From the G.I. Bill
to the Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program, the military ensures that veterans and their families have the financial resources necessary to pay for college. Additionally, many private organizations provide grants and scholarships for active duty military, veterans and spouses as well as dependents.
Since 9/11, the active duty military landscape has changed quite a bit. With that, there has been a need for new grant programs to help former and current service members as well as their families pay for college.
What are the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants?
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The Iraq and Afghanistan Grants are free money toward a college or career school education. As such, they do not have to be paid back.
They are exclusively available to children whose parent(s) or guardian were an active duty member of the armed forces and died in military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11.
How do I qualify for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants?
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Students can meet eligibility in a variety of ways:
• Parent or guardian was an active military member and died in service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11.
• Not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
• Meet the remaining eligibility requirements for a Federal Pell Grant.
• Under 24 years of age or in college at least part-time at the time of the parent or guardian’s death.
How much are the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants?
The grant amount is equal to the maximum Pell Grant award for that particular year; so the amount changes by academic year. For the 2020 – 2021 academic year, the amount is $6,345. At the same time, the award amount cannot exceed cost of attendance at a student’s particular college.
How will I receive the grant money?
In order to qualify for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, students must fill out and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA
). The form becomes available every year on October 1. It is recommended that students complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 since much of financial aid is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Once students have qualified for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, the school will distribute the funds in several disbursements. These are typically paid twice a year. Grant money will first be applied to tuition, fees and room and board. If there are any leftover funds, the student will be paid directly. Leftover funds are to be used for other education-related expenses only, like textbooks, equipment or transportation to and from school.
What are the requirements for keeping an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?
Students must complete and submit the FAFSA every year in order to maintain eligibility for the Iraq and Afghanistan Grant. According to studentaid.gov
, schools will determine eligibility requirements as it relates to academic performance and attendance.
The grant will no longer be paid out after the student has received a baccalaureate or professional degree, or after 12 semesters.
Another Way to Pay for School? Apply for Scholarships
If the Iraq and Afghanistan Grant is not enough to cover your tuition, fees, room and board, and other education related expenses, consider searching for scholarships. Start by creating a profile on Fastweb
. By telling us a little bit about yourself, we can find scholarships that you actually qualify for and generate a list of matches.
We simplify the scholarship search process by delivering scholarships straight to you; however, you have to do the work to apply. Our expert advice on applying for scholarships? Make searching for scholarships a part-time job. Commit a few hours a week to essays, letters of recommendation and application questions. The more you apply to, the better your chances of winning.
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