SELCO Community CU To Begin Accepting Scholarship Applications On Feb. 1
Posted by Katy Wagnon on January 25, 2024
SELCO Community Credit Union has expanded its annual scholarship program, increasing the total value of its scholarships by nearly 50% to $77,500 and opening eligibility to vocational, continuing, and nontraditional students. The application window for prospective students will open on Thursday, Feb. 1.
For 2024, SELCO will award 20 scholarships to eligible students worth $3,500 each. In addition, SELCO will award the $7,500 Richard Metzler Opportunity Scholarship to a Lane County student who—despite adversity or lack of opportunity—has demonstrated excellence in education, leadership, or civic responsibility.
Formerly open only to high school seniors headed to a two- or four-year college, the program will now also accept applications from vocational school students, nontraditional students returning to school, and those already attending an accredited college, university, or vocational school.
The expansion of eligibility addresses a shifting academic landscape. In spring 2022, mechanic and repair, culinary, and construction trade programs across the nation showed year-over-year enrollment increases of 11% or more, while enrollment in four-year universities decreased, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. And estimates for the spring 2023 term showed that enrollment at community colleges increased 0.5% year over year, the only category in higher education that showed an uptick.
“For more than 30 years, the SELCO Scholarship program has been a useful tool in helping ease the financial burden on college students, but the expanded eligibility requirements are meant to meet students where they are today,” said Craig Carpenter, senior vice president of Lending & Business Banking at SELCO. “Young people are approaching education differently than 30 years ago, and we want to make sure that this program evolves with the changing times so that these scholarships remain meaningful and relevant. Ultimately, SELCO wants to ensure we can help outstanding students across the educational spectrum reach their goals.”
SELCO’s scholarships can be used for any educational-related expense, so they are uniquely suited to help any student meet the demands of rising educational and living expenses.
Kaitlin Mattson, 19, a recipient in 2023 as a senior at Monroe High School in Monroe, has used the scholarship mostly for tuition in her first year at Lane Community College.
“The scholarship was important in helping me afford my tuition at Lane Community College,” says Mattson, now a freshman at Lane CC studying to become a licensed dental hygienist. “I have always wanted a career that helps people, makes them smile and be happy. Dental hygiene does just that. I am so thankful that with SELCO’s generosity and support, I am on my way to achieving this dream.”
Students interested in the SELCO scholarship program can apply from Feb. 1 through March 31.
To qualify, applicants must:
- Plan to attend a vocational school or an accredited two- or four-year college/university.
- Be SELCO members or immediate family members of a SELCO member. SELCO membership is open to anyone who lives or works in one of the 27 Oregon counties SELCO serves.
- Possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher from a four-year accredited high school or have earned a GED.
SELCO’s Scholarship Panel will review each application, and funds will be released to scholarship recipients by the end of June. The Richard Metzler Opportunity Scholarship winner will be selected from the same applicant pool.
Prospective students are asked to apply online at selco.org/scholarships by March 31.
For more information, please email [email protected].