Thousands of students across the Carolinas share $6.4 million for higher ed, career prep in 2022-23

KERNERSVILLE, NC (June 30, 2022) — Nearly 2,600 learners in North and South Carolina are sharing $6.4 million in financial help for next-level knowledge and job skills through scholarships provided by the states’ not-for-profit credit unions, according to the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, SECU Foundation, and independent data reported to the Carolinas Credit Union League.

Some 850 university and community-college students will have an extra $2,500 on average to apply to 2022-23 school year expenses. Another 1,740 of North Carolinians including the unemployed, underemployed, military veterans, or National Guard are eligible for $500 awards to pursue marketable job skills via community college workforce development or continuing education programs.

The vast majority qualify for the scholarships based on their membership in a credit union or being in the immediate family of a member. Otherwise, recipients are diverse in their pursuits, backgrounds, and needs.

“SECU Foundation established the People Helping People scholarship programs to assist students across North Carolina with their educational goals,” notes Laura Culverhouse, director of program administration for the SECU Foundation, which has provided more than $76 million in scholarships since it began awarding them in 2005.

“Recipients are selected by committees in the states 115 Local Education Agencies (school districts) and 58 Community Colleges. A key focus in the selection process is the students volunteerism and service in their local community. The selection committees know the students who truly represent the People Helping People philosophy that is so important to our credit union,” Culverhouse adds.

“Education is one of the four pillars of SECU Foundation’s purpose, and our scholarship program was the first initiative approved when the Foundation was created. It represents a worthy investment in our future leaders.”

A few credit unions in each state manage their own scholarships, and eighteen others—twelve in North Carolina and six in South Carolina—work through the Carolinas Foundation to provide aid for local students. Last week, the Carolinas Foundation finalized $509,200 for 261 students heading into the fall semester, pushing total scholarships it has supported to 1,442 since 2016. Its application period for 2023-24 will open October 1, 2022.

All of the programs ask that applicants outline their academic achievements, school-based involvement, and commitment to community and volunteerism, and they invite optional background on financial need. In return, recipients are backed by financial cooperatives committed to bringing them the opportunities higher education provides.

“We are proud to assist our members working towards a college or university degree, and last year we increased our award amounts to help recipients supplement the rising costs associated with higher education,” explains Corey Brickers, senior vice president of marketing and corporate communication at Charlotte-based Carolinas Telco Federal Credit Union. “We believe in empowering our members with the tools and resources needed to reach their goals.”

For more on scholarships still available in 2022 and programs for 2023-24, visit the Carolinas Foundation Scholarship Resource Center, the SECU Foundation Scholarships page, and local credit unions. To find one, visit

About Carolinas Credit Union Foundation

The Carolinas Credit Union Foundation was incorporated in 1993 as a charitable organization dedicated to the embodiment of the “people helping people” philosophy of credit unions. Its mission is to empower and inspire credit unions in the Carolinas through collaborative opportunities to enrich our communities. The Foundation serves as a founding partner to Victory Junction, a year-round camping facility, located in Randleman, NC, for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Over the last 17 years, more than $5 million has been raised by credit unions in the Carolinas to support its camp and outreach programs. The Foundation also serves as a partner in philanthropy with credit unions, assisting charitable giving through donor-advised funds, managing scholarship and employee hardship programs, supporting small credit unions with professional development grants, and aiding disaster relief for the local, national, and global credit union communities.


Brandon Pugh

VP Public Relations & Communications

800-822-8859, ext 410

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