Sian Gonzales found that he would not receive the nearly $ 5,000 he received annually from the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) on July 9, one and a half months before the first day of his junior year at the university from Alaska, Anchorage.
Gonzales, 21, did not lose the scholarship because his grades slipped or because he violated school rules; Instead, Gonzales and 2,500 other students in Alaska have lost the scholarship because the state is no longer funding it.
"I'm scared," Nursing student Gonzales told NBC News. Gonzales grew up in Juneau, opting in large part to study in Alaska because of the APS and even working to get the scholarship during high school.
"Alaska desperately needs nurses. Upon graduation, I want to use my skills to help my people here in Alaska. I want to stay in Alaska, "said Gonzales. And that's exactly what the APS was created for.
Well, that's over, and he wonders how he can close the significant financial gap in such a short time.
Gonzales is in an even more difficult situation because he has additional scholarships to fund his education. He loses when he leaves school to save the money he receives through the GSP scholarship loses. Gonzales is deadlocked, saying the only way out is to take on student debt.
"I worked very hard in high school," said Gonzales APS scholarships. We earned the money.
Lawmakers have tried and failed to recover the APS, which was defunded due to a so-called "sweep".
At the end of Alaska's fiscal year at the end of June, the state is "sweeping" a number of accounts that will inject various state programs into its constitutional budget reserve. When the new fiscal year starts in July, the state usually reverses the sweep quickly and the funds go back to the program's accounts. It is a complicated process that is needed after voters in Alaska passed a constitutional amendment in the 1990s that requires it.
The APS is being funded through the Alaska Higher Education Investment Fund, which Governor Mike Dunleavy has taken up for the first time this year. But this year, some Republican legislators blocked the three-quarters majority needed to repay the programs, and legislators could not reverse the roll-out, so the APS was not funded. The Alaska Education Grant (AEG), which grants state aid to low-income students, was also affected by the sweep.
A spokesman for Dunleavy said the governor added the Alaska Higher Education Investment Fund to Sweep because it is mandated by the state constitution, although earlier administrations did not include it. According to the governor, the blame for the deflation of the GSP lies with the legislature.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle, however, want the setback to be reversed and the GSP restored.
Republican State Senator Natasha von Imhof told NBC News she is worried about what would mean a delay in funding or the total disappearance of the grant for the state. "We risk students either not going to college or leaving the state," she said. "We could stop it. We could start the reverse run. We only need three quarters of the vote, it's a high threshold.
Democrat MEP Sara Hannan, a newly-formed legislator and retired high school teacher, told NBC News she did not believe Dunleavy would have to include the APS in the list. The governor, said Hannan, used the shared legislation in Alaska to improve the possibilities of higher education in Alaska. He knew that it would be difficult to obtain a three-quarters majority for approval of the reverse procedure.
As the University of Alaska faces the governor's unprecedented cut in government funds by 41 percent. Hannan said the removal of the APS triggered a "storm of bad politics and politics" that would ultimately hit Alaska's students hard.
As a teacher, when a family or a student came to Alaska Hannan had reservations about being able to afford a college, and she immediately pointed to the GSP as the best way to higher education. "It's very important to me," she said. Now Hannan receives calls from voters who are worried about finding affordable education in Alaska.
Stephanie Butler, executive director of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education, said she was also overrun with news from concerned students and parents. Her office has sent the e-mail received from Gonzales and some 12,000 other students, informing them that scholarships and grants are currently not available.
"People are facing a term of payment and do not know if they will be able to pay for their lessons," Butler said. Alaskans who have received help from colleges in other states leave the state where they believe their scholarships are safer.
Teresa Wrobel, an aspiring senior at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, is losing her APS funding to her college last year. Likewise her brother, who has just completed his academic year at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. Her family is now considering how to pay for college and will likely invest in savings that are for other purposes to keep Wrobel and her brother in school.
Wrobel, 21, political scientist, says she knows students who are not I'm going back to school in August because of the lost funds.
"I'm lucky. I'll graduate, "Wrobel told NBC News. "But I said to my father recently, 'Maybe we should have my brother transferred. & # 39;