Army Emergency Relief exists to provide assistance to Soldiers and Families during times of valid emergency financial crisis; however, AER has a secondary mission to provide help Army Families with the cost of education by providing two educational scholarship opportunities.

The Spouse Education Assistance Program provides need-based scholarships for spouses of Soldiers -- active, retired or of a Soldier who died on active duty. Recipients are eligible to receive scholarships for up to four years of full-time enrollment or eight years of part-time enrollment in an accredited college or university. Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, ESL and GED classes, CLEP and TOEFL tests. Scholarships may not be used for second undergraduate degrees or master's programs.

The Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program for Dependent Children provides need-based scholarships for children of Soldiers -- active, retired or of a Soldier who died on active duty. Recipients are eligible to receive scholarships for up to four years of full-time enrollment in an accredited college or university. Funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and room and board. Scholarships may not be used for second undergraduate degrees or master's programs.

Scholarship Timeline:

-Jan. 1: Application is available on the AER website Caution-www.aerhq.org.

-April 1: Application and all supporting documentation must be submitted online.

-June: Award letters are emailed to recipients and scholarship agreements are completed by recipients on the AER website.

-Early July: Fall checks are mailed to the college or university indicated on the scholarship agreement.

-Late November: Spring checks are mailed to the college or university indicated on the scholarship agreement.

The spouse or dependent child of the sponsoring Soldier must be registered in DEERS. The applicant must be pursuing their first undergraduate degree and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale. A Spouse Program applicant may be enrolled part-time or full-time. Part-time is six credit hours per semester/term and full-time is 12 credit hours per semester/term. A dependent child applicant must be enrolled full-time, be under the age of 23, and received a high school diploma or GED by the beginning of the academic year.

AER awarded $7.9M in scholarships in the 2016-2017 academic year to 4,149 dependent children and spouses. The average scholarship was $1,516 for spouses and $2,065 for children.

Last year at Fort Knox, 11 spouses, received scholarship funds totaling $15,800. Under the Dependent Children's program, 98 children received the MG Ursano Scholarship totaling $201,250.

For more information visit Caution-www.aerhq.org.