Scholarships help defray education costs

Debbie Alexander, wife of retired Gen. Keith B. Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, and a member of the Officers’ Spouses’ Club, congratulates Kaitlyn Thomas Franz, last year’s recipient of the inaugural Debbie Alexander STEM Scholarship, at OSC’s annual scholarship award ceremony in May. The deadline for this year’s scholarship is March 10. (File Photo)

Every year Fort Meade’s service clubs, along with the Defense Commissary Agency and the Corvias Foundation, offer academic scholarships to qualified members of the Fort Meade community to continue their education.

Soundoff! has gathered information on each of the scholarships to inform the community of the eligibility requirements and deadlines for applications.

For additional information, go to the organization’s website.

DEFENSE COMMISSARY AGENCY

2017 Scholarships for Military Children

Application Deadline: Feb. 17

The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in 2001 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. More than $15.3 million in scholarships have been awarded since its inception.

Funded through outside contributions, the scholarships are awarded annually to each commissary operated by the Defense Commissary Agency.

The Fisher House Foundation administers the program and contracts with scholarship managers to evaluate the program’s application.

Applicants will receive one of 700 available $2,000 scholarships.

Eligibility Requirements

Children of active-duty, Reserve, National Guard or retired military personnel who are high school seniors or college students are eligible.

Applicants and their sponsor must be enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database.

Applicant must be planning to attend or currently attending an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2017, or are enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Application Process

Complete the two-page application at here.

Submit an official transcript indicating a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale for high school applicants, or college transcript indicating a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale for students enrolled in college.

Complete a 500-word typewritten essay answering the question, “If you had a chance to have a 30-minute conversation with any person in human history (living or deceased), who would be the person you choose? Why? What topic would you discuss?”

Scholarship managers will screen the completed applications, not DeCA or Fisher House. Scholarship managers will notify recipients of their selection prior to the store director’s notification on or about May 10.

Results will be posted on the scholarship website  and on or about May 10.

CORVIAS FOUNDATION

2017 Corvias Foundation Scholarships for Spouses of Active-Duty Service Members

Application Deadline: May 4

The Corvias Foundation — a private, charitable foundation and charitable arm of Corvias Military Housing — is committed to supporting military families in pursuit of a higher education. Since 2006, the foundation has awarded more than $6.5 million in scholarships to children and spouses of active-duty service members.

Scholarships are awarded to spouses of active-duty service members stationed at 13 Army and Air Force installations across the country, including Fort Meade.

Families do not have to reside in on-post/base housing to be eligible for the scholarships. Spouses of service members in any branch of the military can apply.

Corvias will select 20 recipients. All applicants will be notified of their award status by the end of July.

The scholarship amount is $5,000. Selected recipients may begin using their scholarship funds in the fall of 2017.

Recipients may use the scholarship to pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment required for course load, as well as child care and other necessary costs directly associated with their pursuit of an education.

“We have provided scholarships to children and spouses of active-duty service members at Fort Meade for more than 10 years and look forward to continuing to find ways to help spouses be successful reaching their own goals and dreams,” said John Picerne, founder and CEO of Corvias and founder of the Corvias Foundation.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicant must be the spouse of an active-duty service member at one of 13 Army or Air Force installations. (Installations are listed in online application.)

Applicants may attend a community college, technical college, university or online program or plan to attend any one of these institutions as an undergraduate or graduate student for the entire 2017-2018 academic year.

Application Process

Apply online.

FORT MEADE SCHOLARSHIPS

Officers’ Spouses’ Club

Application Deadline: March 10

The Fort Meade Officers’ Spouses’ Club awards financial scholarships for academic achievement to military dependents who are deserving college-bound high school graduates, military spouses or immediate family members of an OSC member in good standing.

Providing scholarships “is a key component of our giving back to our community and is one of the reasons why the spouses’ club was founded,” said Brandy Malone, OSC scholarship chair.

The club awards five scholarships:

OSC Merit Scholarship is awarded to an applicant who is a candidate for graduation from high school in spring 2017 or currently enrolled in college prior to March.

OSC Family Member Scholarship is awarded to an applicant who is an immediate family member of an OSC member in good standing as of March 1.

Community service activities will be heavily weighted.

OSC Military Spouse Scholarship is awarded to an applicant who is a high school graduate or has earned a General Education Diploma (GED) or high school equivalency diploma, and is married to an active-duty service member or retired service member with an affiliation to Fort Meade at the time of the application and award date.

The Etta Baker Memorial Scholarship is the club’s highest merit scholarship and is automatically considered for all applicants who qualify for the OSC Merit Scholarship.

The Debbie Alexander STEM Scholarship is awarded to an applicant accepted into or attending an accredited college with a declared major or study emphasis in science, technology, engineering or mathematics for the 2017-2018 school year.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicant must have a military sponsor who is an active-duty or retired service member assigned to, attached to or working on Fort Meade.

Applicant must reside on Fort Meade.

Applicant has a parent who is a member of the OSC.

Applicant must be enrolled at an accredited institution as a full-time student for the 2017-2018 academic school year.

This is the second year the OSC will award its Debbie Alexander STEM Scholarship. Malone said Alexander has continued to serve the Fort Meade community for many years and naming a scholarship in her honor was keeping with “our core values of friendship and community support,” Malone said.

The presence of the National Security Agency, U.S. Cyber Command and the Defense Information System Agency at Fort Meade inspired the club to encourage military dependents to pursue careers in the STEM arena, she said.

At last year’s inaugural ceremony for the scholarship, Alexander said she was “humbled” by having a scholarship named in her honor.

Application Process

Apply online.

Enlisted Spouses’ Club

ESC Scholarship Award, Evelyn Silva Scholarship Award of Excellence

Deadline: March 24

The ESC awards scholarships annually to graduating high school seniors and continuing education students. The awards are given to students who rise to the challenges of academia and still find time to volunteer in their community.

The Evelyn Silva Scholarship Award of Excellence was established in 2010 to honor Silva, a long-standing member of ESC who has dedicated her life to volunteerism in the military community.

The recipient of the award is a graduating high school senior who best exemplifies Silva’s commitment to the community and academics.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicant must be a dependent child (unmarried) of any military member from any branch: active-duty, retired or deceased military personnel, Reservist or National Guard.

Military member must reside in the Fort Meade area.

The ESC Scholarship Award is granted to an applicant who is enrolled in the DEERS enrollment; provides proof of sponsor’s Fort Meade residency; is enrolled as a full-time post-secondary student; volunteers in the community; completes an essay; submits official transcripts; and submits a recent letter of recommendation from a non-family member who serves as a community organization, educator or employer.

The Evelyn Silva Scholarship Award is granted to an applicant who is enrolled in the DEERS enrollment; provides proof of sponsor’s Fort Meade residency; is a graduating high school senior with a minimum GPA of 3.0; volunteers in the community; completes an essay; submits official transcripts; submits a recent letter of recommendation from a non-family member who serves as a community organization leader, educator or employer; and submits a second letter of recommendation from a supervisor detailing the applicant’s volunteer responsibilities.

Application Process

Apply online.

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