The Minnesota Association of Townships recently announced the kick-off of its scholarship program for high school juniors residing in any type of community — township or otherwise.

Five scholarships for $2,000 will be awarded to high school juniors who write an essay on the topic of land use.

Minnesota Association of Townships officials hope the scholarship program will bring to light the prevalence of townships within the state. There are approximately 914,174 township residents in 1,781 townships in Minnesota.

Since its inception in 2001, the townships Scholarship Program has had more than 2,000 submissions and 87 winners, the release said.

All students currently enrolled in 11th grade and attending a Minnesota public, private, parochial or home school, are eligible to apply for this program.

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Applicants should submit a written essay using critical thinking on the topic of land use by May 1. Winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges and will be notified by Sept. 1. Those selected will also be invited to attend the Minnesota Association of Townships' annual conference in St. Cloud in September 2021.

For more information and application details, call 800-228-0296 or visit www.mntownships.org.