Sealaska offers scholarship bonus

Descendents of Sealaska shareholders have until March to apply for corporate scholarships. But those submitting applications this month will receive an extra $50.

About 400 college, university and vocational school students receive the scholarships every year.

The money comes from Sealaska, the regional Native corporation for Southeast. It’s distributed by the Sealaska Heritage Institute, the businesses’ cultural arm.

Institute President Rosita Worl says the merit-based scholarships run from about $1,000 to $4,000 a year. The amount is based on each student’s year in school, as well as his or her grades.

“They have to be in good standing in their school. And we require a minimum of a 2.0 (grade-point average). If they fall below a 2.0, they go on probation for a semester and they have a semester to bring their grades up,” she says.

Applications must be filed online, through the institute’s website.

Forms, transcripts and letters of recommendation must be submitted by March 1st. Those completing paperwork by February 1st get the extra $50.

Students must attend an accredited institution full-time.

“One of the objectives is to train our future managers and employees of not only Sealaska, but our Native organizations. So in addition to the scholarship, we also have an intern program,” Worl says.

Students do not have to be Sealaska shareholders to receive scholarships. But they must prove they are a lineal descendent. The corporation has more than 20,000 shareholders, about half living in Alaska.