Feb. 16 is the deadline to submit applications for the Scholarships for Military Children program, supported by the Defense Commissary Agency.

Applications for the $1,500 scholarships must be delivered by mail or hand to any of the 275 commissaries worldwide by close of business Feb. 16, according to a DECA news release. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.

The program is in its fifth year and has awarded nearly 3,000 scholarships worth more than $3.2 million.

Applications can be downloaded through a link at, or from It can be filled out by hand or on the computer. Applications also are available at commissaries.

The program is open to unmarried children under the age of 21 (23 if enrolled in school) of active-duty personnel, including Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves, and retired military. Eligibility will be determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure that they and their sponsor are enrolled in DEERS and have current ID cards.

Applicants must be planning to attend, or already attending, an accredited college or university full time in the 2005 fall term, or be enrolled in a program designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

DECA program liaison Edna Hoogewind advised applicants to pay special attention to the essay portion of the application.

“In past years, the essay has been a key factor in deciding among the many outstanding applicants,” she said.

Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that builds rooms for families to use overnight near military medical facilities, administers the program, and Scholarship Managers, a professional firm that has handled more than 400 programs, screens applicants and awards scholarships. Neither Fisher House nor DECA is involved in the decision process.

Scholarships are primarily funded through the donations by various manufacturers, brokers and suppliers that sell products in commissaries.

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