December 08, 2021
Kiana Norton of Kotzebue, Alaska was the lucky winner of this year’s Alaska 529 $25,000 scholarship account giveaway. The 23-year-old is the first person off the road system in Alaska to win the annual scholarship account giveaway.
Kiana was notified that she won during a surprise Zoom session on her birthday at the UAF Chukchi Campus, coordinated by Alaska 529, the campus, and her parents. As a college student currently taking a semester off, she was delighted to learn about the unexpected scholarship award. "I was going through a really tough time at my current college and winning this has taken a huge load off my shoulders and opened up a lot more options. I was already saving my PFDs for college expenses so saving with Alaska 529 just felt like a natural choice," Kiana said.
Kiana will be able to use the scholarship funds at any eligible college, university, vocational, or technical school, in or out of Alaska.
"The giveaway is one of our favorite annual activities. The winners are always so excited to receive such a significant boost to their education savings, and I'm equally delighted to plan the announcement and inform the winner. It is a fun way to give Alaska families an additional incentive to save their PFDs for future education expenses and reinforce a college-going culture," said Lael Oldmixon, executive director of Alaska 529. "I'm happy this will help Kiana on her way, just as many of our past winners have already used their scholarship accounts for higher education."
Alaska 529 has awarded the scholarship annually for the last 12 years, with the goal of encouraging Alaska families to save their PFDs for higher education expenses. Anyone who invests half of a PFD in an Alaska 529 account is entered in the scholarship giveaway. This year, more than 14,000 applicants were eligible fo the drawing which is funded by the Education Trust of Alaska.
For more information on investing a PFD, visit Alaska529plan.com/pfd.