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Scholarship Recipients
The spring 2015 recipients of the College’s in-house Saili le Atamai and Presidential Merit scholarships are: (left to right) Hadassha Tofilau, Jilliane Clemens and Anna Sewell. (Photo: K. Garcia/ASCC Student Services)

Scholarship Recipients
The spring 2015 recipients of the College’s in-house Saili le Atamai and Presidential Merit scholarships are: (left to right) Hadassha Tofilau, Jilliane Clemens and Anna Sewell. (Photo: K. Garcia/ASCC Student Services)

ASCC Awards Spring 2015 In-House Scholarships

May 6, 2015

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 college degree. For students born outside of the US and its territories, however, furthering their education after high school can be a tremendous financial burden, especially in view of most colleges charging 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 Miss Hadassha Tofilau and Miss Jilliane Clemens. 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 cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00, having already completed at least 12 credits or more, attending ASCC full-time, and being committed towards earning a specific Associate Degree or Certificate of Proficiency.

Born in the Independent State of Samoa, Miss Tofilau has spent most of her life in American Samoa and graduated from Tafuna High School in 2013. First attending college in her homeland, she earned a Science Certificate of Completion from the National University of Samoa last year, but opted to return to American Samoa and ASCC to finish her Associate in Arts degree. “Because I had spent most of my schooling in the American Samoa system,” she related, “this made it difficult to find scholarships in the Samoa education system.” Miss Tofilau enjoys helping others in achieving their own academic goals. “Because my parents are firm believers in education,” she said, “I too firmly believe in the education of others. I set aside time to do independent tutoring for members of my classes, because I believe that if you’re good at something you should assist others who may not have the same gift.”

The second Saili le Atamai scholarship recipient, Miss Jilliane Clemens, was born in the Philippines and graduated from South Pacific Academy in 2012. At ASCC, Miss Clemens is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society as well as the Student Government Association (SGA), with whom she serves as Diversity Representative. She also enjoys helping other students, a proclivity which came in handy particularly for this semester’s students of the Financial Math (BUS 150) course. “I took this class in spring 2014, and I know many students struggle with it,” she said. “Therefore, I give my services to help these students.”

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 cumulative grade point average of 3.60 or higher. This semester the Presidential Merit Scholarships will go to Miss Anna Sewell. Born in Hawaii, Miss Sewell attended high school at Church College, Pesega in the Independent State of Samoa. While at ASCC, she has been a member of both the PTK and SGA, and has also volunteered as a tutor for the ASCC Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program, as well as in the Learning Assistance Center. “The reason for my education goals is to be able to be able to serve the people of my community one day, after I’ve received the knowledge to take care of others,” said Miss Sewell.

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