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2022 VEC LEADERSHIP AWARD

When Opportunity Knocks

At Vigilante Electric we have a long history of providing young people with funding to further their education.  Whether it be college or trade school, all the statistics point to the importance of having continued education after high school.  However, the path one takes is often not a clear one, so if you must choose, choose wisely.

A review of college enrollment statistics indicates 69% of high school graduates attend college, yet 40% of them will not complete a degree.  One-third of those that graduate end up in jobs they could have had without a four-year degree.

As for the money.  The average cost of college in the United States is $35,720 per student per year. The average cost has grown at a 6.8% over the last twenty years. The average in-state student attending a public 4-year institution spends $25,615 for one academic year.  The average federal student loan debt is $36,510 per borrower. Total outstanding federal student loan debt: $1.59 trillion.

While these numbers are a bit grim, there are a couple of ways we can look at this.  The numbers still prove that some form of post-secondary education vastly improves career earning.  However, a student may not be ready for college right out of high school and may benefit with some years in the work force before they are ready.  Plus, college is not for everybody and that is ok. 

More students would be well served to consider trades school instead of college.  Trade schools across the country are providing students with employable skill sets.  Many trades are in high demand and tend to pay very well.  Plus, the total costs of attending a trade school are less than one year of attending college.

There are scholarship opportunities available that students are not taking advantage of.  Applying for scholarships is an opportunity to use the generosity of organizations, like ours, to offset some of the costs of a post-secondary education. 

Vigilante Electric will once again pair our Leadership Award with the Montana Electric Cooperative’s Association (MECA) Memorial Scholarship, giving qualifying students the opportunity to fill out one application and potentially be awarded two scholarships.

With the Vigilante Electric Leadership Award, qualified applicants can use the funding to attend any type of post-secondary education. The application process is simple and over the past eight years every qualified applicant for the Leadership Award has received a scholarship

The application period for the 2021 Vigilante Electric Leadership Award/MECA Memorial Scholarship is open.  All the elements of the application must be completed and returned to our office no later than January 25, 2022. Applicants must be the dependent of a member of Vigilante Electric.  Past recipients are not eligible and the funding must be used in the 2022-23 academic year.

Click here for an application.

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