Scholarship Recipients
ASCC has two in-house scholarships, the Presidential Merit Award and the Saili le Atamai Award, to assist students who do not qualify for federal financial aid. ASCC Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le'i (center) congratulates this semester's recipients (from left) Adolf Petaia and Jillianne Clemens, and on Dr. Le'i's right, Theresa Togia, Finau Tuiasosopo. (Photo: J. Kneubuhl)

ASCC Awards Fall 2014 In-House Scholarships

November 3, 2014

By James Kneubuhl, ASCC Press Officer

Most of American Samoa’s high school graduates enjoy the privilege of qualifying for the Pell Grant, which subsidizes most if not all of the cost of their earning a Bachelors degree in college. However students born outside of the US and its territories can face a tremendous financial burden furthering their education after high school, since most colleges charge a higher tuition rate for those who do not meet local residency requirements. The American Samoa Community College (ASCC) offers financial assistance each semester to students who do not qualify for the Pell Grant, or otherwise find themselves in need, in the form of its In-House Scholarships.

The ASCC Student Services Division has announced the recipients of the fall 2014 “Saili le Atamai” Scholarship as Ms. Finao Tuiasosopo and Ms. Theresa Togia. Funded by the Student Government Association and intended for students who do not qualify for any federal aid, criteria for the Saili le Atamai Scholarship includes maintaining a 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.

Born in the Independent State of Samoa, Ms. Tuiasosopo graduated from Tafuna High School in 2012. A Liberal Arts major who intends to graduate this semester, Ms. Tuiasosopo has contributed to the community through volunteer work with the Department of Health, the Red Cross, and the Methodist Church. Ms. Togia also hails from Samoa and graduated from Tafuna in 2005. A Business major and mother of three, Ms. Togia’s service to the community includes raising breast cancer awareness as a member of the Business & Professional Women organization, assisting the public with their filing at the Tax Office, and volunteering as a tutor with the Business Ambassadors of ASCC (BAOA) student organization.

The Presidential Merit Scholarship of $500 is open for application by both those eligible for federal financial aid and those who are not. Applicants must have completed 24 credits and maintained a grade point average of 3.60 or higher. This semester Presidential Merit Scholarships will go to Mr. Adolph Petaia and Ms. Jillane Clemens. Originally from Samoa, Mr. Petaia graduated from Nuuuli Voc Tech in 2013. Currently working on an Accounting degree with the intention of graduating this semester, Mr. Petaia has served as a tutor with BAOA and has also done community service with the National Park and with his church. Born in the Philippines, Ms. Clemens spent time as a Math tutor with the Katherine Kim Academy before coming to ASCC, where she has continued as a Math tutor in the College’s Student Learning Assistance Center. Ms. Clemens’ community services include involvement with the Lions Club and the Filipino community.

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. “We seek to serve all students who are serious about their education,” she said. “Occasionally, issues of nationality or extenuating circumstances place some students at a disadvantage, but some assistance is available for those who demonstrate their commitment to their education and also to serving the community.”

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