By Mike Perron,
DeCA public affairs specialist
FORT LEE, Va. – Thanks to the Scholarships for Military Children program, 500 students from military families were each awarded a $2000 scholarship grant for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
The program, created in 2001, recognizes the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and celebrates the commissaries’ role in enhancing military quality of life. It’s administered by the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps service members and their families.
“This was the first year of an entirely paperless online application process, and it was a complete success,” said Jim Weiskopf, Fisher House Foundation vice president and scholarship program administrator. “Not only did applications increase by nearly 25%, but we eliminated the need for commissaries to log in and account for each application, bundle them up and send them to the evaluators after the closing date.”
The reduced overhead allowed commissaries to dedicate more time to promoting the program, said Marye Dobson, the Defense Commissary Agency’s scholarships program liaison. “The management at the commissary stores did a great job getting the word out about the online process as well as hosting in-store ceremonies honoring the recipients at their local commissary, which helps bring attention to the availability of these scholarships.”
Scholarship applicants submit their official transcript indicating a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for high school applicants, or indicating a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for students already enrolled in college; and an essay of 500 words or less, no longer than two pages.
Eligibility is determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants must 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, in the fall of 2019 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.
All rules and requirements for the program, as well as links to frequently asked questions are available at the Scholarships for Military children website, as is the full list of this year’s winners.
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 available on mobile devices or computers at militaryscholar.org.
“The window to apply for the 2019-2020 Fisher House Scholarships for Military Children should open in December and close in February, but the exact dates have not been determined yet,” said Dobson. “Be sure to check the scholarship page in mid-December for the opening of the program.”
Fisher House Foundation is ranked a Four Star Charity by Charity Navigator.
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub (www.didvshub.net). The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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