Fisher House awards scholarship grants to 500 military family children

FORT LEE, Va. – Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect college and university academic schedules this year, the Fisher House Foundation’s popular Scholarships for Military Children program once again came through for 500 students who were each awarded a $2,000 scholarship grant for the upcoming 2022-23 school year.

Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps service members and their families, created the program in 2001 in partnership with the Defense Commissary Agency to recognize the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and celebrate the commissaries’ role in enhancing the military’s quality of life.

“It is a true blessing that the Fisher House Foundation is able to administer the Scholarships for Military Children and award scholarships to so many deserving students,” said Todd Heasley, DeCA’s scholarships program liaison.

Fisher House’s efforts in recent years to modernize the scholarships entry process and bring it fully online had left it well-prepared when the global pandemic struck, according to Marshall Banks, Fisher House Foundation’s director of community relations.

“The application process for the 2022-23 Scholarships for Military Children program went extremely well,” he said. “We received 4,171 applications from 224 commissaries. That’s a 14-percent increase in applicants from last year’s 3,658.”

While the application process went off without a hitch again this year, the usual celebratory ceremonies traditionally held at commissaries for local scholarship winners remained restricted. “Some of our stores were able to host small, informal ceremonies depending on local installation guidelines,” said Heasley. “Our hope, of course, is that as we go forward, we’ll be able to resume in full our normal celebrations for these exceptional students.”

Scholarship applicants submit their official transcript indicating a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for high school applicants, or indicating a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for students already enrolled in college; and an essay of 500 words or less, no longer than two pages.

Eligibility is determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants must ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current military dependent ID card. The applicant must also be planning to attend or already be attending an accredited college or university, full time, in the fall of 2022 or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Applicants who are awarded a full scholarship to attend a college or university or receive an appointment to one of the military academies or affiliated preparatory schools 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.

All rules and requirements for the program, as well as links to frequently asked questions are available at the Scholarships for Military Children website, as is the full list of this year’s winners.

“The window to apply for the 2023-2024 Fisher House Foundation’s Scholarships for Military Children should open in December and close in February, but the exact dates have not been determined yet,” said Heasley. “Be sure to check the scholarship page in December for the date of the opening for applications as well as the new essay question for the year.”

Fisher House Foundation also has a custom scholarship search engine on its scholarship website, tailored to military families, called “Scholarships for Service.” It’s free and available on mobile devices or computers at militaryscholar.org.

“The foundation is proud of our partnership with the Defense Commissary Agency to award scholarships to well-deserving military children,” said Banks. “We have provided $22,126,000 in scholarships over the last 22 years.”

Fisher House Foundation is ranked a four-star charity by Charity Navigator. No government funds are used to support the Scholarships for Military Children Program. Commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public donate money to fund the program.

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