Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible for an AEF scholarship?

The Arctic Education Foundation has several areas of eligibility all of which you must satisfy in order to be determined eligible for an AEF scholarship award.

Requirements

  • You must be a member of at least one of the eligible classes of recipients
    • A Northern Alaska Inupiat Native of at least ¼ blood quantum currently residing in the Arctic Slope Region
    • An original 1971 shareholder of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
    • A direct lineal descendant of an original 1971 shareholder of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation
  • You must NOT be a spouse, ancestor, lineal descendant (by blood or adoption) or the spouse of a lineal descendant of any member of the Arctic Education Foundation Board of Directors
  • You must have a high school diploma (or GED)
  • You must be at least 17 years old or 16 and be legally emancipated
  • You must be a United States citizen and a United States resident
  • You must be accepted as a Post-secondary education student for either:
    • an undergraduate, graduateor professional degree through an accredited U.S. college or university; or
    • for technical or vocational training through a qualified U.S. vocational or technical institution or program (including qualified training programs sponsored by industry standard manufacturing firms such as Novell or Microsoft)

* "Northern Alaska Inupiat Native" is defined by AEF as an Inupiat Native who: was originally enrolled by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation ("ASRC") on December 17, 1971 the implementation date of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act ["ANCSA"; 43 USC § 1601 et seq.]; or was subsequently enrolled by ASRC as a Class E "missed shareholder" who was eligible to enroll to ASRC on such date, but failed to timely enroll and did not enroll to another ANCSA Region; or is a direct lineal descendant (by blood or adoption, not marriage) of such an Inupiat Native.

How do I apply for an AEF scholarship?

Apply Online All applicants should apply online at the AEF Online Scholarship Application website. If you cannot apply online use the below instructions for submitting a paper application. Scholarship Deadlines Applicants must apply prior to deadlines listed below. December 1 - Spring March 1 - Spring Quarter May 1 - Summer August 1 - Fall Important: No exceptions will be made for late applications. Incomplete first time and renewal application packets will not be processed.

What paperwork must I submit to apply for a scholarship using a paper application?

The paperwork requirements are different for Initial (first time) and Renewal (Continuing) student applicants.

INITIAL (NEW) APPLICANTS

You must complete all sections of the application packet which includes:
  • Determination of Eligibility
  • Personal Information for Initial Application
  • AEF Scholarship Application
  • Need Sheet/Budget Forecast
  • Letter of Admission ot the school
  • Latest Transcript
  • Three letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Plan Letter

STUDENTS RE-APPLYING AFTER 2-YEARS OR MORE BREAK

If you are re-applying after two years or more absence, you must re-submit all paperwork required of initial applicants (see above list). All inactive files are archived after two years and put into storage and/or destroyed.

RENEWAL (CONTINUING) STUDENTS

You are considered a RENEWAL (CONTINUING) STUDENT if you have received an AEF scholarship the prior year and have all required initial paperwork on file. For subsequent academic years you only need to submit the:

  • 2-page AEF Scholarship Application
  • Need Sheet/Budget Forecast
  • Complete transcript
Changes:

Please write a quick note to us pointing out any changes to prior information. If you are transferring to another school we need the Letter of Acceptance from the new school. If you are changing your major, giving us this information may help us alert you to possible funding sources for students in your chosen field.

When should I apply?

Deadlines for AEF Scholarship Applications:

  • March 1st
  • May 1st
  • August 1st
  • December 1st

To be considered for an AEF scholarship you have to get your AEF application in by the deadline date prior to start of classes. If classes start in October, you have to apply by the August 1 deadline. If summer classes start in April or May (even late May) you have to apply by the March 1 deadline, NOT June 1st.

What is a Need Sheet/Budget Forecast and why do you require it?

The Need Sheet/Budget Forecast is probably the most critical part of your AEF application. It is a form through which you authorize the Financial Aid Office at your school ("FAO") to give AEF any information about your expenses and other sources of funding for the current school year. AEF then uses this information to calculate the amount of your AEF scholarship.

AEF cannot process applications with self-entered budget information. You MUST get your FAO to fill out that form and send it to the AEF office. Your FAO bases its information on actual costs of your registered classes and best estimates on other usual costs. Also included on this Need Sheet is information on Other Sources of Funding that will help determine your actual financial need. Remember AEF's scholarship program is based on financial need so we require information on other sources of funding available to you. We do, however, try to displace loans as much as possible if loans are calculated as part of your Need Sheet/Budget Forecast information.

NOTE: More and more schools have computer systems which require the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Student Aid Report be received and inputted before a Budget Forecast can be printed out for us. The Financial Aid computer program used in all University of Alaska schools is such a system. Make sure you complete your FAFSA early enough to allow time for the FAO to receive and input your Student Aid Report. If AEF receives a blank Need Sheet from the FAO (because you have not done your FAFSA) we cannot process your application and you will not receive a scholarship.

How much do I get from AEF if I am eligible?

AEF processes scholarship applications under the assumption that the student is also pursuing other sources of funding because AEF cannot pay for all expenses. We are only one source of funding among many. AEF scholarship is a need-based scholarship, which means that you must demonstrate that even with other sources of funding you are still in need of assistance to make it through the school year. In order to assist the greatest number of students, AEF limits the amount it gives out each year per student. Please remember that the LIMIT is not a guaranteed amount.

