There are several student aid programs for veterans and their dependents. A discussion of the student aid treatment of veterans education benefits and the definition of a veteran for student aid purposes can be found in the Veterans and the FAFSA section of Finaid.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Education Benefits
The Department of Veterans Affairs provides information on educational benefits for veterans and their dependents.
Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
Of particular interest is the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA). It 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. To apply, complete VA Form 22-5490, Application for Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance.
Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents
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.
Veterans Education Benefits
Most veterans education benefits are treated as resources, not income, for Federal student aid purposes. The Higher Education Act (HEA) defines veterans education benefits to include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following veterans benefits.
Veterans On-Line Application (VONAPP)
VONAPP allows veterans to apply online for various veterans benefits, including veterans education benefits.
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA)
MOAA offers several educational assistance programs, including interest-free loans, grants and the American Patriot Scholarship. For more information, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other organizations that offer educational assistance to military personnel, veterans and their dependents include:
- Army Emergency Relief. Offers Dependent Children Education Program and Spouse Education Program.
- Air Force Aid Society. Offers General Henry H. Arnold Education Grant Program.
- Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. Offers scholarships to the children of U.S. Marines who demonstrate financial need. Children of U.S. Navy Corpsmen, Chaplains, or Religious Program Specialists attached to a Marine unit may also qualify.
- Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. Offer Financial Assistance and Education and support to obtain assistance for urgent financial needs.
- Coast Guard Mutual Aid. Offers programs to financially help meet their academic goals, information found at: CGMA Programs
ThanksUSA Scholarship Program
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.
Pell Grants can be added with other federal and nonfederal fund sources. They are generally awarded to undergraduate students who haven’t earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree.
See Military.com for a guide to state educational benefits for veterans and their dependents.