It's no secret that a college degree can come with a significant amount of debt. Luckily for Maine consumers, the efforts of Maine's credit unions to offset the expenses faced by Maine college students are helping to lessen this burden. This year, Maine credit unions will present more than $275,000 in scholarship money, a significant increase from 2012.
Combined, the Maine Credit Union Movement has provided scholarship money to more than 300 students, the largest amount of scholarship recipients and contributions ever made by Maine's credit unions.
Nearly every Maine credit union awarded at least one scholarship to a member of the Class of 2013. Understanding the need for many adults to return to school to succeed in a challenging job market, several scholarships were also presented to non-traditional students. The amounts of the scholarships awarded by Maine's credit unions ranged from $250 - $10,000.
"Maine's credit unions are committed to helping their communities succeed, and understand the importance of education to the success, regardless of where individuals are in life," Jon Paradise, Governmental & Public Affairs Manager for the Maine Credit Union League explained. "The 'people helping people' philosophy of Maine's credit unions is about not just providing financial services to consumers but is also about providing opportunities to Maine people. In an increasingly competitive job market, many of today's careers require well-educated and highly-trained workers. As the cost of higher education, and the debt students are taking on, continues to climb, the ability to pursue the education needed to acquire good paying jobs has become even more challenging. Any way that Maine's credit unions can lessen the financial burden for people attending college is something that credit unions are working together to accomplish."
In addition to this financial assistance, many Maine credit unions also presented free financial aid seminars this past spring to help parents and their children finance a college education. Maine's credit unions also provide financial education opportunities throughout the year, helping members reach their higher education goals