As a cooperative, we operate as a non-profit. Therefore, after all operating expenses are paid, we allocate remaining margins back to members in the form of capital credits. With Board approval, capital credits are retired (paid out) periodically. Often, the intended recipient cannot be located and their capital credits go unclaimed. Because one of our core principles is education, unclaimed capital credits are applied to MEC’s Education Trust Fund, which helps to fund our educational programs.
We developed the following educational programs to not only support our Seven Cooperative Principles, but to invest in future leaders and contribute to the welfare of our communities.
Bright Future Fund (BFF)
In years past, MEC provided local schools with funding for necessary programs, events and/or services through a program called the “Improvements in Education Program” (IEP). We are excited to announce that in 2022, MEC launched the program under a new name and expanded platform.
The “Bright Future Fund” or “BFF”, will continue to provide funding to local schools each fall. In previous years, the Co-op donated up to $1,500 to area schools who intended to use the funds for educational purposes. This portion of the program will remain the same, and we encourage you to apply for funding in an area of need at your school.
We recognize that some projects require a larger budget, and $1,500 may not go very far towards reaching your goals. In 2022, we introduced a Merit Project to help close the gap. Schools will now have the opportunity to apply for an additional award of up to $5000. The total funding available through the Merit Project will be limited to $10,000, so the application process is your school’s opportunity to convince us your project is GREAT!
The application period begins at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, through 5 p.m. on Friday, November 11, 2022.2022 to 2023 BFF Application Form
Annual Scholarship Program
In addition to MEC’s Bright Future Fund, Youth Tour and the donations we make directly to area schools, we are proud to offer annual scholarships to our members and/or their dependents.
In years past, we have presented 16 annual scholarships to local students that chose to pursue their educational goals in Montana. In 2022, we have an additional six scholarships available, for a total of 22 scholarships.
Each fall, MEC members and/or their dependents can apply for one of twenty $1,000 General Scholarships, scored on three criteria: scholastic achievement, future goals and community involvement/school activities.
MEC will also award two $1,000 scholarships to local students who are currently attending, or who plan to attend, an accredited Line School in the state of Montana.
Scholarship applications are available at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, and are accepted until 5 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, 2023.2023 to 2024 Scholarship Application Form
MECA Memorial Scholarship
The annual Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA) Memorial Scholarships are available to our members each fall. There are four $500 Memorial Scholarships available for students across Montana (one per state district).
In order to apply, applicants or a parent/guardian, must be a member of MEC or another MECA electric cooperative. Please apply through your local electric cooperative.
MEC applicants are required to submit their Memorial Scholarship application online with all required materials. The application period begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1, 2022, and ends at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.2023 MECA Memorial Scholarship Application
Application period begins December 1st.
We know some of the brightest students reside within our district schools and we want to give them an opportunity to experience the past, present and future of our great country!
Each November, we accept Youth Tour essays from Sophomore and Junior students whose parent or legal guardian is a member at MEC. The winner of the essay contest will take part in a one-week, all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. to join more than 1,500 students from across the United States.
Here, students will watch history come to life as they explore museums, memorials and monuments, and rub elbows with US Representatives and Senators, all while learning about the history of rural electrification and the value it brings to our communities. Go to our Youth Tour page.