UAF Student PFDs Go Toward College Expenses
By Elika Roohi
Sun Star Reporter
It’s that time of year again. Residents all over the state of Alaska received the $1,281 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) check on Oct. 7, assuming they had signed up for direct deposit.
People spend their PFDs on a variety of things, but students at UAF seem to be putting them toward one thing.
“College,” said Brandon Taylor, a student at UAF.
“I’m spending mine on becoming a petroleum engineer,” said Denali Critchett, also a student at UAF.
“I’m putting mine toward college,” said Kailyn Davis, another student.
Some students from out of state are unwilling to apply for the PFD for assorted reasons.
“My major isn’t offered here, so if I want to go back home to Minnesota, I don’t want to have to pay out-of-state tuition,” said Kirsten Istvanovich,.
While many students are going to use their PFDs to cover tuition, fees, books, and the other expenses that come from a college education, some are going to use the dividend to purchase other things.
“I’m going to use part of it to buy a new pair of ski poles,” said Ashley Strauch. “The rest of it is going toward college,” she added.
“Ideally, I would like to put it towards buying a new Selmer Series III tenor saxophone,” said Sarah Cain, a student at UAF.
Another option that students can consider for their PFDs is donating to the Pick. Click. Give. program.
The Pick. Click. Give. program is run by the state. It shows up on the PFD website when applicants are completing the process to register for their PFD. It allows those who want to support different charities to do so.
“The overall goal of Pick. Click. Give is to increase the number of Alaskans who give to nonprofits, as well as the total amount of dollars donated,” said Kathy Day, a public relations official for The Foraker Group, Rasmuson Foundation, and Alaska Giving Coalition.
In 2009, over 300 charities received contributions because of the Pick. Click. Give. program.
This year, the number of charities that received donations because of Pick. Click. Give. went up to nearly 400, and the amount donated was approximately $925,000, double the amount raised in 2009.
“[I] think it’s really important to thank all of the Alaskans who gave to Pick. Click. Give., and for them to realize that their giving is making a difference in people’s lives,” Day said.
Groups all over the state benefit from this program, and UAF is no exception. In 2009, the amount donated to UAF totaled $2,025. And in 2010, the amount totaled $2,525.
While the program breaks down where the money goes, it doesn’t break down where it comes from.
“We haven’t done studies on demographics,” said Day. “There is really no way to gauge student involvement in terms of donations. All donors are kept anonymous.”
It is impossible to say how many students opted to donate to Pick. Click. Give., but it is possible to say that many students choose to “give” their PFD to the university one way or another.