limit the applicant’s ability to attend college. Students must submit an SAR from the FAFSA and must black out any social security numbers visible on supporting documents.

Applicants must submit an essay of 500 words or less why they believe they deserve the scholarship. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and must submit three letters of recommendation with one coming from a theatre instructor. Applicants must submit a resume with specific information depending on the type of theatre career they wish to pursue. These requirements are as follows:

  • Actors – must include a list of all roles played 
  • Designers – must include photographs of work or DVD of produced designs
  • Directors – must submit a complete listing of all shows and the position on each production
  • Technicians – must submit a complete listing of all shows worked on outlining positions held and equipment experience
  • Playwrights – must submit a one-page synopsis as well as a ten-page example

You can learn more about the ​Henry & Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship here

14. JJ Klein Scholarship

The JJ Klein Scholarship provides up to $10,000 to graduating seniors at an Alaskan high school or to a student already pursuing post-secondary education who demonstrated motivation to succeed. The student must have a GPA between 2.0 and 3.2. Students with a GPA above 3.5 will not be considered. Applicant must have demonstrated financial need.

You can learn more about the ​JJ Klein Scholarship here

15. Kathryn E. and John P. Doyle Scholarship

The Kathryn E. and John P. Doyle Scholarship provides $5,000 to female graduate and undergraduate students pursuing a degree in science who attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks. There are two awards given each year, one for a graduate student and one for an undergraduate student. Preference is given to students who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must provide a personal essay, documentation of academic achievement, two letters of recommendation, verification of enrollment at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, official high school or college transcripts and a statement of financial need.

You can learn more about the ​Kathryn E. and John P. Doyle Scholarship here

16. KAYHI Alumni Scholarship

The KAYHI Alumni Scholarship is for current Ketchikan high school seniors who are pursuing higher education. Applicants must demonstrate academic and/or leadership potential and plan to enroll full-time in a community college, accredited university or vocational school. Applicants must be in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Preference is given to students who demonstrate financial need and who demonstrate an ability to pay additional expenses not covered by the scholarship.

Applicants must submit a personal essay, details of school activities and three letters of recommendation. A list of awards, honors and achievements is also required as well as official high school transcripts and a statement of financial need.

You can learn more about the ​KAYHI Alumni Scholarship here

17. Kenny Carver Scholarship - Kenai

The Kenny Carver Scholarship provides a scholarship to a Kenai Central High School senior with a GPA of 2.5 or higher who are interested in a vocational field. Academic performance and class rank are used to determine who receives the award as well as community involvement and extracurricular activities. Students must submit a personal essay as well.

You can learn more about the ​Kenny Carver Scholarship - Kenai here

18. Kenny Carver Scholarship – Soldotna

Soldotna High School graduating seniors with a GPA of 2.5 or higher who plan to enter a vocational field may apply for the Kenny Carver Scholarship. Students must supply their academic performance, including GPA transcripts and class rank. They must also provide documentation of community involvement and a personal essay.

You can learn more about the ​Kenny Carver Scholarship – Soldotna here

19. Leo & Antonia Gershanov Memorial Student Essay Contest

High school students throughout Illinois are eligible to participate in the Leo & Antonia Gershanov Memorial Student Essay Contest. Students must submit an original, persuasive essay, no longer than 2,000 words, defining what constitutes justice and whether they believe justice after genocide is attainable. Students must support their position with examples from the past and judicial proceedings in recent years related to genocide. Only one entry per student is permitted and are evaluated based on originality, content and writing quality. The essay should include a works cited page, and at least one resource must be a non-online resource.

You can learn more about the ​Leo & Antonia Gershanov Memorial Student Essay Contest here

20. MGMA Western Section Scholarships

Students residing in MGMA Western Section states, which includes Alaska, are eligible to apply for the MGMA Western Section Scholarship. One award of up to $1,000 is provided to a student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program related to medical practice management.

