There is are different groups and organizations that offer scholarships and educational funds for military Servicemembers and their dependents. But none perhaps is as innovative as the programs and scholarship funding that is offered by the “ThanksUSA” organization. They offer scholarships for Servicemembers, their spouses and their dependents. These scholarships can be used to attend vocational, technical, or college and university educational opportunities in the United States, and in some cases overseas. ThanksUSA is a non profit, non partisan charity that is working to mobilize Americans to show their thanks for the efforts of their Armed Forces Servicemembers. In an effort to show their thanks, Americans can contribute to ThanksUSA and these funds are used for scholarships for any Veteran, dependant, or the spouse of a Servicemember.
All Dependent children of Active Duty Servicemembers, aged 24 years or younger, and all spouses of Servicemembers of the United States Armed Forces are eligible to apply for scholarship funds with ThanksUSA. The definition of Active Duty for their purposes is anyone who has served at least 180 days on active duty since 9/11, and the survivor of anyone that has been wounded or killed while on active duty. They include members and dependents from all five of the United States Armed Forces, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard. Applicants for the scholarships offered by ThanksUSA must enroll in a four-year, or a two-year college or university, or a technical or vocational school. The accumulated GPA must be at least 2.5 on a four point scale, for their high school or if they are already in college then their existing college grades must be 2.5 or above.
Scholarship winners will receive an award of $1000 dollars toward their education, to be used for any expenses, tuition or other expenses that are education related. The award is given directly to the scholarship winner, and the winner of a scholarship is welcome to re apply for consideration for the following year. The amount of scholarships given out in 2008 is unknown, but it is expected that there should be at least 1000, as there were over 1000 scholarships awarded for academic year 2007-2008. Applications for this award are available on their web site, and winners for 2008 will be notified during the month of July 2008.
Scholarships are awarded on the basis of several factors, chiefly is financial need, but other factors include demonstrated participation and leadership in the community and school, as well as academic achievement. Students who are proficient at a foreign language will also be given preference.