Details and links after the jump.
November is a great time of year for many reasons - cool, crisp weather, tailgating at football games, Thanksgiving and fall colors, to name just a few. If you're a high school or college student and the child of a military family, you might want to add free college money to your list of favorite things because the 2009 Scholarships for Military Children Program opens Nov. 3.
The program kickoff each year in November coincides 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," Sakowitz explained, "and we're thrilled to be a part of something that makes it a little more affordable for military families."
Commissaries are known for the savings they provide authorized customers who shop regularly - savings averaging 30 percent or more. In fact, commissaries have always sold groceries at cost, allowing them to pass a substantial savings on to their customers. The scholarship program is emblematic of DeCA's commitment to improving the quality of life of America's service members and their families by making military paychecks go further in today's uncertain economy. 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 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 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 studies designed to transfer directly 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.
Every dollar donated to the program by manufacturers, brokers and suppliers that sell groceries in commissaries, and the public at large goes directly to funding the scholarships. Fisher House Foundation underwrites the cost of administering the program, which is handled by Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit, scholarship management services organization.