Regardless of which post-secondary educational path a student takes, there will be substantial costs involved.  The costs of continuing education are formidable and increasing yearly. At Vigilante Electric Cooperative (VEC), we have a long-standing commitment to providing educational opportunities to our members and their dependents.

Whether a student goes to a college or trade school, the most discouraging part of the cost of an education is debt. The average debt for recent graduates with a bachelor’s degree is more than $30,000 and in some cases, student debt can accumulate to more than $100,000.  Trade school graduates have an average debt of $10,000. 

Some of this debt, however, is unnecessary. According to an article in Forbes, it is estimated that $100 million in scholarship money goes unused each year because of a lack of applicants. So, opportunities exist if you know where to look and are willing to put in a little effort. Two such opportunities are available if you receive your power from Vigilante Electric

The Vigilante Electric Cooperative Leadership Award is a scholarship opportunity for students that not only excel in the classroom, but in their communities. This year, we will provide qualified applicants planning to attend a college or trade school with a $500 scholarship.

To qualify, applicants must receive their power from Vigilante Electric, be a high school senior or college undergraduate, complete an application, and submit a brief narrative on what they plan to study and why. Past recipients of the VEC Leadership Award are not eligible.  You can download our application here.

The second opportunity is available through our statewide association, the Montana Electric Cooperative Association (MECA). MECA’s Memorial Scholarship is an opportunity to win one of four $500 scholarships. This opportunity is available statewide, with one scholarship available for each of the four designated regions in the state. One application from Vigilante Electric’s service territory will be selected for consideration for the MECA Memorial Scholarship.

Applicants must receive their power from Vigilante Electric and be planning to continue their education at a university or trade school. The specific requirements are outlined in the application.  The application for the MECA Memorial Scholarship can be downloaded here.