By Marguerite Cleveland
Megan Stith is one of the hundreds of scholarship winners who is off to college in part due to the $2,000 grant awarded to her by the Scholarships for Military Children Program. You can watch her story on here. The Fisher House Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year through Feb. 17, 2021.
The program is a partnership with the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) and the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization which supports military and veteran families. The foundation administers the program. Celebrating its 21st year, the program has awarded more than $20.1 million to 11,814 students from an applicant pool of nearly 105,000.
The program is funded by the DeCA’s business and manufacturing partners. The donations go to the Fisher House Foundation which receives each as a “restricted donation”, meaning it can only by given out as a scholarship grant. Every dollar received goes to a worthy student and the Fisher House Foundation matches all donations. In addition, the Fisher House donates its services for the cost of administration and the scholarship management contract.
“Our commissaries are honored to be a part of a program that provides the children of military service members with such a valuable financial boost to their higher education dreams,” said Marine Corps Sgt.Maj. Michael R. Saucedo, senior enlisted advisor to the DeCA director. “We at the Defense Commissary Agency extend our thanks to the Fisher House Foundation as well as our industry partner donors and others that make these scholarships possible.”
For the 2021-22 scholarship year, the Fisher House Foundation will grant $2,000 scholarships to 500 deserving students. The selection process will begin immediately after the Feb. 17, 2021 deadline. To begin the process, determine your eligibility for the program. It is verified through the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) database. The applicant as well as their sponsor must be enrolled in DEERS and have a valid military dependent ID card. Students must be attending or planning to attend an accredited college or university, full time in the fall of 2021. Students who will receive a full scholarship for college or accepted to a service academy are not eligible for this program.
In order to apply an applicant must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for high school and a minimum GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.o scale for students enrolled in college. Applicants will write a 500 word or less essay that is no longer than two pages. Visit the Scholarships for Military Children website for the application and the subject of the essay. All rules and requirements as well as frequently asked questions are available on the website.
The Fisher House website recently added a custom scholarship search engine to their website. It is tailored to military families and is free and easy to use. By filling out an online questionnaire you will receive a list of scholarships that you are eligible for. Visit “Scholarships for Service.”
“While a ceremony to congratulate and present each recipient with a certificate was not held at commissaries for scholarship year 2019-2020 due to COVID 19, that did not in any way diminish the accomplishment of each recipient selected to receive this honor,” said Marye Dobson, DeCA’s scholarships program liaison. “At this time, no decision has been made on in-store ceremonies for the upcoming program.”