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University of Alaska to fund thousands of college scholarships until Legislature acts

The University of Alaska Anchorage.
The University of Alaska Anchorage.
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 4:31 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - The University of Alaska has announced that it will fund three different scholarship programs received by roughly 5,400 Alaska college students until state legislators act to ensure state funding for scholarships continues.

The Alaska Legislature failed to pass an annual three-quarter vote known as the “reverse sweep” to fund those scholarships. The failure of that vote also threatens a monthly payment used to reduce power bills across rural Alaska.

The Legislature is currently set to reconvene in August for another special session. The plan is to try to pass a comprehensive fiscal plan, but the three-quarter vote is being used as a bargaining chip and could be delayed.

The challenge for students is that scholarships are typically awarded in early August and paid before the first day of class later that month.

Officials from the university say it will step in to fund those scholarships for new and current students, expecting that the Legislature will pass the reverse sweep in August. The University of Alaska would then be repaid through the reverse sweep, officials say.

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