Military scholarship program underway

By Caroline Williams: DeCA marketing specialist

FORT LEE, Va. — If you’re a high school or college student and the child of a military family looking for ways to found your education, you might want to checkout the 2009 Scholarships for Military Children Program that began Nov. 3.

Scholarship applications are available in commissaries worldwide and online through a link at and at

The program kickoff coincides each year in November with National Military Family Month, and the scholarships are a great way for commissaries to get involved with the community and demonstrate support for the contributions of military families.

According to Defense Commissary Agency Director and Chief Executive Officer Philip E. Sakowitz Jr., the program has awarded more than $6.4 million in scholarships to more than 4,000 of the best and brightest children of military families since the program began in 2001.

“We know that education is the key to a better future,” Mr. Sakowitz said, “and we’re thrilled to be a part of something that makes it a little more affordable for military families.”

The program awards $1,500 scholarships to well-rounded, accomplished children of military families, meaning these families don’t have to dig as deep into their pockets to pay for tuition.

Only dependent, unmarried children (under the age 23) of active-duty personnel, reserve/guard and retired military members, survivors of servicemembers 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 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 2009, or be enrolled in a program of study designed to transfer into a four-year program.

Applicants should prepare to submit an essay on the following topic: “What would you place inside a time capsule to help people in the next century understand military life today?” Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business on Feb. 18, 2009. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.