Veterans and their dependents face a unique series of challenges when funding their education. Luckily, a number of organizations offer financial aid and assistance to those affected by active military duty. The following resources provide educational benefits for veterans and their families:
Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA) – This program provides up to 45 months of training opportunities and education to eligible dependents: a son, daughter or spouse of a veteran who is deceased, permanently disabled from a service related injury, MIA, captured during service by a hostile force, forcibly detained or interned during active duty by a foreign government or power. Eligible sons and daughters must be between the ages of 18 and 26. Benefits toward a spouse end 10 years from the date of proclaimed eligibility or from the veteran’s date of death.
Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents – Each year the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) publishes an updated version of “Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents.” The publication contains the latest information about education and training benefits for those eligible. The booklet is available for free at VA regional offices or hospitals, PDF download or HTML format online.
Military.com – This website contains extensive coverage of benefits and assistance available to veterans and their dependents in the “Money for School” section. The site lists current information on eligibility for state, federal and private education programs, along with scholarships and college funds.
A list of links also provides detailed descriptions of the following: – Veteran GI Bill Users Guide
– GI Bill Eligibility Details
– Additional Features and Details
– VA Form
– Payment Rates
– Tutorial Assistance
– Work Study Program
– Apprentice and On-the-Job Training Program
– GI Bill Licensing and Certification Benefits
– Veterans Education Assistance Program – VEAP
– Reserve Education Assistance Program – REAP
– Vocational Rehabilitation
– GI Bill FAQs
A number of other organizations offer financial assistance to military families, veterans and their dependents:
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) – Various education assistance programs such as grants, interest-free loans and the American Patriot Scholarship.
Army Emergency Relief – Spouse Education Program and Dependent Children Education Program.
Air Force Raid Society – General George S. Brown Spouse Tuition Assistance Program (STAP), and General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program.
Navy Marine Corps Relief Society – VADM E.P. Travers Scholarship and Loan Program, USS Tennessee Scholarship Program, Admiral Mike Boorda Scholarship Program, Bridge Loans for Tuition Assistance Program and GI Bill and Spouse Tuition Aid Program (STAP).
Coast Guard Mutual Aid – CGMA Supplemental Education Grant (SEG) Program, Stafford/PLUS Loan Organization Fee Refund Program, CGMA Supplemental Student Loans, USCG Foundation Education Grant Program.
Thanks USA Scholarship Program – This non-profit organization scholarship opportunities to legal spouses and dependent children (24 and under) of active duty US military personnel. Awards from $1000 to $5000 are given towards two and four year accredited courses of undergraduate study, providing the student maintains a GPA of 2.5 on a scale of 4.0, completes the program and complies with all of the school’s regulations.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is also an option. Pay extra attention to the directions during the application process, because veterans and their dependents have special circumstances when filling out a FAFSA application. They may differ from other students when listing:
- Resources and income
- Taxable income and combat pay
- Definition of veteran for Student Aid purposes
- Proof of active service
These resources will help to accommodate military families in the most beneficial way possible.