ASCC Awards Fall 2019 In-House Scholarships

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Published on November 13, 2019

In-House Scholarship Recipients

Recipients of the two ASCC In-House Scholarships for fall 2019 are (l – r) Mark Espiritu and Jean Paula Eseo, who were awarded the Saili le Atamai Scholarship; and twin sisters Shiqi and Shiting Huang, both recipients of the Presidential Merit Scholarship. (Photo: J. Kneubuhl)

The Division of Student Services Division (DOSS) at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) has announced the recipients of its fall 2019 In-House Scholarships. Most high school graduates born in American Samoa automatically qualify for the federal Pell Grant, which covers most if not all of the cost for them to earn a Bachelors degree in college. However, for students born outside of the US and its territories, and therefore subject to “non-resident” tuition rates, the cost of attending college can prove prohibitive. To assist students born outside of American Samoa, ASCC makes available two in-house scholarships each semester, the Saili le Atamai and Presidential Merit scholarships, which students can apply for if they either do not qualify for the Pell Grant or otherwise find themselves in financial need.

Funded by the Student Government Association (SGA) and intended for students who do not qualify for any form of federal aid, criteria for the Saili le Atamai Scholarship includes maintaining a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00, having already completed at least 12 credits or more, attending the College full-time, and being committed towards earning a specific Associate Degree or Certificate of Proficiency. The ASCC Division of Student Services has announced the recipients of the fall 2019 Saili le Atamai Scholarship as Mr. Mark Espiritu and Ms. Jean Paula Eseo.

Born in the Philippines, Mr. Espiritu graduated from Faasao/Marist High School in 2017. A Nursing major, he worked this past summer as part of the Public Health lymphatic filariasis assessment. “Contributing to the effort to eliminate LP in American Samoa gave me added motivation to pursue my nursing studies,” he said. Ms. Eseo, also born in the Philippines and also a Nursing major, is a 2017 graduate of South Pacific Academy. To help finance her Nursing studies, she currently serves as a paid Aquaculture intern on campus, while also holding an off-campus job with the Department of Health as a Certified Nursing Assistant. While in high school Ms. Eseo took part in community service projects through organizations such as the National Honor Society, the National Junior Honor Society, and the Junior Rotary Club.

The Presidential Merit Scholarship of $500 is open for application by all ASCC students regardless of their qualification for the Pell grant. Applicants must have completed 24 credits and maintained a grade point average of 3.60 or higher. This semester, the Presidential Merit Scholarships will go to twin sisters Ms. Shiting Huang and Ms. Shiqi Huang, both Chinese citizens who intend to graduate this semester with degrees in Liberal Arts. Shiting hopes to one day enter the teaching profession, and got a head start this past summer working on campus as a math tutor. Her sister Shiqui has also served as a math tutor, in addition to her duties as a work-study student with the Business Office.

ASCC Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i congratulated this semester’s In-House Scholarship recipients, and encouraged all students in financial need to learn more about and apply for the In-House Scholarships. “Students who meet the criteria should take advantage of these scholarship opportunities,” she said. “We know how difficult it can be for students who don’t qualify for federal financial aid, and both the SGA and the President make this assistance available so that truly deserving students can pursue the education they need to fulfill their goals. Anyone who thinks they may qualify should speak to a counselor here at Student Services.”

For more information on ASCC, visit the College’s web page at