Financial Aid for Veterans and their Dependents
If you or your parent is a veteran, there are programs that can help put you through school.
By The Fastweb Team
March 02, 2018
Military education benefits aren’t just for those currently serving in a branch of the military; they also extend to veterans as well as their dependents. Families should be aware of these military education benefits as they begin the college search and financial aid processes.
The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) provides up to 45 months of education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans.
To be eligible, you must be the son, daughter, or spouse of a veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability, or who died while such a disability was in effect, or is MIA or captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or is forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power. Sons and daughters must be between the ages of 18 and 26. Spousal benefits end 10 years from the date the VA finds the spouse as eligible or from the date of death of the veteran.
Updated annually by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the publication Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents contains information about education and training benefits available to veterans and eligible dependents.
MOAA offers several educational assistance programs, including interest-free loans, grants and the American Patriot Scholarship.
Other organizations that offer educational assistance to military personnel, veterans and their dependents include:
- Army Emergency Relief – offers dependent children and spouse education programs.
- Air Force Aid Society – offers dependent children and spouse education programs for active-duty, retired and those killed in action Air Force members.
- Navy Marine Corps Relief Society – offers dependent children access to higher education scholarships and loans.
- Coast Guard Mutual Aid – offers grants and loans for qualifying family members.
ThanksUSA is a non-profit tax exempt charitable organization focused on thanking American troops. ThanksUSA sponsors a large scholarship program for children and spouses of active duty US military personnel. As many as 1,000 scholarships of $1,000 to $5,000 each are available for undergraduate study at accredited two and four year institutions of higher education. A minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale is required.
Active duty US military personnel is defined as having served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard for at least 180 days since September 11, 2001, including all members of the Armed Forces who were killed or wounded in action. (Members of the reserves who have been activated to full-time duty and federalized members of the National Guard are eligible.) Dependent children (including adopted and stepchildren) must be age 24 and under as of the deadline.
Finally, Military.com features a guide to state educational benefits for veterans and their dependents.
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