Question: How do I make a donation to The American Legacy Scholarship Trust Fund?
You can make a donation by visiting www.legion.org/donate, scrolling down to The American Legacy Scholarship Trust Fund and clicking the link to donate. You will be redirected to a secure, online donation page. On this page, you may either donate online or download a printable form to be mailed in.
You may send checks, money orders and/or a complete donation form with your credit card information to: American Legion Charities, Attn: American Legion Legacy Donation, PO Box 361626, Indianapolis, IN 46236
Question: Where can I gather more information about the history of The American Legion Legacy Scholarship and trust?
You can gather quite a bit of current information from the main scholarship web page. You may also go to www.GuideStar.org and sign up for a free account, then search for the fund using its EIN: 42-1553035. If you cannot find the information you are looking for at either location, you may contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for additional inquiries.
Question: Why are there so few scholarship awards since inception?
Several factors go into answering this question. First, the amount of awards given out has historically been dependent on the amount of applications received. As the federal government and many state governments offer comprehensive financial aid packages to children of fallen post-9/11 servicemembers, many potential applicants in this category do not need to apply for additional financial aid, and/or they cannot apply for additional financial aid without sacrificing the larger federal and state options. Due to this, our largest number of applications ever received is approximately 35 in one year. Secondly, the fiscal structure of the scholarship and trust prior to expansion for the 2017 application year meant that the awards given were relatively small in comparison to the cost of post-secondary education.
Question: Why is there no longer a hard copy of the application?
A 100 percent online application system is a more efficient way to handle submissions, ensure their security, and make verifications and submissions more accurate. The process is more environmentally friendly.
Question: Did a parent have to die in combat or on foreign soil for me to be eligible?
Absolutely not! Where children of the fallen are concerned, their parents must only have been serving on active duty during the post-9/11 era. However, an official military death certificate (Form DD1300) MUST be provided.
Question: Will you accept a disability rating from the Social Security Administration?
No. We will only accept an official disability rating from the Department of Veteran Affairs. The paperwork showing the VA disability rating must be included in order to be considered for the award.
Question: Why do I now need the information requested in order to apply?
In years past, The American Legion Legacy Scholarship has been based on merit and required only proof of veteran eligibility and less rigorous information. The enhanced scholarship is completely needs-based. As such, we must still collect information on veteran eligibility (for example, DD1300 / VA disability paperwork) and detailed financial information to determine actual need.
Question: Must an application be completed in one sitting?
No. In keeping with many college and career web-based systems, applicants will create user accounts and passwords on legion.org, which will allow them to return to the application at any time, as they collect information and write well-informed essays.
Question: Why is the application date April 20?
The American Legion is aware that most schools provide information regarding financial aid packages to incoming or continuing students in early spring. As this information is required as part of the scholarship application process, we are trying to ensure that you have adequate time to receive this information from your institution of higher education. However, as awards are finalized during the first week of May, we must require applications to be submitted in time to be reviewed by the national judges and national staff.
Question: Will my information be secure?
Absolutely! Your information will be protected by our application system. The American Legion will not disclose your protected information to any other parties.
Question: But, the scholarship application asks me to consent to giving The American Legion permission to use some of my information in announcing and promoting the scholarship program. How does this keep my information secure?
We will never disclose detailed information regarding you or your qualified veteran without additional consent beyond the application. This information includes any specific contact information, any specific information regarding your qualifications for the scholarship beyond which tier you fall under, any HIPPA-protected information, your financial information and any potentially identifying information from your essays. However, The American Legion requires usage of your name, the tier under which you were awarded your scholarship, your likeness, your home state and separated, non-identifiable information from your essays for acceptance of awards under this program.
Question: When will applicants find out the status of their submissions?
Applications will be reviewed by national staff upon their completion to ensure the information provided is adequate to pass along to the Committee on Youth Education. The Committee on Youth Education, with the approval of the Americanism Commission, will make their decisions regarding each application at the Spring Meetings of the National Executive Committee during early May. The applicants will then be approved by the National Executive Committee. Applicants will be notified of their applications’ status immediately following these meetings during the second week of May.
Question: I received an American Legion Legacy Scholarship award prior to 2017. Will the application process be different for me?
In some ways, the application process will be different from what you may be used to in years past. Even with a previous award, you will now be required to submit financial information per the guidelines set forth in the enhanced scholarship system. A previous award does not guarantee a new award. However, awards received prior to the 2017 award year are not affected.
Question: Am I guaranteed some form of award just because I applied?
No. While the amount of money available for The American Legacy Scholarship has increased considerably due to the scholarship’s enhancement, the awards are decided individually on a needs-gap basis. Additionally, the scholarships are awarded on a tiered system. All applications from children of fallen post-9/11 servicemembers will be considered before the applications submitted by children of post-9/11 veterans rated by VA at 50 percent or higher disability. If enough money is available and there is sufficient need on the part of applicants, award offers will be extended to as many applicants as possible.
Question: If I apply for the scholarship and do not receive an award, does this count against my future eligibility in any way? Can I reapply again?
If you do NOT receive an award in a given year, this does NOT count against your six years that you may receive the scholarship. You are encouraged to reapply each year. This is especially true, if you are receiving funds through a veterans benefit program which covers the majority of your expenses for undergraduate education. You may apply for an award for graduate-level education.
Question: Can I apply for an award if I am in graduate school? Can I use my award for graduate school expenses?
Yes! The American Legion realizes that very qualified applicants may need our assistance more, when they pursue graduate-level educations. Additionally, some fields require graduate-level education in order to advance within the field. In funding graduate-level studies, The American Legion is staying true to our 21st Century Policy on Education.
Question: How are applications judged? What is the process?
Initially, national staff members of The American Legion screen the applications to ensure all required information has been submitted using the online system. After this, the national staff use the criteria set forth by the Americanism Commission to determine the actual financial need of each applicant. This information, along with the applications, is passed to the members of the Committee on Youth Education for review and determination of suggested awards. The Americanism Commission will then approve or deny the recommendations for final judgement by the National Executive Committee. After the final decision is made by the National Executive Committee all applicants are notified of their application status and any applicable awards.
Question: Are there restrictions on how I spend my award?
Yes. First, you must ensure that you are attending an institution at which The American Legion Legacy Scholarship awards are allowed to be used. The only restriction on post-secondary institutions is that they not be for-profit and/or only nationally accredited. (This means a nonprofit school with ONLY national accreditation is also not able to receive funds from The American Legion Legacy Scholarship.)
Additionally, only “qualified educational expenses” will be considered valid, needs-based expenses. These expenses include, but are not necessarily limited to, tuition, fees, books, program costs, meal plans, housing and/or transportation. As part of the application process, you will submit a breakdown of these expenses.