Eighty-two area high school students received scholarships this spring for their continuing education from Dakota Electric Association. Students at Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College also received scholarship money.

The donation to local students totaled $136,000 and comes from Dakota Electric’s unclaimed capital credit fund. Dakota Electric has donated more than $700,000 since 1990 to help students reach their post-secondary education goals.

Dakota Electric is a cooperative operating as a not-for-profit business. Year-end margins go into a capital credit account for each co-op member. The margins are used for the cooperative’s needs until the money is returned to the members upon board approval. If Dakota Electric loses contact with a member after distribution, and the money goes unclaimed for seven years, the state allows the funds to be used for educational purposes. These payments do not affect the rates members pay for electricity.2013 Scholarships

“We are glad the state allows us to use this unclaimed money as an investment in our local youth,” Dakota Electric’s President and CEO Greg Miller said. “We have been able to assist many students in reaching their educational goals throughout the years.”

The money is divided according to school size. The following schools each received $2,000: Cannon Falls High School; Simley Senior High School; Northfield High School; Randolph Senior High; Henry Sibley High School; and Red Wing High School. The following schools each received $8,000: Apple Valley High School; Burnsville High School; Eagan High School; Eastview High School; Farmington High School; Hastings High School; Lakeville North High School; Lakeville South High School; and Rosemount Senior High. Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College each received $26,000.