Hailing from Kansas to Kodiak and pursuing fields of study from pharmaceutical sciences to studio photography, Sealaska scholarship recipients represent diverse backgrounds, interests and career paths.
In a recent survey, they shared words of advice and interesting demographic data. And, of course, a lighthearted look at the realities of student life—for example, many respondents said Top Ramen was a staple during college, as well as cafeteria food and coffee.
The deadline to apply for a Sealaska scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year is March 1, and shareholders and descendants are encouraged to apply.
Read on to learn more about Sealaska’s scholarship program and our past scholarship recipients:
The 102 respondents ranged in age from 17 to 54 years old, and the average age of respondents was 29. Because we are committed to supporting shareholders and descendants at all stages of their careers and education, students of any age are eligible to apply for scholarships.
Respondents specialized in a total of more than 20 different fields of study or training. Our scholarships support a range of educational pursuits—science and business fields were most common, but responses also included dental hygiene, marketing, early childhood education and more.
One out of three respondents received a Sealaska scholarship for more than one year, and a handful of recipients received scholarships for six or more years. To meet the needs of students in a variety of higher education pathways, our scholarships may be applied toward short-term vocational training, two-year associate’s degrees and more extensive graduate-level programs, as well as at accredited four-year colleges and universities.
Nearly 30 percent of respondents received a Sealaska scholarship for more than one degree or program. We want shareholders and descendants to reach their full potential, which is why students are eligible to continue their journey as a scholarship recipient through multiple stages of their education. For example, some respondents received funding for both a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
About 13 percent of respondents pursued part-time studies. We expanded our scholarship eligibility criteria in 2019 in an effort to better serve non-traditional students; last year, an additional $2.5 million was added to our scholarship endowment, due in part to an increase in demand from newly eligible part-time students. Part-time students are encouraged to apply!
Respondents offered a number of reasons why the Sealaska scholarship benefitted them, such as covering the cost of food and housing, minimizing student loan debt, and making it possible to afford student health insurance or to do without a part-time job. Some respondents said that the financial support impacted their children and families as well as themselves.
Respondents had powerful advice for their younger selves. Angeline Ebnet, who received a Sealaska scholarship toward both her undergraduate studies at Brown University and a master’s degree in public health, which she’s working on now, said that “it is okay to change the path you originally thought would be your future.” Chandler Strickland, who is studying criminal justice, said: “don’t worry about how long it’ll take you to finish school. Worry about staying dedicated and taking time for yourself in order to stay on track.” Additional words of encouragement included “keep moving forward,” “take care of yourself,” and “you can do this.”
Sealaska is dedicated to advancing the opportunities of our people through access to higher education and vocational training. The Sealaska scholarship program serves shareholders and descendants enrolled full or part-time in vocational-technical programs and accredited colleges and universities. To date, Sealaska has awarded approximately 11,000 scholarships totaling $16.4 million. For full program information and eligibility requirements, please visit https://mysealaska.com/Services/Scholarship.