Frequently Asked Questions

Download the Scholarships for Military Children Fact Sheet (PDF)

Q: How can I verify my application was received?
A: An online verification form is available after the scholarship program closes and Scholarship Managers process the applications. The verification form is open from mid-April to mid-June.

Q: Why was the "Scholarships For Military Children" Program created?
A: Commissaries are an integral part of the quality of life offered to service members and their families. The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in recognition of the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and to celebrate the role of the commissary in the military family community. It is the intent of the program that a scholarship funded through contributions be awarded annually for each commissary operated by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) worldwide.

Q: Why is Fisher House Foundation involved?
A: The Fisher House program provides a "Home Away from Home" near military medical centers for families experiencing a personal medical crisis and is one of the premiere quality of life organizations supporting military families. The Foundation was looking for a way to expand their service to military families and has volunteered to underwrite administration of the program.

Q: How many scholarships will be awarded and what is the award amount?
A: The goal of the scholarship program is to award a minimum of one $2,000 scholarship at each commissary location that receives applications from students who meet all of the eligibility requirements. Based on the number of applications received, more than one scholarship may be awarded at some commissaries.

Q: Who is eligible to apply to the Scholarships for Military Children Program?
A: Only dependent unmarried children under age 23 of active duty personnel, reserve/guard and retired military members, or survivors of service members who died while on active duty (also see Heroes' Legacy Scholarship) or survivors of individuals who died while receiving retired pay from the military, may apply for a scholarship. Dependent children of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Public Health Service, other federal or military related agencies or activities, or DoD civilian employees are not eligible unless they meet the above requirement. Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are currently enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) database (call 1-800-538-9552) and that they have a current ID card.

Applicants must be enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a full-time undergraduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university in the fall term of the year 2015. Applicants who have earned an undergraduate degree or who are enrolled in a graduate degree program are not eligible. High school applicants must have a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 basis) to be eligible to apply. College applicants must have a minimum unweighted GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 basis) to be eligible to apply. A scholarship may be awarded to both high school seniors and those working toward a first undergraduate degree provided they are carrying a full-time course load and are in good academic standing at a college or university accredited in the United States.

Students attending a community or junior college must be enrolled in a program of studies designed to allow the student to transfer directly into a four-year program. Applicants who receive an appointment to one of the U.S. Military Academies (or affiliated preparatory schools) or are awarded a full scholarship at any accredited U.S. post-secondary institution of higher education are not eligible to receive funds from this program. A full scholarship is usually defined as one that provides for payment of tuition, books, lab fees, and other expenses.

Q: I understand that children are now considered dependents through age 26. Why can't a child over 23 but younger than 26 apply?
A: A child is a military dependent through age 21, or through age 23, if enrolled as a full time college student. There are laws that permit parents to extend their medical insurance coverage, including through Tricare, to their children through the child's 26th birthday, but only if they or their parents pay the full premium for that coverage. The law did not extend military dependency status to age 26 for any other purpose. Therefore, it would be unfair to revise the eligibility for a scholarship grant through the Scholarships for Military Children Program, based solely upon the payment of premiums to extend medical insurance coverage to an individual under age 26.

Q: My sponsor is not available to sign the application, what do I do?
A: If your sponsor is not available to sign the application, you may have the parent that you live with sign the application. Please include a short note with your application explaining why your sponsor cannot sign the form.

Q: Where can I get an application and where do I turn it in?
A: Applications can be picked up at your local commissary and are also available as a PDF file on this website. Click here

Applications may be filled out using Adobe Acrobat, however once completed, you must print it out and hand-carry or mail it to your local commissary. Applications may not be emailed or faxed. Applicants may apply at only one commissary. Individuals who submit an application at more than one commissary will be disqualified from consideration for a scholarship. It is the applicants' sole responsibility to ensure that their complete application package is received at a commissary by the close of business on February 13, 2015. Please note that this is not a postmark date!

Q: What if my sponsor is stationed at an installation that does not have a commissary?
A: Applicants, or their sponsors, need not live at an installation that has a commissary. Applicants may submit their application at any commissary, however it is recommended that they submit the application where their sponsors normally shop or closest to where their sponsors live. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure the commissary receives the complete application package. If it is not possible (due to distance considerations) for the applicants to submit their applications in person, they may also mail, UPS, or FedEx their completed applications. Packages should be addressed to the commissary and the attention of "Store Director". A complete list of commissaries, along with phone numbers, can be found at www.commissaries.com.

