By Julia LeDoux, Connecting Vets
$10.8 million. That’s the amount of scholarship money the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation will award to 2,758 children of Marines and Navy corpsmen nationwide for the 2023-2024 academic year, an increase of 150 scholarships over the previous academic year. It also represents the highest dollar amount ever awarded by the MCSF in its 60-year history.
“We are thrilled to be awarding our largest group of scholars in the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation’s history. Raised on the values of honor, courage and commitment, we are confident these children of Marines have incredible potential, and it is our honor to invest in their future,” said retired Marine Lt. Col Ted Probert and current president and CEO of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “But Marines don’t rest until the job is done. We estimate there are close to 20,000 eligible children of Marines nationwide and we are steadfast in pursuit of our goal to reach even more Marine families in the years to come.”
Founded in 1962, MCSF is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships for military children. Since its inception, it has awarded approximately 55,000 renewable scholarships valued at nearly $200 million.
Michael Sanchez is one of the scholarship recipients. The rising junior at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations is a veteran himself.
“It is a challenging yet rewarding institution,” Sanchez said. “It is also extremely expensive to attend. However, even with work study pay and GI Bill benefits, I am still in need of aid to help cover the high price of living. If not for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, I would most definitely need to either take out student loans or seek other avenues of employment in order to pay for my schooling.”
Sanchez is the son of Marine Corps veteran Cpl. Guadalupe Sanchez.
“My father talks about the Marine Corps with reverence and likes to say that it saved his life,” Michael Sanchez said.
Michael Sanchez also serves as vice president of the Cornell Undergraduate Veterans Association and as chairman of the board for the Ivy League Veterans Council.
“I am always busy attending meetings and advocating for veterans’ initiatives at Cornell University and throughout the Ivy League,” he said. “My dreams are coming to fruition, and I am very grateful for the selfless donors which help fund my education and that of my peers.”
MCSF’s scholarship recipients represent every state in the country plus Washington, D.C. with a 90% graduation rate. Forty percent of the recipients are first-generation college students and 45% pursue STEM degrees. They also have an average GPA of 3.43, compared to 3.15 nationally. All qualified applicants that meet MCSF’s eligibility requirements receive a scholarship to further support their education.