Needs element for scholarship plan heard

Posted: Thursday, February 04, 2010

JUNEAU - An advocate of a program similar to Gov. Sean Parnell's proposed merit scholarship program says there's room for a needs-based element without compromising the basic intent.

Bill Schilling is president of the Wyoming Business Alliance, which championed that state's Hathaway Scholarship Program.

He spoke at a joint hearing of Alaska's House and Senate Education committees Wednesday.

Schilling said that after a student qualifies based on merit and has exhausted federal financial aid opportunities, his state will help to cover a student's remaining "unmet need." Financial need is not a prerequisite for the scholarships.

House Education Chair Paul Seaton said that approach seems to be in line with what lawmakers want.

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