JUNEAU - Major scholarship legislation tacked on to a bill to retain dentists, pharmacists and optometrists in Alaska is going to the Senate floor.
The Senate Finance Committee advanced a bill Monday to significantly expand two existing scholarship programs with an $11.7 million first-year price tag.
An expanded and renamed UA Scholars program would provide between half and full tuition to the top 15 percent of every graduating Alaska high school class. The scholarship would only apply to the University of Alaska.
The bill also ups the maximum awards in the needs-based AlaskAdvantage Education Grant program, from $2,000 a year to $5,000.
The committee's action comes while a separate scholarship bill by Gov. Sean Parnell is stalled.