Alaska Christian College Students Eligible for Pell Grants

Post a Comment » Written on September 26th, 2008     
Filed under: News
SOLDOTNA, AK (September 26, 2008) – Alaska Christian College (ACC) learned Thursday that the U.S. Department of Education has accepted the school into the Title IV program.

The decision means students attending ACC will be eligible to receive Pell grants as part of their financial aid.

“This is the answer we have waited seven years to hear!” President Keith Hamilton wrote in an email to school supporters. “I rejoiced with the staff as we sang, ‘To God be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done’ in our Denali room with this news.”

In February, the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) awarded ACC “candidate for accreditation” status. Please see Accreditation to learn more. That decision normally leads to the school being approved access to the Title IV grants.

The school likely will need to wait a year to be approved for access to the Title IV Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant funds (SEOG) and federal work-study program. Paperwork from Washington D.C. may not arrive at ACC in time for the school to meet the October 1 application deadline, Hamilton said. Like the Pell grants, the SEOG does not need to be repaid.

The school is eligible to be fully accredited in three years. The ABHE will continue to monitor the work of the school during that time.

Fewer than five percent of Alaska Native high school graduates complete their first semester of college, statistics show. ACC operates part of its program in cooperation with nearby Kenai Peninsula College, an extension of the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

Most of the students at the school in Soldotna come from small and even remote villages. The college helps students transition from village life to their first year of college.

The cost of school can be a tremendous burden. Unemployment in some villages runs higher than 40 percent, and many of the students must help their families with subsistence farming and fishing during breaks in the school year.

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