WASHINGTON — The Army Emergency Relief program announced the award of 2,614 scholarships under the Maj. Gen. James Ursano Scholarship Program. This year, scholarships awarded to the children of active duty and retired Soldiers totaled $6.6 million.

“We received 2,781 compete applications and were able to award 2,614 scholarships,” said Diann Evans, manager for AER’s scholarship programs. “That’s 94 percent and shows that if the students complete the process, they have a very high probability of receiving an award.”

AER began accepting applications in December with a deadline of April 1. Transcripts were due April 2, with the final Free Application for Federal Student Aid documentation due by May 1.

Ursano scholarships are awarded based on three criteria. Those criteria include financial need, grade point average and leadership experience such as participation in sports, scouting programs, or student council. A student could qualify under one, two or all three of the criteria, so the size of the awards varies. This year the average award was $2,550. Notification letters are being mailed this week.

Maj. Gen. James Ursano served on active duty for 33 years. Following his retirement in 1976, he served as the Director of Army Emergency Relief for ten 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. James Ursano Scholarship Fund.

For more information, or to make a donation, please go to www.aerhq.org