FORT BLISS, Texas--The El Paso Campus of the University of Phoenix is now offering a scholarship to one current or former servicemember who has sustained a severe injury or injuries while on active duty.

One applicant is slated to be chosen each year starting this year, with an application deadline of Dec. 15.

The Scott Palomino Scholarship, named after a former Airman who lost his leg in combat, aims to cover the full tuition and fees associated with a graduate or undergraduate degree for a student new to the school, who is a Texas or New Mexico resident, who is not receiving tuition reimbursement except for the GI Bill or other VA benefits, and who undergoes a selection process.

According to selection-board member Ken Bonscher, who also serves as an education services officer here, members of the board will carefully look at each applicant before deciding.

Bonscher said the program is geared toward former servicemembers like Palomino who are out of the service, but that many Soldiers and other servicemembers take classes at the University of Phoenix here.

Furthermore, when one applicant is finally chosen, the recipient has six months to start classes at either the El Paso Campus or online from the date of selection, said Barbara Janowski, director of the University of Phoenix El Paso and Santa Teresa campuses.

"We are doing this because we think it's very important that those who have served that we want to help and regrettably have suffered some sort of injury, we would like to serve back those who have served us and our country," she said.

Janowski said the university announced the scholarship during the grand opening of the El Paso Campus, and that they are planning to announce the recipient in January.

"It's just a super, super deal for whoever gets it," Bonscher said. "It's a very nice gesture on the part of the University of Phoenix - kind of giving something back to the servicemembers."