Farmer#039;s Federation starts college fund

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 3, 2001

A new scholarship program has been started to make awards available to those students who are not in the top of the class.

The Butler County Farmers' Federation is offering a new scholarship program to be made available to students.

Eric Cates, chairman of the federation's new program, said that the federation has allocated $5,000 to be awarded annually.

"Nearly every college offers scholarships to students in the top of their class," Cates said. "The difference in our program is that if a student maintains a 1.8 Grade Point Average (GPA) then he or she will be initially eligible to apply for our scholarship."

Cates said the maximum for any single award will be $1,000, but others will be available at a lesser amount.

"If a prospective student is applying for enrollment in a four-year college, then they will be eligible for a $1,000 scholarship, but we will also make awards available to students seeking to enroll in two-year schools, such as a junior college, and that award will be less."

Cates said that there are three other eligibility requirements, besides the GPA.

"The applicant's parents or grandparents must be a member of the Alabama Farmers Federation-while on the face of it, that seems like a narrow margin, anyone who holds an insurance policy (other than life insurance) through ALFA is already a member.

"The second requirement is that the applicants must have graduated or eligible for graduation from one of the high schools in Butler County. We originally planned on making it available only to Butler County residents, but we found out that there are several residents of other neighboring counties that attend schools here, so we decided to make it fair by offering it to any student of a school in Butler County," Cates said.

"The final stipulation is that the selection of applicants will be based on need, aspirations, school and community activity participation, and scholastic achievements," he said.

The selection committee will consist of five people, four of them educators (one retired and three active) and Cates will chair the committee.

"Suzie Snow, retired teacher and counselor from Fort Dale Academy will be on the committee, which also includes Gene Autrey, Oliver Brooks and Dwight Vickery (the last three from the Butler County Public School System)," Cates said.

"Applications will be available in all school guidance offices, and the deadline for applications will be April 1," he said. "This is so that we can have the scholarships selected in time for the winning students to be awarded them during their commencement exercises," he said.