St. Croix Electric Cooperative college scholarships are available to all ages of college-bound students, and in 2023, 24 graduating high school seniors have been awarded a total of $14,000 toward their continuing education. Scholarships are funded by forfeited capital credits (unclaimed funds from former members) or endowments put into an account held in trust by Federated Youth Foundation and have no effect on members’ bills.
Three types of scholarships were awarded to SCEC member's children who are graduating this Spring and will be attending a technical colleger or two-year or four-year college/university:
- District Draw Scholarships. Two $500 scholarships are randomly drawn from each district for a total of 18 scholarships awarded.
- Cooperative Principles Scholarships: Five $1000 scholarships were awarded. These scholarships are reviewed by a committee and awarded based on criteria related to Cooperative Principles, leadership qualities, and academic performance.
- Wayne Willink Cooperative Leadership Scholarship: Established in 2018 by former St. Croix Electric Cooperative Director Wayne Willink, this scholarship is funded privately by the Willink family and is administered by SCEC. This scholarship is awarded annually in the amount of $1,000 to a student pursuing a four-year degree in an agriculture-related field.
The cooperative principles most often cited when speaking of scholarship programs are arguably #5: Education, Training and Information and #7: Concern for Community. In expanding the SCEC scholarship program in 2020 to include these District Draw Scholarships, the Board also took into consideration the first three principles: Voluntary and Open Membership (no discrimination), Democratic Member Control (one member, one vote) and Members’ Economic Participation (members contribute equitably).
The co-op also awards scholarships to two students pursuing careers as Lineworkers and to two Non-Traditional students. However, applications weren’t received for these this year.