Membership in an electric cooperative has many perks, especially if you’re a senior in high school with college aspirations.

Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative has a long history of supporting education. Programs such as its Hotline demonstrations, which teach students about the dangers of electricity, and the Youth Tour, which educates high school juniors about cooperative history and business practices, show CVEC’s commitment to this cause.

Another is Coosa Valley Electric’s scholarship program. Each year, the cooperative awards $4,000 scholarships to high school seniors in its service area who meet the requirements and pass the panel interview process. Students may use these scholarships at traditional four-year and two-year institutions as well as trade and technical schools.

Students applying for these scholarships must do more than carry high marks. Their applications include involvement in school and community organizations, cumulative grade point average, three letters of recommendation, proof of residency on CVEC’s system, school transcript and family financial information.

An initial review panel sifts through all of the applications and chooses the top five which are then forwarded to a selection committee. While good grades are important, selection committee members must award scores based on course load, the level of activities outside of required school functions and the family’s true financial need.

The selection committee also asks those top five students to submit to an oral interview. To prepare for this interview, students should ask a parent, school counselor or teacher to grill on personal questions. The interviewer should think of it kind of like conducting a job interview. Questions such as “What are your plans for the next three years?” and “Why do you feel you deserve this scholarship?” are appropriate to get the students ready. For more information about the scholarship program, please call 1-800-273-7210 or (256) 362-4180.

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