Programs for Dependents of Veterans

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 grants an automatic zero EFC for the Pell Grant Program ONLY to Pell Grant eligible students whose parent or guardian was a member of the Armed Forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001.

A student must have been twenty-four years of age or less or enrolled at least part-time at an institution at the time of the parent's death. Legislators do not believe that this should be an additional question on the FAFSA, rather the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs should provide the Secretary of Education with the information necessary to determine which students meet the requirement. Because the question is not on the FAFSA, students will need to notify the FInancial Aid Office concerning their eligibility for this additional benefit .
 
The Higher Education Opportunity Act's Technical Corrections Bill was signed it into law on July 1, 2009. This bill
  • Sets the "Expected Family Contribution"("EFC") at zero for children of soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11/01, if the student was under 24 years old at the time or enrolled in an institution of higher education at the time, and is Pell-eligible - effective 7/1/09 NOTE: This is a change to the original policy noted at the top of this page
  • Creates the "Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants" - effective July 1, 2010 - for students whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11/01, if the student was under 24 years old at the time or enrolled in an institution of higher education at the time of the parent's death. This program is for students who do not qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. The awards will be:
  • Equal to the maximum Pell Grant available for the award year. Awards will be proportionally reduced for students enrolled on a part-time basis.
  • These awards will not be counted as "estimated financial assistance" in determining a student's eligibility for other Title IV federal financial aid funds. However, this award and all other aid received cannot exceed the "cost of attendance" at the student's school.

References
 
New Scholarship for Children of Fallen Service Members
The final 2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill (H.R. 2346), which funds U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, includes a provision to expand GI Bill benefits to children of fallen U.S. soldiers. The provision, authored by Congressman Chet Edwards (D-TX), expands the Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit to cover the full cost of a college education for all children of fallen soldiers. The new benefit will be known as the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship in honor of a fallen soldier with three young children from Edwards' district. President Obama signed the bill into law on June 24, 2009.
 
Post 9/11 G.I. Bill
Parents can transfer their educational benefits under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill to their dependent children.
 
Scholarship Programs for Military Dependents:
 
Department of Defense Resources
MilitaryHOMEFRONT is the Department of Defense website for official Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) program information, policy and guidance designed to help troops and their families, leaders, and service providers.