Fort McCoy News January 24, 2014

AER scholarship applications online; due May 1

Applications for Army Emergency Relief (AER) scholarships are available now online, with completed application forms and all supporting documents due May 1.

AER is a private non-profit organization that has the mission to provide financial assistance to Army Soldiers in times of valid emergency need. The AER Scholarship Program is a secondary mission to help Army Families with the cost of education.

AER offers two scholarship programs — the Spouse Education Assistance Program and the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program.

The spouse program provides scholarships for the spouses of Army Soldiers who are enrolled part-time or full-time pursuing their first undergraduate degree at an accredited college or university.

Recipients can receive the scholarships for up to four years of full-time or up to eight years of part-time college enrollment. Funds under this program may be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, English for Second Language and General Education Development classes, College Level Examination Program and Test of English as a Foreign Language tests and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support/Services programs.

The Ursano scholarships are for the children of Army Soldiers.

Recipients must be enrolled full-time for the entire academic year and can receive the scholarship for up to four years. Funds can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and room and board.

Eligible scholarship applicants must be the spouse or children of a Soldier on federal active duty, a retired Soldier or a Soldier who died on active duty or in a retired status.

Applicants must be registered in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Recipients must maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average (GPA) based upon a 4.0 GPA scale. Children must be younger than 23 and unmarried for an entire academic year.

Applications are available on the AER website at www.aerhq.org. Applicants must complete and submit a new application for each academic year, following the procedures and deadlines listed on the AER website.

Applicants also must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form each year after Jan. 1 at www.fafsa.ed.gov and submit the resulting Student Aid Report. Scholarship awards are based on financial need as demonstrated by the Expected Family Contribution from the FAFSA.

Ursano recipients must submit transcripts of their college grades from the most recently completed college semester, or if they are new college freshmen they must submit high school transcripts.

Award letters and scholarship agreements will be sent to applicants receiving scholarships in the May to June time frame. Scholarship agreements must be completed on the AER website by July 1.

Checks are sent in July and December to the college or university indicated on the scholarship agreement.

For more information about the AER program in the Fort McCoy community, call Fort McCoy Army Community Service at 608-388-3505.