Attending a post-secondary institution is often billed as an investment in the future, for today’s graduating high school seniors.

To encourage today’s senior students to look ahead to tomorrow, Interior Savings is offering the graduating class of 2017 an investment opportunity of their own — open an account at the credit union and then apply to earn a $1,000 bursary to a post-secondary institution.

The program is called the million dollar bursary fund, and over $500,000 still remains unclaimed for this year’s intake. In 2016, 836 students from across B.C. qualified for the bursary, including five students from Merritt.

Over the past three years the credit union has run the promotion, every student who applied and met the eligibility criteria was received a $1,000 bursary.

“We’ve never had it fully subscribed. We see it increasing every year — but we really want to pay the whole amount out each year,” said Corinne Johnson, manager of community engagement with Interior Savings.

The qualify, students must become members of the Interior Savings credit union as of Feb. 1 and keep that account active by processing at least two transactions per month. Only students between the ages of 17 to 24 are eligible to receive the bursary, and they must be attending a post-secondary institution full-time between Sept. 2017, and Aug. 2018.

The only cost to students looking to qualify for the bursary? A one-time fee of five dollars to open an account with the credit union.

“It’s not an onerous requirement. There is a five dollar membership share, but the account is free for that age group,” said Johnson.

Merritt students have benefited from this program for a number of years, as six seniors received the award in 2014, and 11 in 2015.

For more information about the program, visit the website.