Student government creates two new scholarships

See caption and credit below image for description
UAF photo by Eric Engman.
From left, Sarah Finney and Cole Osowski, ASUAF’s incoming vice president and president, join Riley von Borstel, who is a past president, and Ashlyn and Pierce Brooks, the outgoing president and vice president, at the student government’s offices in Wood Center in April 2023.

One of the best ways to support students is through a scholarship, but it takes a major commitment to endow one. Some groups work for years to raise the funds. 

So it’s not every day that a group of university students can start not just one but two scholarships. That's exactly what the Associated Students of the University of Alaska Fairbanks did this spring with the endowment of two $50,000 scholarship funds.

ASUAF President Ashlyn Brooks said students had talked about creating a scholarship for a while, using money from the sale of land owned by ASUAF several years ago. Some proceeds had been spent, including on a project to repair the Polar Alley bowling lanes at the Wood Center, but not all.

One new scholarship is for students with a GPA of 3.8 or above. The second is for students with a GPA of 2.5 or above who demonstrate how they contribute to the university or community.

ASUAF Vice President Pierce Brooks, said the second scholarship would support students “who maybe don't have the 4.0 GPA but are involved in like three different clubs, presidents of two and involved in the campus in extraordinary ways.”

ASUAF also wanted to assist those students who aren’t defined as “low income” in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid but still need help to attend college.

Federal rules often unrealistically assume families will cover a large part of a student’s college costs, Pierce Brooks said. He said student leaders were determined to serve those who are disqualified from aid by that assumption.

Riley von Borstel, past ASUAF president, said she is proud of student government leaders for creating the scholarships and highlighting the importance of philanthropy.

"It's amazing to come in when this was just an idea and to see the whole thing come to fruition," von Borstel said. "What I wanted to do was focus on philanthropy for my fellow students and improve their quality of life, their education and just their entire experience at UAF and into their future. I'm glad I was a part of it, and kudos to Pierce and Ashlyn for seeing it through to the end."