University of Alaska Scholars Program celebrates its 25th class

May 3, 2024

Top-ranking high school seniors from nearly 225 high schools across Alaska will graduate this month as part of the University of Alaska’s 25th cohort of UA Scholars, each qualifying for a $12,000 scholarship. Students must be ranked within the top ten percent of their class to be eligible for this prestigious award and apply and enroll at any University of Alaska location to redeem it. Members of the cohort represent 225 high schools from Akhiok to Yakutat.

The University of Alaska established the UA Scholars Award in 1999 to encourage Alaska students to attend and graduate from college in their home state. 

“We’re proud to share the UA Scholars’ success story,” said UA President Pat Pitney. “Through their success, Alaska remains empowered and ready for the future. Our universities are honored to welcome them as students and partners in creating the life they want in a state they love.” 

Indeed, recipients of the award have created the life they want here in Alaska because of their experiences within the UA System and the scholarship.  

  • “At UAS, I was able to get more confident in an outdoor setting. I was able to make friends and be a part of classes that encouraged me to push myself harder,” said Mariah Vantrease, UAS ‘21, Elementary Education major.
  • “Many have held the baton of wood bison restoration in Alaska over the years, I’m just grateful to be the one holding it currently,” said Luke Rogers, UAF ‘18, Wildlife Biology graduate.
  • “You get to experience something new here. You meet so many people you would’ve never met before. There are a couple of people I can confidently say, I’m so happy I chose UAA because I met them,’” said Katie Scoggin, UAA ‘24, Political Science and Legal Studies major.

The scholarship program was designed to incentivize secondary school students to achieve academic excellence, nourish efforts to provide high-quality education, and encourage high school graduates from every Alaska community to seriously consider the University of Alaska system's opportunities. 

“UA Scholars in the class of 2024 represent a diverse array of students from nearly every community in the state,” said Lael Oldmixon, the program’s executive director. “There is no other program that crosses economic, cultural, and academic boundaries in the same way.”

Since the program started in 1999, more than 4,000 first-generation students have attended UA with more than 7,600 degrees and certificates earned, including doctorate degrees. UA Scholars graduating from UA have gone on to become researchers, entrepreneurs, teachers, medical professionals, engineers, industry leaders, and legislators.

UA Scholars receive the $12,000 scholarship in $1,500 payments over eight semesters. This scholarship can be used with other scholarships and financial aid, like the Alaska Performance Scholarship. The UA Scholars Program is funded by the University of Alaska Land Grant Trust Fund and receives revenue from property sales and resource development conducted on Trust lands. Many UA Scholars will also qualify for the Alaska Performance Scholarship and UA Foundation scholarships which are separately funded and managed programs. 

A complete list of the class of 2024 UA Scholars will be printed and inserted in Alaska newspapers on May 14, 2024. Learn more at