Scholarship award amount is based on consideration of established limits, other sources of funding and demonstrated need. If other sources of funding include loans, AEF does try to displace loans as much as possible under our guidelines. For college students pursuing a four-year degree or for graduate students the maximum is $6,750 per year determined by demonstrated need ($3,375 per semester or $2,250 per quarter). Caution: If you seek for and receive AEF assistance for summer courses you may find yourself either ineligible for fall scholarship because you have already reached the maximum AEF annual limit or that your AEF funding falls far short of your actual need. For training students, the limit is $2,875 per training term. If your training institution runs on two semesters per year, you would be eligible for up to $5,750 for that year determined by your demonstrated need.

NOTE FOR APPLICANTS WHO ALSO RECEIVE SCHOLARSHIPS FROM ANCSA ENTITIES OTHER THAN ASRC: To maximize resources AEF reduces its scholarship award by the amount you receive from any other ANCSA Regional or Village Corporation foundation OUTSIDE the Arctic Slope Region. This does not apply to scholarships received from a Village Corporation or non-profit entities within the Arctic Slope.

What expenses does AEF cover?

As with most scholarship providers, AEF has limits on what it can and cannot cover. Eligible expenses are: tuition, fees, books/supplies, room/board. However, in addition to the total annual maximum limit, there are limits on how much we can assist with books/supplies and off-campus room/board.

IRS considers room/board awards taxable income. Although AEF is not required to do so, as a courtesy to you AEF sends a letter each year to each student who received room and board assistance that calendar year. However, AEF strongly advises you to check with your or your parents' tax advisor to make sure you report any taxable income correctly.

ONLY FULLTIME OFF-CAMPUS STUDENTS ATTENDING SCHOOLS OUTSIDE THEIR AREA OF RESIDENCE WHO SUBMIT A COPY OF THEIR LEASE AGREEMENT AND FULLTIME ON-CAMPUS STUDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ROOM/BOARD ASSISTANCE.

Even given that fact, as a fulltime student you may possibly not receive any room/board assistance if we use up the semester or quarter limit paying for your tuition and fees.

In any case, you will need to seek other sources of funding for any travel or personal expenses related to your schooling, as AEF guidelines do not allow for assistance for these expenses. PLEASE NOTE also that because AEF is an educational scholarship foundation dedicated to assisting eligible applicants prepare for the job market we cannot cover individual lessons in music, martial arts, etc. if they are primarily geared toward personal enhancement, not an employable skill.

If I've already paid for my expenses on my own can you give me a refund?

AEF scholarships are need-based, meaning that you have to demonstrate that you need the AEF scholarship in order to pay the costs to attend the school. Under our guidelines we are prohibited from reimbursing you for the payment if you have already paid for the expenses. We are also prohibited from reimbursing you for expenses related to any prior semesters already attended. This is why it is very important that you submit an application early giving yourself and AEF plenty of time to process any scholarships for which you are eligible.

Why does AEF need my transcript?

Eligibility for AEF scholarship is contingent on maintaining a 2.0 or higher GPA. Additionally, eligibility for room and board assistance is contingent on maintaining fulltime status. This information is available from your transcript or progress report. Per AEF's guidelines, transcripts must be sent no less than once a year. AEF requires an official transcript with your fall application. Although official transcripts are still preferable, you may send a grade report for other terms.

It is each student's responsibility to make sure that a transcript or grade report is requested and sent to AEF.

Due to confidentiality considerations only the student can request his or her transcripts/grades from the school. AEF will hold scholarship checks until the transcript or progress report for the immediate prior term is received at the AEF office. It is therefore in your best interest to get your grades to AEF as soon as possible after the completion of a term.

What happens if I don't get good grades?

If your grades fall below the 2.0 GPA standard AEF will give you a one-time grace period of one semester or quarter funding to improve your GPA to 2.0 or higher. If your grades improve, very good! You'll be back on track for scholarships.

If your GPA does not improve up to the acceptable standard you will not be funded again until the following conditions are met.

  • You must carry (i.e. fund) a semester(s) on your own (or with any other non-AEF funding)
  • and
  • You must improve your GPA to 2.0 or higher.

There are some options available for AEF scholarship re-entry.

  • You can carry a full-time semester on your own. If you pull up your GPA to 2.0 or higher, you will be considered eligible again for full-time funding through AEF.
  • You can also carry a part-time semester on your own. If you pull up your GPA to 2.0 or higher, you will be considered eligible for part-time funding through AEF even if you plan to attend fulltime.
  • You can carry two or more part-time semesters on your own which, together, equal full-time. If you pull up your GPA to 2.0 or higher in both (all) of those semesters, you will be considered eligible again for full-time funding through AEF. AEF will generally not provide notice that you are using your one-time grace period. After your one-time grace period has been exhausted if your grades drop below 2.0 you will not be eligible for AEF funding again until you have demonstrated a 2.0 or higher GPA. To ensure continuous eligibility for AEF funding it is best to maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA at all times.

What happens if I drop a class?

Usually nothing since we also fund part-time attendance. However, if you were awarded assistance with room and board (this includes meal allowances) from AEF you have the responsibility of maintaining and finishing the term as a FULLTIME student for the full quarter or semester in which you were awarded the scholarship.

Therefore, do not withdraw from classes such that you lose your fulltime student status otherwise you will have to return (i.e. pay back) the room and board portion of your AEF scholarship before you are again eligible for AEF funding.

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