You can learn more about the MGMA Western Section Scholarships here

21. Neal O. Thorpe Memorial Scholarship

The Neal O. Thorpe Memorial Scholarship awards $7,500 for four years with consideration for funding in a fifth year, to Alaska Natives or residents who are the first in their immediate family to pursue a college education. Applicants must be accepted and plan to enroll in one of 15 universities in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. Applicants must submit a personal essay, high school transcripts, explanation of expenses, education and background information as well as two letters of recommendation.

You can learn more about the ​Neal O. Thorpe Memorial Scholarship here

22. NIADA Foundation Region IV Scholarship

The NIADA Foundation offers scholarships to one student in each of their four regions for up to $3,500. Region IV includes Alaska and 12 other western states. In order to apply, applicants must be a high school senior attending a school in one of the region’s states and have maintained an outstanding academic achievement record as evidenced by an official transcript. SAT and ACT scores must also be provided.

You can learn more about the ​NIADA Foundation Region IV Scholarship here

23. Ninilchik School Memorial Scholarship

The Ninilchik School Memorial Scholarship is awarded to graduating Ninilchik High school students who demonstrate school spirit and involvement, good academic standing and a desire to further their education.

You can learn more about the ​Ninilchik School Memorial Scholarship here

24. Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage Scholarship

The Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage offers a scholarship to Anchorage area high school students that may be used for any educationally-related expenses. Awards are based on performance and achievement.

You can learn more about the ​Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage Scholarship here. 

25. Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation Scholarship Program

The Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation offers scholarships designed to defray the costs of attendance at an osteopathic medical school to students from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Applicants must intend to practice osteopathic medicine in the Pacific Northwest. Applicants must have lived more than half their life before medical school in one of the five states covered. Students entering the third year or higher of an AOA approved college of osteopathic medicine are eligible, but the application must be made in the first, second or third year of study. Awards are for one year, and applicants must reapply for additional awards each year.

You can learn more about the ​Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation Scholarship Program here

26. NSHSS Tesoro Youth Leadership Awards

Tesoro Industries offers scholarships to exceptional youth leaders in states where they operate, including Alaska. The award is designed to encourage young scholars who lead by example in both their school and community. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate financial need. A personal response of up to 500 words answering a question presented on the application is required as are official transcripts. Applicants must also provide a resume of honors and awards, leadership activities, community service activities, extra-curricular activities, internships and employment history. A financial need form must be submitted as well as a color head shot for possible website posting along with a completed recommendation form.

You can learn more about the ​NSHSS Tesoro Youth Leadership Awards here

27. PMI Alaska Chapter Scholarships

In an effort to promote project management professionalism and serve the needs of members, the PMI Alaska Chapter offers a $1,000 scholarship to a student enrolled in or applying for an accredited undergraduate, graduate or doctoral academic degree in project management or a field that benefits from project management. First priority is given to a member of the PMI Alaska Chapter, who is a resident of Alaska attending an accredited college anywhere. Second priority is given to a non-member residing in Alaska who will be attending college anywhere. 

You can learn more about the ​PMI Alaska Chapter Scholarships here

28. Pride Foundation Scholarships

There are more than 50 Pride Foundation Scholarships available with just one application for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Straight-ally students, those who are not LGBT, but are supportive of the issues those individuals face, may also apply. Students must be residents of Alaska Idaho, Montana, Oregon or Washington, but may attend college anywhere or they must attend college in one of those states. The scholarship is only available to high school seniors, and they must already be enrolled in college university, trade, vocational or certificate programs or planning to enroll in the next school year. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to social justice. An essay of between 250 and 500 words is required as part of the application.

You can learn more about the ​Pride Foundation Scholarships here

29. Professional Development of Volunteer Administrators

The Anchorage Association of Volunteer Administrators awards funds to volunteer administrators working full-time in a permanent capacity for a nonprofit organization located in Anchorage, Alaska. Funds may be used for training, conferences or other related expenses. Grantees must complete a report documenting the impact the award had on their organization.

