Q. What is this program, and when and why was it started?
A. Prior to taking the oath of office as President, Barack Obama wrote a children's book, titled "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters." The President chose to donate his after-tax proceeds to Fisher House Foundation specifically to establish a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled service members. He selected Fisher House Foundation as the fund to receive his donation. The book went on sale on November 16, 2010, and the first proceeds were used to fund scholarship grants to qualified recipients for the 2011-12 academic year. Additionally, Fisher House Foundation receives contributions from other organizations and individuals to help fund the Heroes' Legacy Scholarships program.
Q. Can I use this scholarship to supplement other grant money that I am receiving?
A. We recognize that there are federal, state or private grants also available for the education of children whose parent died or became disabled while serving, and therefore any grants awarded through this program will supplement other funding. However, your total funding may not exceed the total costs for tuition, books, and other fees.
Q. Can I apply to both the Heroes' Legacy Scholarships and Scholarships for Military Children programs?
A. Yes, you may apply for both scholarship programs as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each one.
Q. My parent did not die while on active duty, but several months after a medical retirement that was a direct result of wounds received in combat. Can I apply?
A. Since it is difficult to list all of the situations that might have resulted in a service member's death, Fisher House Foundation has simplified the basic criteria to state "died while on active duty," and will review all other situations on a case-by-case basis. To obtain an individualized review of your eligibility, send an email describing your individual circumstances to firstname.lastname@example.org and include "Heroes' Legacy Scholarships" in the subject line.
Q. I have a similar question, but it concerns the definition of "disabled." If my parent is totally disabled as a result of military service, but did not apply for or receive Traumatic Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) or have a final 100% disability rating from the Department of Defense or VA, can I apply?
A. Fisher House Foundation would be glad to review any documentation for a disability that does not meet the above criteria and decide eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
To obtain an individualized review of your eligibility, send an email describing your individual circumstances to email@example.com and include "Heroes' Legacy Scholarships" in the subject line.
Q. Is the Defense Commissary Agency involved in this program?
Q. Who evaluates each application and what recourse is available if I am not selected?
A. Scholarship Managers, a national non-profit scholarship management firm evaluates each application and selects the most qualified candidates from the candidate pool to award a specific number of scholarships, which will be based on the amount of money donated. The decisions of Scholarship Managers are final. It is important to note that Fisher House Foundation, the President, the First Lady, and the Executive Office of the President have no involvement in the selection process.
Q. How may the scholarship be used?
A. Scholarship checks issued by Scholarship Managers are made payable to the school the recipients will attend, not to the student. 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. Where do I go if I have other questions?
A. Questions concerning eligibility to apply, special circumstances that might preclude having a parent sign the application, or a request to submit the application by email rather than mail, and other similar subjects should be addressed to Fisher House Foundation by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include "Heroes' Legacy Scholarships" in the subject line.
Questions concerning the application form, transcripts, grade point averages, and similar subjects should be addressed to Scholarship Managers by sending an email to email@example.com.