ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, June 18, 2012) --- Army Emergency Relief announced the award of 757 scholarships totaling $2.2 million for spouses of active duty and retired Soldiers.

Army Emergency Relief, known as AER, received 767 applications for the Spouse Scholarship Program and was able to award 757 scholarships. The scholarships are awarded based on financial need, and the size of each award varies. This year the average award was $3,205.

Earlier this year AER announced the consolidation of its spouse scholarship programs. Previously, there were separate programs for spouses depending on whether they were located in the United States or overseas.

"The consolidation of the two spouse scholarship programs simplified the application process, as well as allowed all spouses to qualify for part-time attendance," said Diann Evans, manager for AER's scholarship programs. "This change allows us to provide better service for all the applicants."

Earlier this month AER announced the award of 2,614 scholarships to children of Soldiers under the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program.

Army Emergency Relief is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to active and retired Soldiers and their families. Since 1942, AER has provided more than $1.4 billion to more than 3.4 million Soldiers, families and retirees.