Scholarship program provides assistance to military children

Beginning Dec. 13, 2016 college-aged military children can drop-off applications at their local commissary for the Defense Commissary Agency’s Scholarships for Military Children Program. The program offers $2,000 grants to military children enrolled or planning to enroll full-time at a community college, four-year college or university. (U. S. Air Force photo by Beverly Joyner)

Beginning Dec. 13, 2016 college-aged military children can drop-off applications at their local commissary for the Defense Commissary Agency’s Scholarships for Military Children Program. The program offers $2,000 grants to military children enrolled or planning to enroll full-time at a community college, four-year college or university. (U. S. Air Force photo by Beverly Joyner)

The Defense Commissary Agency’s Scholarships for Military Children Program offers scholarship grants of $2,000 to college-aged military children. The program is funded by contributions from DeCA’s business partners, vendors and others. (U. S. Air Force photo by Beverly Joyner)

The Defense Commissary Agency’s Scholarships for Military Children Program offers scholarship grants of $2,000 to college-aged military children. The program is funded by contributions from DeCA’s business partners, vendors and others. (U. S. Air Force photo by Beverly Joyner)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --

Beginning Dec. 13, 2016 military families who shop at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, commissaries and have college-aged children can add an additional item to their to-do lists – drop off a Scholarships for Military Children application.

 

Administered by the Fisher House Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the Defense Commissary Agency, the Scholarships for Military Children program offers $2,000 grants to those who enroll or plan to enroll full-time at a community college or a four-year college or university.

 

According to Annette Roberts, Langley Air Force Base Commissary assistant store director, the program was created in 2001, and to date, more than 15 million in scholarship grants have been awarded from a group of over 85,000 applicants.

 

For students enrolled or planning to enroll during academic year 2017-18, the application window opens Dec. 13, 2016 and closes Feb. 13, 2017. Applicants can visit the Defense Commissary Agency’s web site at www.commissaries.com to access the scholarship application link.

 

Roberts said after the application has been downloaded and filled out, students can print it and hand carry it to their local commissary. Faxed or e-mailed applications will not be accepted.

 

“Applications can also be mailed to the dependent’s local commissary and addressed to the attention of the store director,” said Roberts. “We collect applications that are mailed or dropped off and forward them to a central location.”

 

In addition, homeschooled military children are eligible to apply for the scholarships. All students must submit applications at only one commissary and will be disqualified if they apply at more than one store. Scholarship grants can be used for qualified expenses including tuition, fees and books.

 

Other eligibility requirements include a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, transcripts and enrollment in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, according to Ramon Miller, Fort Eustis Commissary store director.

 

“Students must also write an essay on a topic chosen by the program committee,” said Miller. “Award recipients are selected based on the eligibility criteria and the process is centrally managed by a third-party program agency.”

 

At least one scholarship recipient will be selected at each commissary and based on the store size and number of applicants, additional grants will be awarded. For academic year 2016-17, seven students were awarded scholarship grants at Langley AFB and six grants were awarded at Fort Eustis.

 

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for military children, especially with everything they have to go through as a dependent,” said Miller. “The commissary is here to help them. It’s a great benefit and every little bit helps toward a college education.”

 

The Scholarships for Military Children program is open to college-aged children of active-duty service members, Reserves, National Guard and military retirees. It is funded by contributions from DeCA’s business partners, vendors and others.

 

For more information about the Scholarships for Military Children program, visit www.commissaries.com.