Dozens of grants and scholarships are available to dependents of veterans and those who were disabled or died in the line of military duty. Many of these grants are also available to spouses of veterans. Military support organizations offer educational assistance, as do federal and state governments.
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to be eligible for the Pell grant. In the 2011 to 2012 school year, the maximum amount of a Pell Grant was $5,550. Dependents of service members who died in the Afghanistan or Iraq conflicts after Sept. 11, 2001 are automatically eligible for the full amount if they are under 24 years of age, or enrolled at least part-time when their parents or guardians passed away.
VFW Veterans Tribute Scholarship
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Veterans Tribute Scholarship is available to students between 16 and 18 who are children of U.S. military veterans, active duty, Reserves or National Guard members. The scholarship is worth $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $3,000 for third place. Part of the selection criteria includes the amount of parent involvement in the VFW.
Dependents Educational Assistance
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Dependents Educational Assistance program provides educational benefits for dependents of military personnel who meet certain requirements, such as being permanently disabled because of service-related work, or who were captured and interned by a hostile military force. The benefits are available for up to 45 months and dependents can use them for degree, apprenticeship, certificate or job training programs.
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society provides the Dependents of Deceased Service Members Scholarship program. The program is open to dependents of retired service members, dependents of service members who died on active duty, dependents of crewmembers of the USS Stark who died or who were disabled, dependents of USS Cole crewmembers, and dependents of military personnel who died because of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Montana offers a tuition waiver program for war orphans, which is available to children 25 years old or younger of service members in World War II, or the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts. The veteran must have been a resident of Montana when he died. The Surviving Dependents of Montana National Guard Member Waiver is available to Montana National Guard member dependents that died in the line of duty. This waiver is not available if dependents are eligible for other similar programs.
- Student Aid on the Web: Federal Pell Grant
- Lake Superior State University: Veteran, Dependent, and Survivor Scholarship
- U.S. Dept. of Vet. Affairs: Survivors & Dependents Assistance (DEA)
- The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society: Dependents of Deceased Service Members Scholarship Program
- State of Montana: Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education – Tuition Waivers