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Scholarships

 

 

History of United’s Scholarship Program

United Cooperative Services created a scholarship award program to encourage and assist in the educational pursuits of United Cooperative Services' members and their families.

More than 20 years ago, United Cooperative Services awarded its first scholarships to local high school students and returning college students.  United made the funds available with the idea in mind to reinvest into the communities it serves.  In those first years, United awarded one scholarship to one student at each high school in its service area.

In 1997, new funds were made available by House Bill 3203, which allows not-for-profit electric cooperatives like United to put unclaimed funds to use for student scholarships.  This change in the law allowed United to take advantage of money previously lost in the state’s general revenue fund and reinvest it locally with a greater and broader impact.  That year, United awarded $500 scholarships to 10 students and the next year, 29 scholarships worth $1,000 each were awarded.

To date, more than 900 students have received United scholarships totaling more than $1 million in award money. Winners are chosen from numerous applicants area-wide based on financial need, leadership, community involvement and school activities.  Applicants must live at the residence of their parents or legal guardians who are active United members at their principle residence.

 

Scholarship Criteria

 

Graduating high school seniors must:

  • Be an active member of United or be claimed as a dependent of parents or legal guardians who are active United members at their principle residence.
  • Must provide a transcript signed and dated by a high school counselor- certifying accuracy of the GPA. Graduate high school with a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Home school students must provide a copy of their transcript from high school level coursework.
  • Meet the general entrance requirements at an accredited four-year university, junior college or TEA approved trade school of their choice.
  • One-page typed personal essay explaining community and school service, financial need and seriousness of purpose
  • Submit proof of income (parents/guardians, if applicable), such as W-2, etc.
  • Applicant must have one letter of recommendation sent to the cooperative (eg. from a teacher, administrator, etc.).

 

Current college students must:

  • Be an active member of United or be claimed as a dependent of parents or legal guardians who are active United members at their principle residence.
  • Must provide proof of 2.0 post-secondary grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student (12 semester hours minimum) at an accredited four-year university, junior college, or TEA approved trade school.
  • One-page typed personal essay explaining community and school service, financial need and seriousness of purpose Submit proof of income (parents/guardians, if applicable), such as W-2, etc.
  • Applicant must have one letter of recommendation sent to the cooperative (eg. from a teacher, administrator, etc.).

 

Scholarship Award and Judging Information:

  • There will be two rounds of judging.
  • First part of award judging: The placement of the top 15 award recipients out of all applicants will be determined by an independent panel of judges who will base the awards on financial need (60 percent weight) and leadership, community service and school activities (40 percent weight). Some components for this part of the award judging must be completed by filling out the online application at www.united-cs.com.
  1. School Activities include: Transcripts, letter of recommendation, school activities listed on online application and essay.
  2. Financial need is determined by W-2 tax information and any information included in the essay related to financial need.
  3. Judges will award a score of between 1-10 in each of the two categories with 1 being the lowest possible point and 10 being the highest rating.
  4. The judges’ score sheets will include a four-digit applicant number (no names) that corresponds with the four-digit number on the application.
  • Second part of award judging: The top 15 scholarship award recipients our of all applicants will compete for the top three scholarship awards by participating in an interview contest held the day of the Scholarship Awards Banquet (both held at United's Hood County Office located in Granbury). Each recipient's interview will be conducted by an independent panel of judges and will cover the following topics:
  1. Why should I be chosen for the top scholarship award and what do I expect to gain in regards to my education and winning the top scholarship award?
  2. What do I know about United Cooperative Services:
    • Counties Served
    • Board of Directors
    • Who are the owners
    • Energy Innovation
    • Etc.
  3. What is the difference between an Electric Cooperative and what is an Investor-Owned utility?
    • Interview Scoring will be 1.) Knowledge of subjects covered (60%)2.) Poise (20%) and 3.) Appearance (20%)
  • Each participant will have approximately 10 minutes.
  • Judges will have the opportunity to ask questions (hint: know and understand cooperatives).

If one of the top 15 scholarship award placeholders cannot participate in the interview contest, they forfeit their opportunity to receive one of the scholarship awards. If this occurs, the next highest scoring applicant from the first round of judging will be asked to participate in the interview competition to complete for one of th top three scholarship awards. This rule will be applied as often as needed.

 

After receiving a United Energy Scholarship, students must: 

  • Be enrolled as a full-time college student (12 semester hours minimum).
  • Provide proof of enrollment and coursework at the beginning of each semester and proof of grades at the end of each semester in order to receive next scholarship disbursement.
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA.
  • Apply the scholarship money toward tuition and fees required for enrollment, books, supplies or equipment required for coursework.

 

Scholarship Award Information

  • Award is based on financial need (60 percent weight) and leadership, community
    service and school activities (40 percent weight)
  • United will award 15 scholarships in 2017.
    • United will award 12 scholarships valued at $2,000 each.
    • Three additional scholarships will be awarded: Third Place will receive a $4,000 scholarship, Second Place will receive a $5,000 scholarship and First Place will receive a $10,000 scholarship award. (If the winner of the top scholarship award is attending a junior college or technical school, the scholarship judging committee will determine how scholarship funds are to be distributed and the dollar figures. For instance, if the winner of the $10,000 award attends a two-year junior college, and the total tuition and books amounts to $7,000, United would not pay $10,000.)
  • Any ties in grading will be broken according to the grade given for financial need.
  • These students (or their legal guardians) must maintain membership with United at principle
    residence.
  • Applications will be submitted to the selection committee in an anonymous format and graded on the listed criteria.
  • Scholarship money must be used to pay for tuition and fees required for enrollment, books, supplies and/or equipment required for coursework at an accredited or TEA approved educational institution.  Scholarship money may not be used for housing or living expenses.
  • Recipient is required to submit proof of previous semester’s coursework and cumulative minimum 2.5 high school or 2.0 college GPA.
  • If recipient’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.0, or if the recipient fails to register as a full-time student for the spring semester, the scholarship recipient will be placed on probationary status and United reserves the right to withhold the scholarship payment until probationary issues are resolved.  If probationary issues continue beyond one semester, any unpaid scholarship funds will be revoked.  If a student fails to register for coursework or submit documentation to United, the scholarship for that semester will be revoked.

 

Financial Information

  • Each scholarship is paid in two installments.
  • Recipient is required to submit proof of spring enrollment and sustained 2.0 GPA from fall semester to qualify for the second installment.  Payment will be made to the school’s financial aid or business office after all documentation is provided to United.

 

Other Scholarship Criteria

  • All scholarship applications must be submitted electronically through United’s Web site at www.united-cs.com.  Any additional documentation (as outlined in the application) that cannot be submitted electronically must be mailed to the address below or delivered in person to any United office.
  • United’s Board of Directors, employees and their immediate family members are not eligible to apply.
  • Applicant may apply as often as desired, but may only receive a United scholarship once.
  • Applicant must have one letter of recommendation sent to the cooperative (eg. from a teacher, administrator, etc.).
  • Applications will be submitted to the selection committee in an anonymous format and graded on the criteria mentioned above.
  • All items submitted become the property of United Cooperative Services.
  • Applicants may e-mail scholarships@united-cs.com to verify the online application and supporting documents were received.
  • Electronic applications will be accepted from May 1 through June 1, 2017.  Students will not be able to submit an application before or after these dates.  Supplemental documents as required and outlined in the application may be delivered in person to any United office or sent by mail to:

 

                          United Energy Scholarship
                           P.O. Box 16
                          Cleburne, TX 76033

 

 

 

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