Q: Which transcripts should I submit?
A: Current high school seniors and college students who have not completed their first semester must submit high school transcripts. College students who have completed at least one semester must submit a college transcript. Official transcripts are preferred but unofficial transcripts will be accepted.

Q: My high school will not release my official transcript to me. Is there another way to get the information required for the scholarship?
A: The preferred course of action is to ask the school if they will put the transcript in a sealed envelope, which can be included with the application (be sure your name is on the envelope). If the school will not agree to this, the student or parent should contact the school guidance department and inform them that schools are required by law to release "unofficial" transcripts to parents (if the child is under the age of 18) or to the student (if the child is 18 or older). We will accept an "unofficial" transcript as a last resort.

Q: Are home-schooled children eligible to apply, and if so, what are the requirements for their transcript submissions?
A: Yes. They should submit the same transcripts that they submit to colleges and universities when applying for admission.

Q: I am a DoD Civilian in Europe and have an ID card and commissary privileges. Can my son or daughter apply?
A: The key factor in eligibility is "children of military active duty, reserve/guard, retired, or deceased." There are many civilians who work for/with the military overseas and they are permitted many of the same privileges military members enjoy (such as commissary, exchange and medical). But this program is intended to focus on "military family and quality of life" initiatives. The intent of "Scholarships for Military Children" is certainly not to exclude civilians who are also making valuable contributions, but to honor and recognize those who serve their country through the U.S. military, guard or reserve forces.

Q: My parent is in the reserves and I do not have a military dependent ID card nor am I registered in DEERS? What do I do?
A: Your sponsor should contact the personnel office that services his or her unit or the local military installation Pass and ID Office.

Q: I am the dependent spouse and also the son or daughter of an active or retired service member. Can I apply?
A: This program is open to dependent military children only. There are other programs available to military spouses, such as the Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Scholarship Program, administered by the National Military Family Association. The installation education center normally has information on these programs. Once a dependent child marries, he or she loses eligibility.

Q: Who manages the application and selection process?
A: The entire application and selection process is independently managed by Scholarship Managers (SM), an international, not for profit, scholarship service organization. All decisions reached by SM are final. Questions must be sent via email to SM at militaryscholar@scholarshipmanagers.com. It is very important to note that DeCA and the Fisher House Foundation are NOT involved in any aspect of the selection and notification process and should not be contacted for these matters.

Q: Is a child restricted from applying if a parent works on the installation or at the commissary?
A: Since neither DeCA nor the federal government is administering the scholarship program, anyone who is a qualified ID card holder, enrolled in DEERS and meets the scholarship criteria may apply. A parent's place of employment is not a factor in the selection process.

Q: Are manufacturers raising prices to fund the scholarship program?
A: Funding of the scholarship program is provided by commissary business partners such as manufacturers, suppliers or vendors who normally provide gifts or prizes for patrons through various promotional programs. Those funds instead are being donated to this unified cause though the Fisher House Foundation, program administrator for Scholarships for Military Children. Product pricing is not affected by donations to the Scholarships for Military Children Program.

Q: When will the recipients and non-recipients be notified?
A: A personal letter will be sent to the recipients' home addresses (as given on the application) on or about May 6th. Due to the large volume of applications received, and to minimize administrative costs, non-recipients will not be notified personally. The names, and commissary locations, of all the recipients will be posted at www.militaryscholar.org on or about May 19th.

Q: When and where will the scholarship checks be mailed?
A: SM will mail the checks to the recipients' home address on or about
August 1st.

Q: Who are the scholarship checks made payable to?
A: Scholarship checks issued by Scholarship Managers are made payable to the school the recipients will attend, not to the student. SM will issue a "Stop Payment" order on checks that are not cashed within 90 days of issuance and your scholarship will be forfeited.

Q: How much is the scholarship award?
A: The 2015 Scholarship for Military Children Program will award a minimum of one $2,000 scholarship at each commissary that has qualified applicants. The awards are made without regard to race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, religious belief, national origin, rank or service of the sponsor.

Q: How may the scholarships be used?
A: 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 scholarships may not be used to pay for room and board.

Q: If I was a previous "Scholarships for Military Children" recipient, can I apply again?
A: Yes!