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The Minnesota Association of Townships is sponsoring a 2020 Scholarship Program, which will award up to five $2,000 scholarships to high school juniors — an increase from previous years.

All high school juniors enrolled in a Minnesota public, private or parochial school, or a home-study program, are eligible to apply.

Since its inception in 2001, the MAT Scholarship Program has had almost 2000 submissions and 82 winners.

Applicants should submit a written essay on the theme of MAT’s 2020 Education Conference, “Township Day,” by May 1.

Winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges and will be notified by Oct. 1. They will also be invited to attend MAT’s Awards Banquet in St. Cloud on Nov. 20.

For more information and application details, call the MAT offices at 1-800-228-0296 or visit www.mntownships.org.

“Townships are proud to offer the scholarship program and encourage as many high school juniors as possible to apply, whether they are from the largest cities or from rural areas,” MAT Executive Director David Hann said. “We know the MAT Scholarship Program has made a real difference for our recipients in furthering their education. It is also an opportunity for learning about township government, which embodies the values of grassroots government where local citizens directly participate.”

There are about 915,000 township residents in 1,781 townships in Minnesota.

Townships exist in every area of the state, including the metropolitan area. Some, with populations of more than 1,000, function in much the same way as a small city. While many townships remain rural agricultural centers, other host a variety of residential, light commercial, and industrial development.

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