Scholarships for Military Children deadline is Feb. 24

Scholarships for Military Children deadline is Feb. 24

by Mike Perron
DeCA Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va. – The Feb. 24 deadline to apply to the Scholarships for Military Children program, administered by the nonprofit Fisher House Foundation, is quickly approaching.

A total of 500 scholarship grants, each for $2,000, will be awarded for school year 2020-21. There will be at least one recipient selected at every commissary location where qualified applications are received, and additional recipients will be selected based on a prorated basis, so more applicants will be selected from those commissaries with larger numbers of applicants.

“As of Jan. 23, there had been just over 1,000 completed applications submitted, but from experience, we anticipate somewhere near 5,000 by the deadline,” said Jim Weiskopf, Fisher House Foundation vice president.

All rules and requirements for the program, as well as links to frequently asked questions and the application, are available at MilitaryScholar.org.

The Scholarships for Military Children Program is now in its 20th year. Through the generosity of Defense Commissary Agency business partners and others, a total of 11,314 students, all military children, have shared $19,126,000 in scholarship grants. They were selected from a pool of over 100,000 applicants.

The program was created in 2001 to recognize 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.

Eligibility for the program is determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) database. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current military dependent ID card. The applicant must also be planning to attend or already be attending an accredited college or university full time, or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Applicants who are awarded a full scholarship to attend a college or university or receive an appointment to one of the military academies or affiliated preparatory schools are not eligible to receive funds from this program. A full scholarship is usually defined as one that provides for payment of tuition, books, lab fees and other expenses.

Among the requirements of the application process is providing a short essay. This year’s question is designed to provoke a thoughtful response: “Imagine you could interview any person, living or deceased. This person must now be making, or has in the past made, a positive contribution to society. Who would you choose and why have you selected this person?”

 “It is important to remember that an applicant must possess a military dependent ID card. We require the inclusion of the ‘benefits number’ from the card as part of each application,” said Weiskopf. “Now that the application can be downloaded from the internet, without the unique benefits number we would not have a way to verify that the applicant was a military child.”

Fisher House also recently added a custom scholarship search engine to the site, tailored to military families, called “Scholarships for Service.” It’s free, easy to use, and formatted for both mobile devices and computers at MilitaryScholar.org.

Students enter brief background information and educational goals and the search tool will identify military-affiliated scholarships they may be eligible for based on their input. Once the search is complete, students receive a list of scholarships with a summary of eligibility requirements, points of contact and links to the scholarship provider's website.

The Scholarships for Military Children program is managed by Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit organization. If students have questions about the scholarship program application, they should call Scholarship Managers at 856-616-9311 or email them at militaryscholar@scholarshipmanagers.com.

No government funds are used to support the Scholarships for Military Children Program. Commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public donate money to fund the program.

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