Source: Alaska Performance Scholarship 2024 report

The percentage of Alaska high school graduates who can meet the basic minimum requirements to obtain an Alaska Performance Scholarship hit a new record low in 2023.

Basic academic standards to access the state-funded scholarships are not particularly rigorous. Students must take a certain number of core curriculum credits, graduate with a 2.5 GPA (C average), score 21 on the ACT and 1060 on the SAT. Only 17% of Alaska graduates achieved those markers in 2023, the lowest percentage since the program’s inception in 2011.

The program is intended to facilitate higher education and technical training for Alaska graduates. Over the past 22 years it has paid out $112 million in scholarships to students who meet the minimum requirements.

The 17% of students who met the basic requirements last year is part of a long-term downward trend.

“From 2014 to 2019, APS eligibility rates consistently decreased, with a temporary rise in 2020 and 2021 due to the suspension of standardized testing requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” a newly released report on the scholarship program notes. “The reintroduction of these requirements in 2022 likely contributed to the significant decline in eligibility for the class of 2022 and 2023.”

Since the program’s start in 2011, 30,695 public high school graduates have earned eligibility for the APS. This constitutes 29% of all public high school graduates in Alaska, which is significantly higher than the 17% last year.

The inability of Alaska graduates to meet the requisites for the scholarship program is mirrored in academic scores across the nation. Last year’s national average for the SAT was 19.5, the lowest since 1990. Likewise, the national average SAT score was 1028 in 2023, the lowest since the test changed formats in 2016.

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Record low 17% of H.S. grads were eligible for Alaska performance scholarship in 2023

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Bob logan says:

    The kids have no idea how awful they perform compared to kids they will compete against after graduation. I would want to know that the Chinese graduates are three academic years ahead of me.

  • Daddio says:

    All of our graduated children would have qualified for this scholarship except for this: NONE want to be educated, much less stay, in Alaska as it continues its nosedive into leftist corruption and stupidity.

  • Steve P Peterson says:

    “Give us more money and we promise to groom your children to be leftists and to teach them less actual content.” That is what they do folks!

  • Deborah Bower says:

    One of the main problems is the national test requirement and that is why when they were suspended during the COVID years there was an increase. Many of our youth have issues with taking these types of test but it does not mean they can’t be educated including graduating from college. I am speaking from experience since my grandson was one of the students that graduated during the suspension period. He met all other areas to receive top APS and is now graduating from UAF. He had also completed his Associate degree during his senior year. He has a history of not doing well on standardized test as many of our youth do, Get ride of the TEST score requirements! Increase core curriculum or addition of college classes during high school! Make it interesting and many will follow. Our youth is our most important asset and we fail them in so many ways by not funding education IN ALASKA and we wonder why so many leave the state. We need more students to qualify for APS so we can hopefully keep more students in the state which is vital to employment in Alaska. GET RID OF STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES they only hurt our youth!

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    You don’t have to look any farther than dunceleavy! He has spent more money on making everything stupider !
    He has our money and we watch it dissipate with every stupid decision he makes! I have yet to decide who is dumber, him or us?