Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative has announced a new partnership with Eastern Oregon University to award local students the chance to achieve their dreams of higher education at Oregon’s rural university.

The brand new OTEC-EOU Rural Scholarship Program will award four freshmen the opportunity to have their entire tuition paid for by OTEC and EOU if they commit to attend the university all four years.

The vision behind this new program is to give local students peace of mind as they prepare for the world outside of college and to stimulate rural economies and communities by keeping local students local.

Recognizing that each dollar kept and spent in the local economy returns that money back to our communities, this scholarship program provides incentives for high school graduates from Grant, Harney, Baker and Union counties to complete their degree at EOU.

As long as a student meets the OTEC-EOU scholarship criteria, fulfills their obligations for the OTEC Internship program and successfully completes a scholarship renewal form each year, the student may receive a scholarship from OTEC matched by funds from EOU annually for up to four years to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Applications will open on Nov. 1.

Details for the criteria of the scholarship and a link to applications can be found at otec.coop.

Every year, OTEC awards more than two dozen scholarships to high school seniors and returning college students, along with two lineman scholarships, four trade school scholarships and several leadership opportunities for high school students. Since the launch of the cooperative’s scholarship program in 2000, OTEC has awarded more than 450 scholarships to local youth with a total overall investment of more than $1.4 million.

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