Seniors at Staples and Weston high schools may apply to the Elks National Foundation's annual "Most Valuable Student" scholarship contest through the Fairfield Elks Lodge.

The foundation will award $2 million in scholarships to 500 contestants nationwide based on scholastic performance, community activities, leadership qualities and financial need of the family.

The top male and female applicant will each receive four-year scholarships of $60,000, while two second-place winners will receive $40,000 each and two third-place winners will each be given $20,000. Awards then decrease down to $4,000 grants given to the 482 remaining finalists.

Applicants are not required to be associated with a member of the Elks. The contest is open to all seniors who plan on attending college in the fall of 2012.

The foundation also offers a limited number of $4,000 Legacy Awards to highschool seniors who are children or grandchildren of Elks members in good standing as of the date of application.

Eligible seniors may apply for both awards but will only receive the higher of the two if awarded both.

The application deadline is Dec. 1 to the Fairfield Elks Lodge.

Applications are available at Staples and Weston high schools and online at Call 203-767-6372 for information.