Most students at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) are US citizens or nationals, which gives them access to federal financial aid, particularly the Pell Grant which covers the majority of a student’s college expenses. ASCC also serves a number of young men and women who do not qualify for financial aid and thus need to meet the cost of their attendance through independent means. To assist these non-Pell students, as well as other applicants who meet the criteria, the College offers two in-house scholarships, the “Saili le Atamai” Student Government Association (SGA) award and the Presidential Merit Scholarship. The Student Services Division of ASCC recently announced the recipients of these scholarships for the fall 2017 semester.
The “Saili le Atamai” Scholarship of $500, funded by the SGA, is intended for full-time students who do not qualify for any federal aid. The criteria includes the student maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.00, having already completed at least 12 credits or more at ASCC, attending the College on a full-time basis, and being committed towards earning a particular Associate Degree or Certificate of Proficiency. This semester’s recipients are Ms. Jingling Jiang, and Mr. Jin Lin Du.
Born in China, Ms. Jiang graduated in 2015 from Seventh Junior High School in the Fujian Province. An Accounting major and also a member of both the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society and the Business Ambassadors of ASCC (BAOA), Ms. Jiang actually volunteered to work doing data input for the ASCC Business Office before becoming a work study employee there. “My parents, who are still in China, had to make great sacrifices so that I could attend ASCC,” she said. “My education is very expensive, but I still feel it’s a worthwhile investment.” Also a Chinese citizen, second “Saili le Atamai” recipient Mr. Jin Lin Du attended high school in Malaysia and now attends ASCC and majors in Liberal Arts. He would like to eventually complete his college education in the USA and become a computer engineer.
ASCC also offers the Presidential Merit Scholarship, also of $500, which is open for application by full-time students either eligible for financial aid or not. Among other criteria, applicants must have completed 24 credits and maintained a grade point average of 3.60 or higher. This semester’s recipients are Ms. Louaivasa Laulu and Ms. Rianna Lafaele.
Ms. Laulu graduated from Pacific Horizon Academy last year, and now majors in Liberal Arts at ASCC. She has done volunteer work with the American Samoa Alliance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and has noted the prevalence of substance abuse among her peers. “My ultimate goal is to work towards reversing these situations by furthering my education at a U.S, university and earning a degree in Psychology,” she said. Ms. Lafaele has also volunteered at the Alliance, as well serving as a Youth Leader Assistant for her church. She graduated last year from Inderkum High School in Sacramento, California, where she also participated in the International Baccalaureate Program and served as president of the school’s Polynesian Club. Another ASCC Liberal Arts major, Ms. Lafaele intends to use her scholarship award towards her priorities of furthering her education and doing service for others.
ASCC Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i congratulated this semester’s in-house scholarship recipients and encouraged all students who feel they may be eligible to apply in the future. “We feel fortunate to have these resources available for students who make significant academic achievements even without the benefit of financial aid,” she said, “and we hope the public will join us in also recognizing the community service these individuals often provide.”
For more information on scholarship opportunities at ASCC, contact the Student Services Division by calling 699-9155 and asking for extension 376.