Scholarship FAQs

General Scholarship FAQs

Should I apply for a vocational or academic scholarship?

Academic scholarships are awarded to students pursuing degrees in health and human services at accredited colleges and universities. The vocational scholarship program is available to help pay for training in areas such as medical office professions, addictions counseling, certified nurse assistant (CNA), and other certificate programs that do not result in a college degree but still fill a vital need in the health care community.

Do I need to already be enrolled in a program?

You must either be planning to enroll or currently enrolled in a health and human services program at a minimum of half time (six credit hours) in higher education at an accredited college or university.

How do I apply for a MSHF scholarship?

All applications are accepted online at the links provided on the scholarship page.

Do I need to fill out my application all at one time?

Nope! You can save and return to complete your application at your convenience.

Can I edit or make changes to my application after submitting it?

No, you cannot edit or make any changes to your application after you have clicked on the “Submit” button. Please email to notify changes.

Can I receive more than one MSHF scholarship?

You can only receive an academic scholarship annually. In a given year, you can apply for more than one vocational scholarship in a different training program. You also can apply for an academic scholarship and a vocational scholarship at the same time.

Do I need to be an Alaska resident to apply?

Yes, and a Mat-Su Borough resident for a minimum of one year at the time of application. If you are a student out of state who is an Alaska resident, you must be eligible to receive the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) and will need to be registered to vote in the Mat-Su Borough or hold a driver’s license or State of Alaska ID that reflects your Mat-Su Borough address.

Does the program I attend need to be in Alaska?

No. You can attend a program that is offered at an out of state institution, but you must maintain your Mat-Su Borough residency.

Are online degree programs eligible?

Yes, online programs are eligible.

Does it cost money to apply for an MSHF scholarship?

Nope! It is free to apply to all of the MSHF scholarship programs.

What is the criteria used to select scholarship recipients?

Mat-Su Health Foundation scholarships are need-based. An applicant’s need is calculated based on their available resources (Estimated Student Aid Index from the FAFSA, Pell Grants), the total cost of attendance, interest in a field of health care or human services, and other extenuating circumstances that will impact their ability to pay for their education.

What is my Cost of Attendance (COA)?

Cost of Attendance (COA) refers to the estimated cost of completing a full academic year in college. We also refer to this as the “Requested Amount.” The COA includes tuition, as well as fees, living expenses and more. Keep in mind that the exact cost of your program can vary based on which degree you decide to pursue, whether you are in or out of state, and other factors.

The COA is important because it helps us determine the financial need of our applicants. We see what your estimated costs are and compare that to your available resources, which we gather from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information (Estimated Student Aid Index, Pell Grants, etc.) and other scholarships you may be receiving.

Please note that if you are planning to enroll in only one semester for the upcoming academic year (fall 2024 or spring 2025), write your estimated COA for only that semester. Next, attach the COA for the full academic year as normal, but when you write the COA on the application, split that amount in half.

Each COA will look different depending on the school you are attending. As an example, check out the Cost of Attendance from the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

What is my Student Aid Index (SAI)?

Your Student Aid Index (SAI) is an index number used to determine your eligibility for federal student financial aid. This number results from the information you provide in your FAFSA form. The SAI is important because we use it to determine the financial need of our applicants. We calculate your available resources, which we gather from your FAFSA (Estimated Student Aid Index, Pell Grants, etc.), your extenuating circumstances and any other scholarships you may be receiving.

How do I apply for FAFSA?

You can apply for the FAFSA here.

Who is ineligible for an MSHF scholarship award?

    • VHA dba MSHF directors members, officers, employees, members of the Program Committee (including non-voting community members), and their family members.
    • Mat-Su Regional Medical Center Board of Directors members and their family members.
    • Mat-Su Regional Board of Trustee members.
    • Family members of a disqualified person include a disqualified person’s spouse, siblings (whether by whole or half-blood), spouses of siblings (whether by whole or half-blood) and their children by whole or half blood or by adoption, ancestors, children (including a legally adopted child), grandchildren, great grandchildren, and spouses of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren (whether by whole or half-blood).

How much is each scholarship worth?

The amount awarded for academic scholarships varies based on many factors, including how many applicants there are each year. 2023 Academic Scholarship recipients received awards from $1,000 to $7,000. Vocational scholarship awards are capped at $5,000 per person.

How are scholarship funds dispersed?

Scholarship funds are paid directly to the school/university you attend in August each year. For a full year’s enrollment, the award will be split between the fall and spring semesters.

I have a question and I can’t find the answer. Who should I contact?

For additional assistance, please email

Vocational Scholarship FAQs

When can I apply for a vocational scholarship?

Vocational scholarship applications are continuously accepted throughout the year. However, applications must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the start of your training program.

What programs could I apply a vocational scholarship toward?

Some examples of the types of career training we help pay for include, but are not limited to, medical and dental assistants, personal care aides, lab technicians, medical office personnel, mental health technicians, phlebotomists, radiology technicians, and EMTs.

Is the FAFSA required for a vocational scholarship?

No, the FAFSA is not required to apply for a vocational scholarship.

When will I find out if I am selected to receive a scholarship?

The turnaround time is about 60 days after submission of a completed application, at this time. However, please do submit your application as far in advance as possible to ensure you receive the decision before applicable deadlines for your program.

Academic Scholarship FAQs

How many scholarships are awarded each year?

The number of academic scholarship awards varies each year.

When is my application due?

The 2024 MSHF academic scholarship application period will close on March 22, 2024.

What programs could I apply an academic scholarship toward?

Academic scholarship awards can be applied to programs with a focus on health and human services and nonprofit management at accredited colleges and universities.

Do I need to be a full-time student to receive an academic scholarship?

The applicant must have at least half-time student status at an accredited college, university, or medical training program.

Can awards apply toward summer credits?

No, the scholarship cannot be applied toward summer credits. The Scholarship is awarded half for the fall semester and half for the spring semester.

Is the FAFSA required for an academic scholarship?

Yes, a completed FAFSA is required to apply for an MSHF academic scholarship.

When will I find out if I am selected to receive a scholarship?

Recipients of academic scholarships are typically notified by the end of April each year.