FORT LEE, Va. – Seven hundred students from military families each received a $2,000 scholarship this year, thanks to the 2018 Scholarships for Military Children program.
The program, created in 2001, recognizes the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and celebrates the commissary’s role in enhancing military quality of life. It’s administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families.
“This year, we ended with fewer applicants than last year,” said Marye Dobson, the Defense Commissary Agency’s scholarships program liaison. “However the quality of the applications submitted really exceeded prior years’ submissions.”
Qualifying to be considered for selection for one of the scholarship grants is straightforward. Requirements include completing the application; submission of the student’s official transcript indicating a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for high school applicants, or college transcript 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.
While in years past application packages were delivered through the mail or by package delivery service, going forward the process will be entirely web-based, according to Jim Weiskopf, Fisher House vice president.
“The program has now completed its 18th year, and in those 18 years, we have been able to award scholarship grants of more than $18 million to nearly 11,000 military children,” he said. “For year 19 and beyond, we plan to have the entire program web-based, totally eliminating paper applications and supporting documents. The system has been tested and refined and will be ready to roll-out in December.”
Eligibility for the program 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 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.
Fisher House also recently added an additional 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 2018-2019 Fisher House Scholarships for Military Children will open in December and close in February, but the exact dates have not yet been determined” said Dobson. “Be sure to check the scholarship page in mid-December for the opening of the 2018-2019 program.”