Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2010 Scholarships for Military Children Program opens TODAY!

October 29, 2009
By Tammy L. Moody,DeCA marketing and mass communication specialist

FORT LEE, Va. – The holidays are fast approaching, and they can be a fun family time as children away at college come home, and other students get their holiday break. It’s also a time for students and parents to apply for the 2010 Scholarships for Military Children Program that opens in November.

Scholarship applications will be available Nov. 3 in commissaries worldwide and online through a link at https://www.commissaries.com and directly at http://www.militaryscholar.org. Since the program began in 2000, it has awarded $7.3 million in scholarships to almost 5,000 children of service members.

The Nov. 3 scholarship kickoff coincides with National Military Family Month, and is an example of commissaries supporting their local communities by helping to improve the quality of life for military families, said Defense Commissary Agency Director and CEO Philip E. Sakowitz Jr.

“Being part of something that makes higher education more affordable for military families is thrilling, as we feel it makes a better future possible for their children,” he said. “The program awards $1,500 scholarships to well-rounded, accomplished service members’ children, enabling these families to save some on their children’s tuition.”

Only dependent, unmarried children, younger than age 21 (age 23 if enrolled as a full- time student at a college or university) of active duty personnel, Reserve, Guard and retired military members, survivors of service members who died while on active duty, or survivors of individuals who died while receiving retired pay from the military may apply for a scholarship. Eligibility is determined using DEERS, 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 be attending, an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2010, or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Applicants should prepare to submit an essay on the following topic: “You can travel back in time; however, you cannot change events. What point in history would you visit and why?” Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 17. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.

The scholarships program is administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families. Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit, scholarship management services organization, manages and awards the scholarships. Commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public donate money to the program, and every dollar donated goes directly to funding the scholarships.

Check us out on the Web: http://www.commissaries.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Defense-Commissary-Agency/131694158961?ref=ts and http://twitter.com/TheCommissary
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings worth about $3,300 annually for a family of four. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.