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Nonprofit, fully online university will provide $50,000 in scholarships through its “Power Your Future” initiative for new students who are electric cooperative members or employees

In an effort to empower residents in rural areas of Minnesota to go back to school and further their education, Western Governors University (WGU) recently announced it has partnered with the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) to provide $50,000 in scholarships to Minnesotans who are served by an electric cooperative and are interested in pursuing a degree from the fully online, nonprofit university. The “Power Your Future” Scholarship is open to new students in rural areas of Minnesota who are employees of, member-owners of, or live in a household served by one of the 50 electric co-ops that power rural Minnesota.

“One of the things that makes electric cooperatives unique is their commitment to the seven cooperative principles, which combine to help build trust between the co-op, its members and the community,” said Darrick Moe, MREA president & CEO. “As the statewide organization for Minnesota’s rural electric cooperatives, MREA demonstrates the fifth cooperative principle of education, training and information through an education program focused on providing continuing education to co-op board directors and staff. The Power Your Future Scholarship provides MREA and its members with an innovative approach to advancing that principle for cooperative employees as well as member-owners throughout the state.”

WGU is a leader in providing fully online, affordable competency-based education to working adults who are interested in furthering their skillset but need the flexibility of online education to fit their busy lives. Through the “Power Your Future” Scholarships, WGU aims to empower Minnesota’s rural students who are committed to going back to school to complete their undergraduate or graduate degrees. Each scholarship is valued at up to $3,000 and will be applied at a rate of $750 per six-month term. To be eligible, scholarship applicants must be officially admitted to WGU and enrolled in one of the university’s more than 60 accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, information technology, K–12 teacher education, and health professions, including nursing. Students must also complete the scholarship application at and be interviewed by a WGU scholarship counselor. Recipients will be selected based on academic records, financial need, readiness for online study and current competency, among other considerations.

“We are proud to partner with the Minnesota Rural Electric Association to deliver this scholarship offering to adults who are interested in furthering their education through WGU’s flexible, online format,” said Dr. Terrance Hopson, Regional Director of Western Governors University. “Together, we will seek to provide a streamlined approach and expand access to higher education, which will be of particular value for rural residents served by co-ops for whom high-quality, career boosting college degrees are not always readily available.”

About WGU

Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 131,000 students nationwide and has more than 277,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 25 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families and preparing the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. Learn more at

About Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA)

The Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA) is a nonprofit trade association serving Minnesota’s electric cooperatives. MREA provides legislative and regulatory representation, director and employee education programs, technical training for electric cooperative line workers and serves as the focal point for cooperation among cooperatives. Minnesota’s 44 distribution cooperatives serve about 1.7 million Minnesotans in all 87 counties and operate the largest distribution network in the state with more than 135,000 miles of electric lines.