NEWS | Nov. 29, 2011

2012 Scholarships for Military Children opens Dec. 1

By Tammy Reed DeCA marketing and mass communications specialist

2011 Scholarships for Military Children recipient Jordan Cherry said receiving extra money for college lightened her financial load.

"This scholarship definitely decreases the financial burden of school, which we all know is a big benefit," she said.

Applications for the 2012 Scholarships for Military Children Program will be available beginning Dec. 1 at commissaries worldwide as well as online through a link on http://www.commissaries.com and directly at http://www.militaryscholar.org.

Awards will be based on funds available, but the program awards at least one $1,500 scholarship to a student at each commissary. Scholarships are funded by donations from commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public. Every dollar donated goes directly to funding scholarships. No taxpayer dollars are expended on the scholarship program.

If there are no eligible applicants from a particular commissary, the funds designated for that commissary are used to award an additional scholarship at another store.

The scholarship program was created to recognize military families' contributions to the readiness of U.S. armed forces and the commissary's role in the military community. Since the program began in 2000, it has awarded more than $9.3 million in scholarships to 6,069 military children from 62,000-plus applicants.

"While these numbers are impressive, what's even more impressive is what past scholarship recipients are doing with their education," said Joseph Jeu, Defense Commissary Agency director and chief executive officer. "Many recipients have entered a wide range of career fields such as teaching, business, law and military service - to name just a few. Many others have earned advanced degrees. They are making their way in this world and they are making a difference."

To be eligible for a scholarship, students must be a dependent, unmarried child - no older than 21 or 23 if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university - of a service member on active duty, reservist, guardsman, retiree or survivor of a military member who died while on active duty or survivor of a retiree. Eligibility is determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database.

Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current military ID card. The applicant must also be planning to attend or already attending an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2012 or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Applicants must submit an essay on a topic which will be available Dec. 1 on http://www.militaryscholar.org. Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 24, 2012.

The scholarship program is administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families. Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit, scholarship-management services organization, evaluates applications and awards these scholarships. If students have questions about the scholarship program application, call Scholarship Managers at 856-616-9311 or email them at militaryscholar@scholarshipmanagers.com.