Scholarship Application Open: January 15, 2024 - March 15, 2024

The Dr. Merritt C. Olson Scholarship supports outstanding seniors from West Anchorage High School. The scholarship was established by Dr. Merritt Olson, a former West High teacher and education leader in Alaska. Born in South Dakota, Dr. Olson was an academic achiever; he was the valedictorian of his high school class and graduated summa cum laude from Northern State College. He went on to receive a doctorate in psychology from Rutgers University and spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria. Dr. Olson moved to Alaska in 1953 where he taught math at Anchorage High School (which became West Anchorage high school in 1962) for 32 years.

The Dr. Merritt C. Olson scholarship will provide an award of up to $2,500 per year for an opportunity of up to 4 years (maximum of $10,000) to an outstanding West High student with demonstrated financial need.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicant must be a graduating West High School senior
  • Applicant should demonstrate academic motivation and success; a minimum 3.0 GPA required
  • Applicant must be enrolled full-time in an institute of higher education for the upcoming academic year
  • Applicant must have demonstrated financial need
  • Applicant should demonstrate leadership qualities, evidenced through extracurricular and community involvement and letters of recommendation.


  • Applicants who intend to pursue a career in education, specifically as either math, history, or English teacher or as a guidance counselor


IMPORTANT: Scholarship recipients must submit their student ID number and program information to ACF through the online system before their award can be disbursed. If we do not receive the above information by June 30, 2024, the scholarship may not be awarded. Please contact ACF is you cannot send in the information by this date.

Contact The Alaska Community Foundation with questions: or 907-334-6700

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