Army Emergency Relief announces 4,614 scholarship awards

By AER Communications
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Army News Service, July 3, 2013) -- Army Emergency Relief recently announced the award of 3,469 scholarships for children of active-duty and retired Soldiers, as well as 1,145 scholarships under the Spouse Education Assistance Program.

"We received a total of 8,854 applications for the 2013-2014 academic year, which was an increase of approximately 1,500 over last year," said Tammy LaCroix, manager for Army Emergency Relief, or AER's, scholarship programs. "There were 4,614 scholarships awarded. More than 90 percent of the applicants who completed the entire application process received a scholarship award."

The Maj. Gen. James Ursano scholarships for military children are awarded based on three criteria, including financial need, academic performance, and demonstration of leadership. A student could qualify under one, two or all three of the criteria. AER received 6,132 applications under this program.

Ursano, for whom the award is named, served on active duty for 33 years. Following his retirement in 1976, he served as the director of Army Emergency Relief for 10 years. Throughout his tenure as director, he was a passionate supporter of education. In 1997, the AER Board of Managers renamed the AER Scholarship for Dependent Children to the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Fund.

The AER also received 2,722 applications for the Spouse Education Assistance Program. Spouse scholarships are awarded based on financial need.

Scholarship award amounts vary each year based on the allotted budget and the total number of applications completed.

The AER began accepting applications in January, with a deadline of May 1. For the first time, all applications and documentation were submitted online. Award notification emails were sent to all applicants before the end of June.

Army Emergency Relief is a private, non-profit organization, dedicated to providing financial assistance to Soldiers, active and retired, and their families. Since its incorporation in 1942, AER has provided more than $1.5 billion to more than 3.5 million Soldiers, families and retirees.