PORTLAND, Maine. (8/12/11)--This year, Maine credit unions presented more than $215,000 in scholarship money, a significant increase from 2010, said the Maine Credit Union League. Maine credit unions provided scholarship money to more than 300 students. The scholarships represent the largest number of scholarship recipients and tuition contributions ever made by the state’s cooperative financial institutions. Nearly every credit union awarded at least one scholarship to a member of the Class of 2011. Understanding the need for many adults to return to school to succeed in a challenging job market, the credit unions also presented more than $20,000 in scholarship funds to non-traditional students. The amounts ranged from $250 to $10,000. “This clearly demonstrates the desire of Maine’s credit unions to enable more Maine people to pursue their education, regardless of where they are in life, or the current economic climate,” said Jon Paradise, league governmental and public affairs manager. “The ‘people helping people’ philosophy of Maine’s credit unions is about not just providing financial services to consumers but is also about providing opportunities to Maine people.” Many credit unions also presented free financial aid seminars in the spring to help parents and their children finance a college education.