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Fund offers scholarships

By Lance Cpl. Zachary Dyer | | November 18, 2005

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The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is looking for a few good students to apply for scholarships for the 2006-2007 academic year.

The MCSF is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance in the form of scholarships for higher education to children of Marines, according to the MCSF Web site, www.mcsf.org.

Anyone interested can download applications from the MCSF Web site on Jan. 1, 2006, according to Master Sgt. David Ellard, the education services officer for the Air Station and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

To qualify for a scholarship, an applicant must be the child of a Marine on active or reserve duty, or the child of a retired or deceased Marine.  The children of Navy corpsmen who are serving or have served with the Marines are also eligible for scholarships from MCSF, according to Ellard.

The scholarships range from $500 to $10,000. For the past 13 years, the MCSF has awarded more than $1 million to eligible students for higher education. For the 2005-2006 academic year the MCSF awarded $1.8 million to deserving young men and women, according to Christopher Randolph, president of MCSF.

The MCSF awarded $10,000 education bonds to every child whose parent was killed in the attack on the Beirut Barracks in 1983. They have also given scholarships to the children of service members killed in the 1991 Gulf War and the war on terrorism, according to Randolph.

This year, the MCSF received more than 1,200 applications and awarded 1,039 scholarships, according Randolph.

“We really don’t like to say no,” Randolph said.

“We want to do more,” Randolph said. “That’s the message we want to send to Marine Corps families.”

There are differences between the MCSF and a regular scholarship that a student can receive from a college or university, according to Ellard.

“Because of the qualifications needed to be eligible, it makes it easier for the son or daughter of a Marine to get a scholarship,” Ellard said. The chances of a student getting a scholarship are greater through MCSF than they would be if the student applied directly to a university for a scholarship, Ellard said.

“Another difference is the range of the scholarships,” Ellard said. “$500 is pretty normal for a scholarship, but $10,000 is pretty big.”

The MCSF awards both honorary and memorial scholarships. Funds for the scholarships come from donations from individuals and companies, such as the $1.25 million that Toyota Motor Sales gave to MCSF to establish the Toyota Scholars program. There are also 14 golf tournaments and four scholarship balls that support the foundation, according to Randolph.

Students can use the scholarships to take advantage of classes aboard the Air Station, which are also at a discounted price, according to Megan Garrity, the assistant campus director for Park University in the Joint Education Center.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for them to get started on higher education, sooner rather than later,” Garrity said

For more information on the eligibility requirements or how to make a donation to MCSF, go to www.mcsf.org or call 1-800-292-7777.

“It’s a valuable opportunity,” Ellard said. “You can’t get a scholarship if you don’t apply for one.”
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