Scholarships for Military Children
Q. My college will start early so our first term is completed by Thanksgiving. Will my check arrive before classes are scheduled to begin?
A. Normally, scholarship grants are mailed in late July, but this year, checks will be mailed not later than June 26, 2020. Please remember that the check will be made payable to the college or university but mailed to the recipient. It is the recipient's responsibility to ensure the check is sent to college or university and credited to the correct account.
Q: I just received notification that I will receive a $2,000 scholarship grant for school year 2020-21, but I now plan to take a year off and not start college until school year 2021-22. Do I send the grant check to the college now? Can the grant be held for year and applied to next year?"
A: If you will not be attending college this year, please notify Scholarship Managers, and they will defer sending out your check until next year.
Q: Does the fact that my college will now be virtual or on-line have any bearing on my scholarship grant?
A: No, it does not.
Q: Can I use the funds to purchase a computer since that it now a requirement to attend classes?
A: Yes, as long as it is purchased through the school and can be charged to your student account. Please note: this is an exception for 2020-21 academic year in consideration of COVID-19.
Q: I cannot get to a Post Office in order to mail the form back.
A: Please scan the form and send it to Scholarship Managers at: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Program FAQs
Q: Why was the "Scholarships For Military Children" Program created?
A: Commissaries are an integral part of the quality of life offered to service members and their families. The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. It is the intent of the program that a scholarship funded through contributions be awarded annually for each commissary operated by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) worldwide.
Q: Why is Fisher House Foundation involved?
A: The Fisher House program provides a "Home Away from Home" near military medical centers for families experiencing a personal medical crisis and is one of the premiere quality of life organizations supporting military families. The Foundation was looking for a way to expand their service to military families and has volunteered to underwrite administration of the program.
Q: How many scholarships will be awarded and what is the award amount?
A: The goal of the scholarship program is to award a minimum of one $2,000 scholarship at each commissary location that receives applications from students who meet all of the eligibility requirements. Based on the number of applications received, more than one scholarship may be awarded at some commissaries.
Q: Who is eligible to apply to the Scholarships for Military Children Program?
A: The program is open to military children, defined as a student who is eligible for and possesses a U.S. Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card DD Form 1173 that has not expired, and whose parent(s) are serving, or have served, in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. Dependent children of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Public Heath Service, other federal or military related agencies or activities, or DoD civilian employees are not eligible unless they meet the above requirement. Applicants must ensure they have a current ID card as they must enter on the application the "benefits number" found on the reverse of the card.
Applicants must be enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a full-time undergraduate program of study leading to a bachelor's degree at an accredited U.S. college or university in the fall term of 2020. High school applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 basis). College applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50. College freshmen must submit a first semester college transcript.
Applicants attending a community or junior college must be enrolled in a program of study designed to allow them to transfer directly into a four-year program. No scholarships will be awarded to those pursuing an associates degree as their final degree, second undergraduate, or graduate school degree.
The scholarship awards will be given for a maximum of 4 years. Exceptions can be considered if the student is enrolled in an undergraduate program of study that normally requires more than 4 years. All exceptions will be handled on an individual basis. Except in very unusual circumstances, the scholarship award cannot be deferred for future use -- it must be used during the upcoming academic year.
Applicants who receive an appointment to one of the U.S. Service Academies (or affiliated preparatory schools) or are awarded a full scholarship at any accredited U.S. post-secondary institution of higher education are not eligible to receive funds from this program.
Q: My parent is not on active duty or retired from the military but is authorized to shop in military commissaries as a Purple Heart recipient, former prisoner of war, or service connected disability. Can I apply for the Scholarships for Military Children Program?
A. Unfortunately not. The new legislation expands the number of patrons authorized to shop in military commissaries but does not authorize any privileges for family members. To be eligible for the Scholarships for Military Children Program, the applicant must include the "benefits number" that is on the reverse of the US Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card (DD Form 1173), and dependent children of the new categories of authorized patrons do not qualify for the privilege card.
Q: Can I receive a scholarship grant if I plan to attend a two-year community or junior college?
A: Yes, if your program of studies is designed to allow you to transfer directly into a four-year program.
Q: I do not qualify for a DoD ID card because I am older than 21 and not a full-time college student, but plan on attending college as a full-time student. Can I apply for a scholarship grant?
A: Yes, with the stipulations that you can provide proof that you did qualify for an ID card until you reached your 21st birthday; and if you are selected, you must provide proof from an accredited college or university that you will be enrolled as a full-time student in order to receive the scholarship grant.
Q: I understand that children are now considered dependents through age 26. Why can't a child over 23 but younger than 26 apply?
A: A child is a military dependent through age 21, or through age 23, if enrolled as a full time college student. There are laws that permit parents to extend their medical insurance coverage, including through Tricare, to their children through the child's 26th birthday, but only if they or their parents pay the full premium for that coverage. The law did not extend military dependency status to age 26 for any other purpose. Therefore, it would be unfair to revise the eligibility for a scholarship grant through the Scholarships for Military Children Program, based solely upon the payment of premiums to extend medical insurance coverage to an individual under age 26.
Q: I will turn 23 this year and I will no longer be eligible for a military dependent ID card. Can I still apply for this scholarship?
