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Utu Union Scholarship Essays

It has long been recognized that education is the key that unlocks the door to opportunity.  The UTUIA recognizes and supports that mission by providing various scholarship programs.  Our scholarship winners attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities.  We are happy to be able to serve our membership in this way.

Good News!! Scholarships to remain at $2000.00 per year for 2018!!

This includes all those winners who are currently receiving scholarship funds.  The deadline to apply for  both the Trade Scholarship and the college scholarship is March 31st 2018!

Click to Apply online today.

 Memorial Scholarship Introduced at 2016 Regional Meetings!

Despite the efforts of many to improve the safety and working conditions of transportation workers across the country, accidents still claim lives every year.  Recognizing the emotional and financial needs of the families left behind, we are proud to introduce our Memorial Scholarship Program designed to help provide for a college or trade school education for the children of a transportation worker killed in the line of duty.  “Our first recipients are the children  of fallen UTUIA Brother and SMART TD member, Troy Jordan.  We are proud to have an opportunity to serve our fallen brother and to honor his  legacy with this award.” said UTUIA President Ken Laugel.  You can read more about the first awards as well as a video of the Memorial scholarship announcement by clicking here.

 Trade Scholarship Program continues for 2018 !!

There is no secret that our country has a shortage of qualified skilled laborers.  As part of UTUIA’s commitment to labor and to the children and grandchildren of our members, We are proud to introduce our new Skilled Trade Scholarship program.  There are 50 $2,000.00 scholarships available and payable for up to 2 years for classwork that leads to certification in a given skilled trade.  These are awarded after each year’s coursework is completed with a satisfactory grade. but you must apply by the deadline.  It is our hope that we can make a difference in the lives of our youth and help pave the road to a brighter future.  Click the Trade scholarship rules below for more details and official rules.

The UTUIA Enhanced College Scholarships remain at $2,000.00 per year!

Each year 50 lucky students are randomly chosen to receive up to four years of scholarship funds.  In 2015, we raised the amount of the award from $500.00 to $1,000.00 for each of those four years.  In 2016, We continued our support by increasing the scholarships to $2000.00 per year!!   We also increased the current recipients awards to match that amount.  Over the course of time, we have paid out over 2 million dollars in scholarships!  To learn more, click on one of the links below:

College Scholarship Rules

Trade Scholarship Rules

Scholarship Award Winners

Scholarship Award Recipients


 The Tom D. Eilers Scholarship

In 1967, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT) Field Supervisors established an annual scholarship at Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa, in honor of the latecholarship is in recognition of the service rendered by Mr. Eilers to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and Mr. Eilers’ interest in Buena Vista University.

For rules and applications , click here

John Edgar Thompson Scholarship

A scholarship for the daughters of Deceased Railroad Workers.

To learn more click here




The Union Plus Scholarship Program

Since 1991, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4.2 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education.

Over 2,800 families have benefited from our commitment to higher education. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation, supported in part by contributions from the provider of the Union Plus Credit Card. (You do not need to be a Union Plus Credit Card holder to apply for this scholarship.) See eligibility in the tab below.

The Facts 


Current and retired members of participating unions, their spouses and their dependent children (as defined by IRS regulations). At least one year of continuous union membership by the applicant, applicant's spouse or parent (if applicant is a dependent). The one year membership minimum must be satisfied by May 31, 2019.  See more details on eligibility in the tab below.

Evaluation Criteria

This is a competitive scholarship. Applicants are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended. The required essays can account for up to half your total score. Scholarship applicants are judged by a committee of impartial post-secondary educators

Application Timeline

Applications are available starting in mid-June, and a complete application must be received on or before 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on January 31, 2019. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

Scholarship Award Amounts

Amounts range from $500 to $4,000. These one-time cash awards are for study beginning in the Fall of 2019. Students may re-apply each year.

Introducing Isaiah's Award

Union Plus is proud to announce the creation of Isaiah's Award, to honor the exceptional life of Isaiah C., a beloved child, fostered and adopted by a current, long-time employee of Union Plus.  Isaiah was a smart, talented, spiritual, generous and kind young man. It is our wish that his gentle spirit live on, in part, through this namesake scholarship.

Applicants for Isaiah's Award must have a special connection to the foster care system, and will be asked in their application to describe their personal, employment, volunteer experiences, or career goals related to the foster care system. 

Award Date

The Scholarship Committee will determine recipients of scholarship awards by May 31 each year. During the first week of June award recipients will be individually notified by mail, and all applicants will be sent an email with notification that the award list is posted.  Please note that due to the volume of applications we cannot provide any information on the status of an application before award announcements are made.

Outstanding Scholarship Recipients

The students selected for university, college, trade or technical school scholarships represent a wide sampling of backgrounds, union affiliations, goals and accomplishments. The selection process is very competitive since we receive over 5,000 applications each year.

The Union Plus Education Foundation

The Union Plus Education Foundation has awarded more than $4.2 million in scholarships to students of union families. Over 2,800 union families have benefited from our commitment to higher education.

With the help of donations from union supporters, the Foundation can help even more union families attain their education goals. Learn more about the Union Plus Education Foundation.

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