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Scholarships for Military Children Program seeking applicants

FORT LEE, Va. -- Scholarship applications for the 2011 Scholarships for Military Children program are now available in commissaries worldwide and online at www.militaryscholar.org by clicking the "News & Info" tab and then the "Scholarship Info" tab.

Since the program was announced in 2000, it has awarded $8.3 million in scholarships to more than 5,400 children of servicemembers.

"The Scholarships for Military Children program was created to recognize the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force," said Thomas E. Milks, the Defense Commissary Agency's acting director and CEO. "It also celebrates our role in the military community, as the scholarships are awarded annually through each commissary operated by DeCA."

Only dependent, unmarried children of active-duty servicemembers, reservists, guardsmen, retirees, or survivors of servicemembers who died on active duty or while receiving military retired pay, may apply for a scholarship. Applicants must also be younger than 21, or 23 if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university. Eligibility is determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current military identification card.

An applicant must be planning to attend, or already be attending, an accredited college or university, full time in the fall of 2011 or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Applicants must also submit an essay on the following topic that answers the question, "Our nation has a goal of improving health and wellness. What are your ideas and, more importantly, how do you propose to put these ideas into action in your local community?"

Applications must be turned in to a commissary by close of business Feb. 22, 2011. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary with qualified applicants.

Scholarship awards will be based on funds available, but the scholarship program anticipates awards of at least $1,500. If there are no eligible applicants from a particular commissary, the funds designated for that commissary will be awarded as an additional scholarship at another store.