Credit union offering scholarships to members

As the rising costs of a college education generate discussion in the 2016 presidential election, scholarships can offer a lifeline for struggling families.

Benchmark Federal Credit Union has opened a call for entries to Chester County-area students as well as its existing membership to compete for five scholarships totaling $15,000. The scholarships will be awarded to three graduating high school senior students and two students currently enrolled in an accredited higher-education institution, according to a Benchmark press release.

“Financing higher education is a major undertaking, and today’s mobile banking now makes it possible for students to take their Chester County credit union with them, wherever they go to college,” David LaSala, Benchmark president and CEO, said in the release. “We hope to lessen the financial burden for these deserving students and their families. Providing scholarships is a key part of Benchmark’s philanthropic initiative to support financial awareness and success strategies throughout Chester County.”

Three graduating high school senior students will each receive a $4,000 scholarship ($1,000 during the fall semester of each of four years of higher education). Two existing college students will each receive a one-time $1,500 scholarship toward their fall 2016 tuition.

Essays of up to 750 words must be submitted by 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, and will be judged by an independent panel of community and education leaders. Winners will be notified by June 1, the release said.

The scholarship program is open to students who are or are eligible to become Benchmark FCU members, and do so prior to the contest deadline. The minimal membership fee to join the credit union is $5. For rules, official cover sheet, and membership information, visit www.benchmarkfcu.org.

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