By Caroline WilliamsNovember 21, 2007
FORT LEE, Va. (Army News Service, Nov. 23, 2007) - Applications for the Defense Commissary Agency's 2008 Scholarships for Military Children Program are available now in commissaries worldwide or online through a link at www.commissaries.com and directly at www.militaryscholar.org.
The program kick-off each year in November coincides with "National Military Family Month."
Richard Page, DeCA's acting director and chief executive officer, said the program has awarded more than $5.5 million dollars in scholarships to 3,532 of the best and brightest children of military families since it began in 2001.
"We take enormous pride in the scholarship program," he said, "because it's a great opportunity for commissaries to make a difference in the communities they serve. DeCA is committed to education and increasing opportunities for the children of military families."
With college costs soaring, students and their parents appreciate every available scholarship to help defray the cost, and the scholarships enable many families to afford the tuition and provide an incentive for students to work hard, he said.
The $1,500 scholarships are available to unmarried children under the age of 21 (or 23, if enrolled in school) of military active-duty, retired, and Guard and Reserve service members.
Most of the funds are donated by manufacturers, brokers and suppliers that sell groceries in commissaries, and every dollar donated to the program by industry or the general public goes to fund the scholarships. The program is administered by the Fisher House Foundation.
Eligibility 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 ID card. The applicant must be planning to attend, or already attending, an accredited college or university full-time in the fall of 2008, or enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.
Applicants must submit an essay arguing for or against the following statement: "Every able-bodied citizen should be required to serve a two-year period of time in the military. Why or why not'" Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business on Feb. 20. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.