The majority of students at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC), as either US Nationals or US Citizens, qualify for federal financial aid in the form of the Pell Grant, which covers the cost of a student’s first two years of college. Students born outside the Territory, however, face the double challenge of both a higher tuition rate as well as no access to financial aid from the US Government. As American Samoa becomes home to more families from outside the US, from as close by as neighboring Samoa to as far away as China, ASCC has seen an increase in students determined to start college despite the greater expenses.
With the aim of providing assistance to the most motivated of these students from outside the Territory or the USA, ASCC makes available two in-house scholarships each spring and fall semester. The SGA (Student Government Association) Saili le Atamai Scholarship specifically serves only those without access to the Pell Grant, while the Presidential Merit Scholarship is open to all ASCC students. Applicants for the SGA Scholarship must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0, while the required GPA for the Presidential Merit Scholarship is 3.60. Other criteria, such as the completion of certain courses, also apply.
The ASCC Division of Student Services, which administers the in-house scholarships, has announced the four recipients for the current spring 2023 semester. Ms. Pearl Munoz and Ms. Evis Takubala are the recipients of Saili le Atamai scholarship, while Ms. Luiama Tofaeono and Ms. Naleigh Hudson have been awarded the Presidential Merit Scholarship. Each recipient will receive a $500 credit towards their tuition balance.
A citizen of the Philippines, Ms. Pearl Munoz graduated from Marist Faasao high school in 2022 and is currently enrolled in the ASCC Nursing program, where she has already become qualified as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). In addition to her studies, she holds down two part-time jobs as a tutor at ASCC as well as a seamstress. She also actively participates in the youth ministry with her church. Miss Evis Takubala is a citizen of the Solomon Islands who graduated from Pacific Horizons School in 2021 and now majors in Business at ASCC. Her excellent academic performance has led to an association with two honor societies, the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) as well as the Sigma Kappa Delta society for English students. In addition to her studies and community involvement, Ms. Takubala also works part time for KB Academy.
Ms. Luiama Tofaeono, a US National, is another Pacific Horizons graduate, and since coming to ASCC in 2021 she has focused on earning her Associate of Science degree in Civil Engineering Technology. Ms. Tofaeono also serves as Vice President of the SGA, and as a member of the PTK. Her goal is to continue her studies in Civil Engineering after ASCC. Ms. Naleigh Hudson, a US citizen, graduated from Tafuna High School before entering ASCC in 2022. Her goal after ASCC is to pursue an advanced degree in Psychology, preferably at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “Working in the field of Psychology has always been a personal ambition of mine,” she said, “and American Samoa needs more psychologists with the many ongoing issues in our island’s society.”
Application details for the ASCC In-House Scholarships can be found in the ASCC Catalog, which can be viewed online at www.amsamoa.edu.