Scholarships for Military Children Application Deadline Approaches
By Adam Austin
Special to American Forces Press Service
FORT LEE, Va., Jan. 7, 2005 The deadline to apply for $1,500 scholarships from the "Scholarships for Military Children" program is Feb. 16, and all applications must be delivered to a Defense Commissary Agency store by the close of business that day.
At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants, agency officials said.
The application can be downloaded through a link on the Defense Commissary Agency's Web site, or from the Scholarships for Military Children site, and can be filled out by hand or on the computer. Copies of the application also are available at commissaries worldwide.
Edna Hoogewind, the agency's liaison to the program, stresses that students should put emphasis on writing the essay portion of the application. "In past years, the essay has been a key factor in deciding among the many outstanding applicants," she said. This year's topic is "How has the heightened awareness of terrorism impacted your life?"
Students who are not hand-delivering applications are advised to use a delivery method that supplies a return receipt. Applicants may visit the Scholarships for Military Children site and click on the "Verification of Receipt" section. Scholarship managers will respond to "Verification of Receipt" e-mails until June 15, officials said.
Applicants should check all materials carefully for simple things, like making sure the application is signed and that it's the 2005 application, not one from previous years.
The scholarship program is open to unmarried children under 21 (23 if enrolled in school) of active duty personnel, including Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, and retired military. Eligibility will be 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 ID card, officials said.
Applicants must be planning to attend, or be already attending, an accredited college or university full-time in the fall term of 2005, or be enrolled in a program of study designed to transfer directly into a four-year program. Additional instructions can be found on the application or at the Scholarships for Military Children Web site.
Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization best known for building comfort homes near military medical facilities, administers the Scholarships for Military Children program. Scholarship Managers, a professional firm that has handled more than 400 programs, screens applicants and awards scholarships. Neither Fisher House nor the Defense Commissary Agency is involved in the decision process, officials emphasized.
The Scholarships for Military Children program is in its fifth year and has awarded nearly 3,000 scholarships and more $3 million since the first scholarship was awarded. Scholarships are primarily funded through the voluntary donations of the various manufacturers, brokers and suppliers that sell products in commissaries. The general public also can contribute through a link at the Scholarships for Military Children Web site.
(Adam Austin is assigned to the Defense Commissary Agency.)