WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Dec. 28, 2012) -- Army Emergency Relief scholarships for the academic year 2013-2014 will be available starting, Jan. 2, for spouses and children of Soldiers, retired Soldiers and reserve-component Soldiers on Title 10 orders. The application deadline is May 1.The Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarships are for unmarried children under the age of 23."Scholarship awards for children are based on financial need, grade point average and leadership and activity roles -- like sports, scouting and student council -- held over the last four years," said Tammy LaCroix, AER Scholarship Program manager. "A student could qualify under one, two or all three of the criteria."The Spouse Education Assistance Program Scholarships are based solely on financial need, LaCroix said.Applicants of both scholarships must be pursuing their first undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university. All applicants must maintain a GPA of 2.0 on a GPA scale of 4.0.Transcripts need to be included in applications, along with a "Free Application for Federal Student Aid" form and report. Children who have not attended college should submit their high school transcripts instead.Scholarship funds can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and room and board.This year there has been a change in the application procedure."Instead of mailing, emailing or faxing the forms, transcripts and other paperwork, all submissions must be submitted online," LaCroix said.The new procedure should make the process more efficient and will eliminate problems like forms getting lost in the mail, she added.According to LaCroix, 5,218 applications were received for the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship for the 2012-2013 academic year. Of those, 2,614 scholarships were awarded, with an average award of $2,550. For the same academic year, more than 2,200 applications were received for the Spouse Education Assistance Program, with 757 scholarships being awarded. The average award was $3,205.AER is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to Soldiers, active and retired, and their families. Since its incorporation in 1942, AER has provided around $1.4 billion to more than 3.4 million Soldiers, families and retirees.Forms and instructions for both scholarships can be found at http://www.aerhq.org/dnn563/EducationalAssistance.aspx.To request more information, applicants can call 866-878-6378 or email email@example.com.Anyone interested in making donations to AER can visit their website at aerhq.org for instructions.