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College Scholarships for Military Children


Commissaries are an integral part of the quality of life offered to service members and their families. Commissaries have awarded more than $11 million in scholarships to more than 7,400 military children over the past 13 years. The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. It is the intent of the program that a scholarship funded through contributions by business partners of the Defense Commissary Agency - manufacturers, suppliers or vendors - and others be awarded annually for each military commissary worldwide.

Beginning in 2014, the award amount was raised from $1,500 to $2,000. A minimum of one scholarship is awarded at every commissary location where qualified applications are received. More than one scholarship per commissary may be available based on response and funding. The scholarship provides for payment of tuition, books, lab fees and other related expenses.

Eligibility

Only dependent unmarried children under age 23 of active-duty personnel, Reserve Component members, National Guard and retired military members, survivors of service members who died while on active duty or survivors of individuals who died while receiving retired pay from the military may apply for a scholarship. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are currently enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System or DEERS database and that they have a current dependent military ID card.

Applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll, in a full-time undergraduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university in the fall term. All applicants must also have a minimum un-weighted GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to be eligible to apply. Students attending a community or junior college must be enrolled in a program of studies designed to allow them to transfer directly into a four-year program.

How and where to apply

Applications can be picked up at your local commissary and are also available as a PDF file during the application timeframe. Completed applications must be printed and hand-carried or mailed to your local commissary. Applications sent by email or fax will not be accepted. Individuals may apply at only one commissary. Typically, this will be the commissary where the applicant's family does their shopping.

Recipient Selection

Scholarship managers, an independent, professional scholarship service selects the recipients based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • Participation in school and community activities
  • Work experience
  • A submitted essay

When to apply

The scholarship program application process begins in December. Applications must be completed and returned to local commissaries by mid-February and scholarships are awarded in May. For more information, read the fact sheet for Fisher House Foundation.

Heroes' Legacy scholarships

Another scholarship opportunity for military children is the Heroes' Legacy Scholarships program, which honors not only those who have fallen in battle but all who have died or have become disabled through their active military service since Sept. 11, 2001. Prior to taking the oath of office, President Barack Obama wrote a children's book titled "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters." The president chose to donate his after-tax proceeds to Fisher House Foundation specifically to establish a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled service members.

Eligibility

Eligibility is offered to dependent unmarried children under age 23 of active-duty personnel, Reserve Component members, the National Guard and retired military members. Additionally, survivors of service members who died while on active duty may also apply for a Heroes' Legacy Scholarship if they meet one of the following additional criteria:

  • One of the parents died while serving on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, in any branch or component of the U. S. armed forces.
  • One of the parents, while serving on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, became disabled - meaning that the parent qualified for receipt of traumatic service members' group life Insurance.
  • One of the parents, who were on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, received a permanent and total compensation rating of 100 percent from the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs.

Applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll, full-time in the fall term in an accredited U.S. college, university, junior or community college. They must have a minimum cumulative un-weighted grade point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). College freshmen must submit a first semester college transcript.

Recipients may be asked to provide an 'awards letter' from the college or university they plan to attend to verify the costs to attend a particular college or university and to list any grants they have been qualified to receive.

How and where to apply

The application package consists of the two-page application, a transcript or copy of grades and a typed essay of 500 words or less, double spaced and no longer than two pages. Essay topics vary. For example, the essay topic for 2013 was: Discuss in detail how one of the first ladies (since 1933) has made an impact on a social issue in the United States.

Completed application packages are sent to scholarship managers, an independent, professional scholarship service for review.

Recipient selection

Scholarship managers, an independent, professional scholarship service selects the recipients based on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • Participation in school, community and volunteer activities
  • Work experience
  • An essay

When to apply

Applications are generally available in December and due in Mid-March. Detailed information and due dates can be found on the website.

Scholarships are an excellent way to finance post-secondary education because, unlike financial aid and student loans, the money does not have to be paid back. Start by visiting Military OneSource where you can discover the benefits to scheduling a no-cost, confidential education consultation to learn more about scholarship opportunities and the financial assistance available to military children. Visit Military OneSource or call 800-342-9647.

 


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