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Credit Union Scholarships

The application window for the 2024-2025 school year is October 1 through February 1.

Ed Thomas headshot

Acclaim Federal Credit Union Ed Thomas Community Service Scholarship Fund

Ed was an Acclaim board member from 1987 until 2021. He held various positions during his tenure including Chairman. During his many years of admirable volunteerism, he offered unwavering support and guidance to the ever growing success and growth of Acclaim. In honor of his hard work, volunteerism, and dedication to our credit union, we have established an annual $1,000 scholarship fund available to our members.

Acclaim has partnered with the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation to offer an easy-to-manage application process for our members. There’s a simple sign up process which allows you to manage your scholarship application through their portal.

In addition to the Acclaim Federal Credit Union Ed Thomas Community scholarship, the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation is offering additional scholarship awards. An applicant that does not receive a scholarship award from Acclaim is automatically entered in the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation’s scholarship pool.

All Credit Union Members in the Carolinas Can Qualify!

In addition to the credit union scholarships awarded, the Foundation likewise awards scholarships to eligible applicants each year. You must be a member in good standing at any North Carolina or South Carolina credit union to qualify for a scholarship from the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation. Available scholarships include those based on academic achievement, financial need and attendance in at a community college.

Important Deadlines

  • October 1 – February 1 applications accepted
  • February – March: Applications scored and winners selected
  • April – Winner notified
  • April – May: Return verification forms completed by winners in order to process scholarship checks
  • June – July: Scholarship checks mailed

How to apply

Applicants will use the Scholarship Application Portal at the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation. The process is as follows:

  • Create a login for the portal.
  • Start a new scholarship application.
  • Save your progress and return later if needed.
  • Once submitted, you will not be able to make further changes to your application.
  • Notifications and updates will be received through the portal.

To be eligible for one of our scholarships, you must meet these criteria:

  • At least 16 years of age
  • Have a non-weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Accepted to or enrolled in an accredited college or university in Fall 2024 or Spring 2025. High School seniors and current undergraduate students can apply for funds to be used next school year.
  • A member of Acclaim Federal Credit Union or a North or South Carolina credit union in good standing (To be eligible for the Ed Thomas Community Service Scholarship, you MUST be an Acclaim FCU member.)

Application information you’ll need and how to make your application stand out:

  • Applicant and parent contact information.
  • High school and/or college transcripts.
  • Your non-weighted (4.0 scale) GPA.
  • Credit union membership(s) and last four of your member number.
  • College or university you plan to attend and degree you plan to pursue (this is non-binding, so if you are not sure, list your most likely choice.)
  • Details stating financial need (if applicable). This includes household income and other factors that you think we should know about your family’s financial situation.
  • Community and school activities. Be as thorough as possible!  
  • Work history (if applicable.)
  • Essay question answer. 
2024-2025 Scholarship Application Essay Prompt

Please write an essay, not to exceed 300 words, on the following topic:

As you reflect on your educational journey through high school, what influenced you the most as it relates to your own personal finance knowledge? How did that influence the financial goals you set and what steps are you taking to achieve them? Also, what financial lessons do you wish you would have received more of during high school and what solutions do you recommend to make sure younger students receive financial education that will help them in the future?

As you complete your application, keep in mind that we focus on four key areas:
  1. Your grade point average.
    A score is automatically assigned based on your non-weighted (4.0 scale) GPA. The higher your GPA, the higher your score in this particular category.
  2. Your school clubs and activities.
    Your involvement in school clubs and on-campus volunteer activities carries considerable weight. Please be specific in describing the clubs you were a part of and why they were important to you, as well as the activities you participated in with the club(s).
  3. Your community and volunteer involvement.
    People Helping People is a motto and core value of credit unions throughout the world. So, it is only natural that we salute young men and women who are active in volunteering in their community, and trying to make the world a better place. Please list your recent volunteer and community activities thoughtfully and carefully, as this is a key part of the application process that can help you stand out! Acclaim will  focus heavily on community service when selecting a winner.
  4. The answer to your essay question.
    Each year, the Foundation asks applicants to write a short essay based on a question or topic we select. While just a few paragraphs will do, we do encourage you to give careful thought to your essay, and keep your essay focused on answering the question. The essay question section is not a space for you to tell us why you deserve a scholarship.

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