You can learn more about the ​Professional Development of Volunteer Administrators here

30. Shayna Marie Pritchard Scholarship

Graduating seniors at Nikiski High School who are pursuing a career in Massage Therapy or a trade/vocational degree may apply for the Shayna Marie Pritchard Scholarship. It is not an academic or financially based scholarship. Instead, the award is given to applicants who show an exceptional ability to overcome life’s challenges and who emulate the spirit of Shayna Marie Pritchard. Applicants must be involved in both in-school and out-of-school activities. They must provide information on their career and post-secondary education plans as well as a personal essay.

You can learn more about the​ Shayna Marie Pritchard Scholarship here

31. Shelly Szepanski Memorial Flight Training Scholarship 

The Shelly Szepanski Memorial Flight Training Scholarship provides an award of $5,000 to help qualified applicants earn their private or commercial instrument ratings, including a float rating. Applicants must be enrolled in a science-related degree program with preference given to wildlife biology or natural resources degree students. Applicants must have passed the FAA written examination test and medical examination. They must also plan to pursue flying as part of their science-related career goals. Preference is given to University of Alaska system students, and the applicant must demonstrate financial need. Prior awardees may reapply.

Applicants must complete an online application and upload a 1,000-word essay describing their background, educational and professional goals, how flying is relevant to those goals and specific qualifications for the scholarship. Two letters of recommendation, a resume, official transcripts, a copy of FAA written exam results and current FAA medical certificate are also required. Applicants must also provide a statement of financial need.

You can learn more about the ​Shelly Szepanski Memorial Flight Training Scholarship here

32. Sitka Scholarship

A $20,000 scholarship, paid at $5,000 per year for four years, is available to senior Sitka High School students who are enrolled full-time at an institute of higher learning. Preference is given to students with demonstrated financial need. Students must provide documentation of academic achievement, including GPA and standardized test scores. Documentation of extracurricular activities, community service, and honors or awards are also required. Applicants must provide references and letters of recommendation, a personal essay as well as financial need.

You can learn more about the ​Sitka Scholarship here

33. Sven and Lorraine Eriksson Alaska Scholarship

The Sven and Lorraine Eriksson Alaska Scholarship provides a maximum of $10,000, $2,500 per year for four years, to Alaskan students studying engineering or music at the University of Alaska. Applicants must be enrolled full-time for the upcoming academic year and plan to study either mechanical engineering, civil engineering or music. Incoming freshmen must have a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or higher while those already attending must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students must demonstrate academic motivation and success as well as a demonstrated financial need.

Applicants should demonstrate leadership qualities through extracurricular and community involvement. Letters of recommendation are required.

You can learn more about the ​Sven and Lorraine Eriksson Alaska Scholarship here

34. THS Patricia Roppel Scholarship

The THS Patricia Roppel Scholarship provides $5,000 to a student who is majoring in the history of Alaska, especially those who study the history of mining, fisheries or timber. Applicants may be undergraduate or graduate students and either enrolled or intending to enroll in college. Students must have a GPA of 2.9 or higher. Applicants must provide a resume, personal essay, official transcripts, verification of enrollment and two letters of reference.

You can learn more about the ​THS Patricia Roppel Scholarship here

35. Tim Akers Memorial Scholarship

The Tim Akers Memorial Scholarship helps outstanding Alaskan students who are pursuing degrees in technology education or who are seeking additional training in the field. The scholarship is for $1,000, and preference is given to students with demonstrated financial need as well as Alaska Natives. Applicants must be residents of Alaska and may be either a graduating high school student or already attending an institute of higher learning. Applicant must be pursuing technology education and/or training as well as a 3.0 GPA at the most recent school they have attended. Students must provide an official transcript and at least one letter of recommendation.

An essay of 500 words on the applicant’s pursuit of a technology degree and a description of their school and community involvement is also required. Students must also detail their financial need, including any special circumstances that make assistance necessary.

You can learn more about the ​Tim Akers Memorial Scholarship here

​We've worked hard to include a variety of scholarship opportunities within our list. If you have any suggestions on additional scholarships, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.