Q. How can I donate? A. You may send your check (Made payable to The American Legion Foundation. In the memo line put Fund 84) to:
The American Legion Foundation
Third Floor, Veterans Service Building
20 W 12th Street, Room 300A
St. Paul, MN 55155-2000
Q. What is the Legion doing with the money collected? A. Each donation goes into the Legacy Scholarship trust fund, which earns interest to be used for scholarships.
Q. What happens to the trust fund’s principal? A. The trust fund remains untouched and grows with each donation.
Q. Where has the money gone so far? A. Scholarships grow in number and dollar amount each year. The first renewable scholarship was worth $2,000 and awarded in 2004.
Q. Who is eligible for the scholarship? A. Since its inception following the 9/11 attacks, The American Legion Legacy Scholarship has been available for children whose parents lost their lives while honorably serving on active duty on or after 9/11. During the 2016 American Legion Spring Meetings, the National Executive Committee ensured that more children of veterans would have access to higher education with the passage of Resolution 1, which expanded the Legacy Scholarship’s eligibility and aid. The resolution allows children of post-9/11 veterans with a VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher to apply for the renewable scholarship, which awards up to $20,000 in aid.
Q. Who decides who gets scholarships and how much is awarded? A. The national treasurer, with the National Finance Commission’s approval, determines the interest amount available for scholarship funding. By resolution, the National Americanism Commission is empowered to establish further rules, regulations, and guidelines for the selection and awarding of scholarships with emphasis on financial need, leadership, scholarship, and citizenship. The National Americanism Commission has delegated these duties to the National Committee on Education, which implements the scholarship program.
Q. If an active-duty service member is home and is killed outside of war, is his or her child still eligible for the scholarship? A. The same rules always apply. The deceased parent must have been on active duty with the U.S. military or National Guard, or as a federalized reservist. The place of death is irrelevant, provided that the death happened on or after Sept. 11, 2001.
Q. Will we get a report on how scholarships are being used? A. During May meetings, the National Committee on Education reports to the National Americanism Commission about the scholarship recipients and status of the program. The report is included in the National Americanism Commission’s report to the National Executive Committee. A separate copy of the report is sent to each department headquarters and is available from the Americanism, Children and Youth Division of The American Legion.
Q. Say a soldier dies when his daughter is 2 years old. She won’t go to college for 15 years. Is that money being put away for her? A. The money is in the trust, but she has to apply for her scholarship when she is a senior in high school. The number of eligible applicants and money available will determine the scholarship amount.
Q. How much do we need to raise? A. Obviously, the more money the fund has, the more interest it will accrue for scholarships. If there was enough money in the principal, full college scholarships could be awarded each year. Unfortunately, that day is far off. It is thought that eventually a minimum of $20 million will be needed to meet the expected need for scholarships.
Q. Will someone be contacting these children, or will they have to find the scholarship on their own? A. Ideally, the names and addresses of children who lost a parent would be readily available. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible. The scholarship information is contained in the Legion’s “Need a Lift?” publication, which lists scholarships, grants, and loans available for veterans and their children. The information is on the Legion’s Web site, and booklets are distributed annually to public and private high schools across the nation. A representative from a local Legion post should be able to provide the family with the scholarship information and other benefit information at the time of the servicemember’s death.
Q. How many times can a student apply? A. Students can reapply for the scholarship up to six years maximum. A waive can be obtained if the student is the National Guard or reserves and is activated. A waiver may also be obtained if the student embarks on a church mission. The student must be full-time and continue making adequate progress toward a degree.
Q. I/My Post/Unit/Squad/Chapter/Business wants to take part in/help donate to the MN ALR Legacy Scholarship Run. A. Information will be posted here and on our Facebook page as it becomes available. Please feel free to contact us in the meantime with your ideas/suggestions/requests. A suggested donation letter can be found below.