SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced that it is accepting applications from students to receive PG&E Bright Minds™ scholarships, as well as scholarships from the utility's Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Through its Bright Minds Scholarship program, PG&E will award up to $1 million in scholarships to enable high school, community college and "non-traditional" students to complete their higher education paths. Bright Minds scholarship winners will receive full-ride scholarships of up to $30,000 per year; program finalists will receive $2,500 towards their studies. In addition to the scholarship opportunities available through the PG&E Bright Minds program, the PG&E Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are also accepting applications for a wide variety of scholarships. "PG&E believes that advancing educational opportunities is one of the most important ways we can give back to the communities where we deliver gas and electricity," said Ezra Garrett, vice president of community relations and chief sustainability officer for PG&E. "The Bright Minds Scholarship program will provide deserving students with the means to advance their learning and reach their full potential through the power of education." In 2012, PG&E awarded Bright Minds scholarships of up to $30,000 to 100 students throughout Northern and Central California. Scholarship recipients included high school seniors, current college students and adults returning to college. One scholarship recipient from Livermore was a veteran of the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another recipient from Bakersfield had been homeless at one time prior to turning her life around. The PG&E Bright Minds scholarships will be awarded based on a combined demonstration of community leadership, personal triumph, financial need and academic achievement. Eligible students will be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the duration of the 2013-2014 academic year.