Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadline to apply for a scholarship?

Applications for the MG James Ursano Scholarship for Children are accepted between 1 January and 1 April each year.

There is not a deadline to apply for the Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship Program. Applications are accepted year-round and processed based on the application cycle calendar located on the spouse scholarship page.

Are scholarships subject to taxes?

Your scholarship may or may not be taxable. Generally speaking, a scholarship or fellowship is tax-free if you are a degree candidate and the award is used to pay for tuition and required fees, books, supplies, and equipment. However, there are some scholarship and fellowship opportunities that are not tax-exempt. Any amounts used to pay for room and board and a stipend for living expenses is taxable. There are also a variety of coordination restrictions that are intended to ensure that you don’t double-dip when taking advantage of the Education Tax Benefits. Tax forms will be provided to you by your college if they are required.

Relevant IRS Publications include:

How are the award amounts determined?

The award amounts are determined after consideration of the following three variables:

  1. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the student’s Student Aid Report (SAR) from the FAFSA
  2. The total number of completed scholarship applications received
  3. AER’s approved total budget

How will I be notified if I’m awarded a scholarship

We communicate with all applicants via email. We send email notices by May each year notifying all applicants whether or not they were awarded a scholarship.

Can I apply before I graduate from High School?

Children interested in the MG James Ursano Scholarship for Dependent Children should apply for the upcoming college academic year during their senior year of high school.

If my sponsor is in the Active Guard or Reserves, do I need to provide his/her orders?

The sponsor’s Title 10 Orders are required for Soldiers who are Active National Guard or Active Reserve members. The service member must be on Title 10 Orders for the full academic year for which you are applying for a scholarship.

What is required for transcripts

Current high school seniors must upload transcripts showing coursework through the most recent fall term.

Returning college students must upload transcripts showing all college coursework through the most recent fall term.

Spouses who are enrolling in college for the first time and no longer have access to their high school transcripts may upload a letter of explanation in place of the required transcripts for consideration.

We accept unofficial transcripts. The transcript must include the school’s name, student’s name, all coursework as noted above, and must not be editable.

What is the Student Aid Report (SAR)?

The Student Aid Report (SAR) is the report provided to the student when they complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The SAR is required as part of the complete AER scholarship application.

We must receive the complete SAR. We do not accept:

  • The FAFSA Application Summary Report
  • The FAFSA Confirmation Page or Email
  • Incomplete SAR

Can I email my supporting documents?

You must upload all documents for your application through our application portal. Supporting documents are not accepted by mail or email.

What supporting documents are required?

For most applicants, the required documents will include transcripts, a Student Aid Report (SAR), and the sponsoring Soldier’s LES or DD214.

How many times can I receive a scholarship?

Dependent Children may receive scholarship funds for 4 academic years of fulltime study. Scholarships are awarded one year at a time therefore applications must be submitted each year.

Spouses may receive scholarship funds for 4 academic years of fulltime study or 8 academic years of parttime study. Scholarships are awarded one year at a time therefore applications must be submitted each year.

Is there an age limit to apply for a scholarship?

Applicants for the MG James Ursano Scholarship Program for Dependent Children must be under the age of 24. Eligibility ends when the dependent child turns 24. (Example: a student turning 24 in December would be eligible for the fall term only.)

There is no age limit for the Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship Program.

What is the GPA requirement to be eligible for a scholarship?

Your cumulative GPA must be at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

What can the scholarship be used for?

Recipients of the MG James Ursano Scholarship for Dependent Children may use the funds for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and room and board.

Recipients of the Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship Program may use the funds for tuition, fees, books, and supplies.

Any funds sent to the school but not needed for the expenses listed must be returned to AER. Funds are not provided directly to the student except in the case of the Children’s program when they must use scholarship funds for room and board expenses (on or off-campus).

Are Soldiers eligible for AER Scholarships?

The U.S. Army provides education opportunities for Soldiers, therefore, Soldiers are not eligible for AER scholarships.

Are Spouses and children of Veterans eligible?

Veterans must have earned retirement status due to longevity or medical reasons for their spouse and children to be eligible for scholarships.

Will my application be considered if I am a dependent of a Service Member in another military branch?

Army Emergency Relief’s scholarship programs are only available to Spouses and Children of Army Soldiers. Other military aid societies also offer scholarship programs:

Can children or Spouses receive a scholarship if they’re a member of the U.S. military?

Students cannot be a member of any military branch, including a reserve component. Students attending military service academies are not eligible because their financial need is already met.

Can I still receive the Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship if I get divorced?

Recipients of the Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship must the spouse of a Soldier. Spouses who are divorced from a Soldier are no longer eligible.