JUNEAU -- Early data indicate at least 2,170 students from the Alaska high school graduating class of 2012 qualified for a state-funded merit scholarship.
Gov. Sean Parnell's office says that's 30 percent of this year's total graduating class. It's not clear yet how many students will accept a scholarship, which must be used for post-secondary education in Alaska. Parnell has been a champion of the Alaska Performance Scholarship, seeing it as a way to help transform the state's education system.
A report to lawmakers on the program's inaugural year showed that as of Jan. 1, the program had awarded about $3 million to more than 900 graduates from the class of 2011. About 1,400 additional students qualified and remained eligible to receive scholarship aid later, provided they meet eligibility requirements.