Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 37.22
Liaison Ryan Buchholdt
Submission Date Aug. 2, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

University of Alaska Anchorage
PAE-10: Affordability and Access Programs

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Paula Williams
Sustainability Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of the institution’s participation in federal TRIO programs:

UAA’s TRIO programs include Educational Talent Search (serving 650 – sixth to twelfth grade students), Educational Opportunity Center (serving 1,500 – age 19 and older adults), Student Support Services (serving 160 - low income, first generation and/or disabled UAA students), and Upward Bound (serving 60 academically high risk ninth to twelfth grade students).

A brief description of the institution’s policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students?:

UAA works to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students in several ways. For example, Tuition Waivers are distributed through many departments, federal work study opportunities are promoted heavily, and workshops are offered to help students navigate the financial aid application process.

Student Support Services allocates grant aid support to encourage student retention and persistence at UAA. In addition, Student Support Services provides free tutoring, technology loans, and a textbook loan program that allows students to save money that would have been spent on books, to be directed toward other expenses instead.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to equip the institution's faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

There are many ways in which UAA programs help to equip our staff and faculty with the awareness and skill needed to best serve students from low-income backgrounds. For example, the UAA  Educational Opportunity Center partnered with the University of Alaska Fairbanks to develop a film on low-income and first-generation Alaskans and the need for Trio programs across the state. We also hold an annual Trio National Day of Service. This event brings adults and students from the community to engage in service projects that benefit the community, while raising awareness of the significant contribution of Trio programs to low-income and first-generation Alaskans. In addition, we are strengthening our collaborative efforts between and among UAA programs and colleges to establish a retention safety net that is more responsive to the early warning signs that lead to at-risk student attrition. UAA works collaboratively with the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) and has created a Diversity Team at UAA to build an inclusive and supportive campus environment. UAA's team consists of a talented mix of faculty, students, and staff from varying disciplines who are committed to advancing the mission of NCBI and using its methodology both inside and outside the classroom to respond to issues of discrimination, oppression, and controversial issues that may occur on-campus.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

All of our TRIO programs help to prepare students from low-incomes for higher education.
Educational Talent Search helps low income and potential first-generation college students successfully navigate the educational pipeline to college through programming focused on helping middle and high school students develop educational plans, scholarship portfolios, college admission and financial aid application assistance, HSGQE/ACT/SAT preparation workshops, and tutoring. Students explore career opportunities, participate in service learning projects, develop leadership skills, attend cultural events, and summer educational academies. Our collaboration with the Anchorage School District allows us to expand educational opportunities and foster a successful transition to higher education for ETS students.
Upward Bound provides educational and cultural services such as instruction in reading, writing, and study skills best-practices, academic, financial, and/or personal counseling and advising, exposure to academic programs and cultural events, tutorial services, mentoring programs, information on post-secondary educational opportunities, assistance with college entrance requirements, and a summer academic enrichment component.
UAA Educational Opportunity Center supports over 1500 new and continuing adult participants by providing financial aid, career counseling, assessment, continuing education, and college admission activities.
Student Support Services (SSS) works to improve and exceed the retention rate of eligible first-generation, low-income, and/or disabled students towards graduation or transfer from UAA through academic support services. Student participants engage in skill development, mentoring, and tutorial workshops and activities.

The Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) provides information and assistance to adults who wish to pursue a post-secondary education. Services provided by EOC include career planning, educational advising, college and technical school selection, school admission assistance, financial aid application assistance, basic computer skills instruction, and federal student loan default rehabilitation.

The Educational Talent Search (ETS) program serves students grades 6-12th within 13 schools in the Anchorage School District. ETS prepares students to successfully complete high school and enroll in college. Services include academic advising, career exploration, study skills tutoring, college planning, college tours, and more.

The Upward Bound program (UB) serves students in 9-12th grades in three high schools in the Anchorage School District. UB, like ETS, prepares students to complete high school. The program also emphasizes academic preparation in science, math, language, and literature, as well as the services listed above for ETS. UB students attend a six-week, highly challenging academic summer program on the
UAA campus. Students who have graduated from secondary school and intend to enroll in college in the Fall
may participate in a Summer Bridging component where they enroll and earn credit in college courses designed to aid their transition to college.

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

In 2009, UAA received a donation of $7 million targeted for scholarships for females and low income students.

Additionally, UAA has a streamlined scholarship application process. Students can fill out one brief application to apply for numerous institutional scholarships. The TRIO programs focus on helping students navigate the scholarship application process.  There are also department issued tuition waivers that benefit many students, including those who have low-income, such as the Advising and Testing offices “Making Dreams Reality” award.  In addition, the UA Scholar program provides comprehensive financial support for the top 10% our graduating classes, many of these high achieving students come from low-income families.

A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

The University holds a variety of events such as FAFSA Frenzy, Step Into UAA day, Preview Day, and TRIO program workshops that invite students and their families to engage in the process of applying for admission, applying for financial aid, meeting with advisors, learning about clubs and activities, and getting connected with important resources related to the higher education experience. Areas such as Native Student Services, while not explicitly focused on guiding parents of low-income students through the higher education experience, do provide guidance for students from rural areas who may need help getting connected with native corporations as funding sources, and with mentors and allies as they transition in. Our New Student Orientation program is another example of a program that is not aimed specifically at parents of low-income students,  but that  provides terrific benefit to those families who participate.

A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The Educational Talent Search program and Upward Bound program both rely on relationships with school districts to reach out and connect with young people from low-income backgrounds, to support and encourage them as they advance academically and to prepare them for post-secondary. The Educational Opportunity Center and Student Support Services programs seek out adults from low-income backgrounds and provide the bridge that is needed to see themselves as college students. While ETS, UB, and EOC are all focused on assisting students in the process of engaging and persisting in post-secondary opportunities at large, the SSS program is specifically focused on the students who choose to attend our own institution. Also important to note, is that many of our other outreach, recruitment, and retention efforts benefit students from low-income backgrounds.

A brief description of the institution’s other admissions policies and programs:

UAA is a general admission University. Requirements for admission are: a high school diploma, GED or Ability to Benefit Certificate, a $40 application fee, and a final high school transcript showing graduation date or GED test scores; or Ability to Benefit test scores.

A brief description of the institution’s other financial aid polices or programs:

These are the types of financial aid most commonly used at the University of Alaska Anchorage:

Federal Grants
Pell grants
(SEOG) Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

Other Grants
Alaska Advantage Education Grant
University of Alaska Grant
Alaska Performance Scholarship

Federal Work Study Program

Federal Loans
Stafford Loans
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Alternative Loans
Private or alternative loans typically have interest rates that rise and fall with the economy. Private loans rely on credit reports; federal student loans don't

Graduate or Professional Students


Tuition Waivers
Department Tuition Waivers
Tuition waivers are awarded by many different departments and programs throughout the University. Please contact the department for which you would like to be considered for a tuition waiver or for more information.

Employee Tuition Waivers
Employee tuition waivers are handled solely with Accounting Services. Please contact them for more information regarding requirements and forms for employees

Veterans Benefits
University of Alaska College Savings Plan

A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs not covered above:

The website URL where information about programs in each of the areas listed above is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.