A: You may apply if you are under 23 years of age and in possession of a valid ID card on your first scheduled day of classes of the fall semester of the academic year in which the scholarship will be applied.
Q: What commissary should I choose on the online application?
A: Applicants, or their sponsors, need not live at or near an installation that has a commissary. When completing the online application, select the commissary where your sponsor normally shops or the commissary nearest to where your sponsor is stationed or resides.
Q: Which transcripts should I submit?
A: Current high school seniors and college students who have not completed their first semester must submit high school transcripts. College students who have completed at least one semester must submit a college transcript (unweighted). Official transcripts are preferred but unofficial transcripts will be accepted.
Q: My high school will not release my official transcript to me. Is there another way to get the information required for the scholarship?
A: The preferred course of action is to ask the school if they will put the transcript in a sealed envelope, which can be included with the application (be sure your name is on the envelope). If the school will not agree to this, the student or parent should contact the school guidance department and inform them that schools are required by law to release "unofficial" transcripts to parents (if the child is under the age of 18) or to the student (if the child is 18 or older). We will accept an "unofficial" transcript as a last resort.
Q: Are home-schooled children eligible to apply, and if so, what are the requirements for their transcript submissions?
A: Yes. They should submit the same transcripts that they submit to colleges and universities when applying for admission.
Q: I am a DoD Civilian in Europe and have an ID card and commissary privileges. Can my son or daughter apply?
A: The key factor in eligibility is "children of military active duty, reserve/guard, retired, or deceased." There are many civilians who work for/with the military overseas and they are permitted many of the same privileges military members enjoy (such as commissary, exchange and medical). But this program is intended to focus on "military family and quality of life" initiatives. The intent of "Scholarships for Military Children" is certainly not to exclude civilians who are also making valuable contributions, but to honor and recognize those who serve their country through the U.S. military, guard or reserve forces.
Q: My parent is in the reserves and I do not have a military dependent ID card nor am I registered in DEERS? What do I do?
A: You and your sponsor should contact the personnel office that services his or her unit or the local military installation Pass and ID Office.
Q: I am the dependent spouse and also the son or daughter of an active or retired service member. Can I apply?
A: This program is open to dependent military children only. There are other programs available to military spouses, such as the Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Scholarship Program, administered by the National Military Family Association. The installation education center normally has information on these programs. Once a dependent child marries, he or she loses eligibility.
Q: Who manages the application and selection process?
A: The entire application and selection process is independently managed by Scholarship Managers (SM), an international, not for profit, scholarship service organization. All decisions reached by SM are final. Questions must be sent via email to SM at email@example.com. It is very important to note that DeCA and the Fisher House Foundation are NOT involved in any aspect of the selection and notification process and should not be contacted for these matters.
Q: Is a child restricted from applying if a parent works on the installation or at the commissary?
A: Since neither DeCA nor the federal government is administering the scholarship program, anyone who is a qualified ID card holder, enrolled in DEERS and meets the scholarship criteria may apply. A parent's place of employment is not a factor in the selection process.
Q: Are manufacturers raising prices to fund the scholarship program?
A: Funding of the scholarship program is provided by commissary business partners such as manufacturers, suppliers or vendors who normally provide gifts or prizes for patrons through various promotional programs. Those funds instead are being donated to this unified cause though the Fisher House Foundation, program administrator for Scholarships for Military Children. Product pricing is not affected by donations to the Scholarships for Military Children Program.
Q: When will the recipients and non-recipients be notified?
A: A personal letter will be sent to the recipients' home addresses (as given on the application) on or about May 6th. Due to the large volume of applications received, and to minimize administrative costs, non-recipients will not be notified personally. The names, and commissary locations, of all the recipients will be posted at www.militaryscholar.org on or about May 19th.
Q: When and where will the scholarship checks be mailed?
A: SM will mail the checks to the recipients' home address on or about
Q: Who are the scholarship checks made payable to?
A: Scholarship checks issued by Scholarship Managers are made payable to the school the recipients will attend, not to the student. SM will issue a "Stop Payment" order on checks that are not cashed within 90 days of issuance and your scholarship will be forfeited.
Q: How much is the scholarship award?
A: The Scholarship for Military Children Program will award a minimum of one $2,000 scholarship at each commissary that has qualified applicants. The awards are made without regard to race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, religious belief, national origin, rank or service of the sponsor.
Q: How may the scholarships be used?
A: IRS Publication 970 states that scholarships may be used to pay for qualified expenses, which include tuition, fees, lab fees and books. Other degree-related costs (like supplies or equipment required for specific classes) that are purchased from, and paid directly, to the school are also allowed.
IRS Publication 970 specifically states that scholarship money used to pay for room, board and travel is not tax exempt, and as such, is beyond the desired purpose of this program.
Q: Is this scholarship need based?
A: This is a merit-based program that does not consider need. That said, the scholarship funds are to be used for undergraduate tuition only (and specific course fees that meet IRS standards mentioned above). It is not intended for room and board if tuition is already covered.
If a student receives other scholarships (e.g. GI-Bill, 9/11 Fry Scholarship or other resources) that when combined fully meet or exceed the cost of tuition, we ask the student consider declining this scholarship so that it is available for others. Fisher House Foundation has a limited amount of funds for scholarships and would like to help those with unmet needs.
Q: If I was a previous "Scholarships for Military Children" recipient, can I apply again?