Up to 40 rural Montana high school graduates will be eligible for $5,000 awards to attend Montana State University Billings.

Montana State University Billings Foundation is now taking applications for the Badovinac Family Scholarship. It was established to honor the memory of John Badovinac (1910-2001). Badovinac’s parents emigrated from Yugoslavia and settled in the Musselshell Valley where he briefly attended Roundup High School, worked in area mines, and later sought vocational training in welding, according to a news release from MSUB.

“Despite John’s lack of formal education, he instilled the importance of higher education in his daughter, Marie, who was the first in her family to attend college and knew how difficult it can be, both emotionally and financially,” Susan Rhodes, scholarship administrator with the MSU Billings Foundation, said in a prepared statement. “Marie hoped by receiving financial help, the recipients of the Badovinac Family Scholarships will pay it forward and help future generations access a college education.”

Graduates of Roundup High School will receive preference. Graduates of the following rural Montana high schools will be given second preference: Absarokee High School, Colstrip High School, Columbus High School, Denton High School, Fergus High School, Forsyth High School, Geyser High School, Grass Range High School, Harlowton High School, Hobson High School, Judith Gap High School, Lame Deer High School, Lavina High School, Melstone High School, Moore High School, Park City High School, Rapelje High School, Reed Point High School, Rosebud High School, Roy High School, Ryegate High School, Stanford High School, Sweetgrass County High School, Winifred High School, and Winnett High School. Graduates of other rural public Montana high schools (fewer than 1,000 students) will be given third preference. Nontraditional students who have graduated from rural public Montana high schools in earlier years also qualify.

Recipients must be enrolled as full-time students, have a 2.0 GPA or greater if they plan to attend MSU Billings City College or have a 2.5 GPA or greater if they plan to pursue a 4-year degree on the main campus, and financial need is a consideration. The scholarship may be renewed for up to four years.

The priority deadline is Feb. 1, 2016. For information about this and other scholarships, visit here.