How can you Get VA Educational Benefits?

The GI Bill program provides several educational benefits to dependents and survivors of veterans. The assistance comes under the VA educational program that is also known as Chapter 35.

Educational benefits include various scholarships and free schools that are often overlooked by the dependents and, if used properly, can help cover a bigger portion of educational costs.

Moreover, depending upon the circumstances, dependents may get nearly complete coverage of all the educational expenses. However, there is a limit to receiving assistance regarding educational costs. 

Two programs are included in VA educational benefits i-e Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) and Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship. The eligible dependents can get 36-45 months of educational aid. 

To qualify for this aid, there is a certain criterion that you must fulfill. To know more about the VA program’s eligibility criteria and educational benefits, stay tuned

Tuition assistance for dependents of disabled veterans

To be eligible for VA educational benefits, you must be a child or spouse of the service member, and they must fall under one of the following categories:

Eligibility criteria for service members

  • Died during duty after September 10, 2001
  • Got captured by a hostile force or missed during the duty
  • Was detained using force by some foreign government or power
  • Currently is in the hospital or receiving outpatient treatment for service-connected permanent and total disability
  • Is going to be discharged due to disability

Eligibility criteria for veterans

  • The veteran is service-connected permanently and totals disabled 
  • Died during the duty
  • Died due to service-connected disability

For dependents who may not fall under this criteria can still qualify for VA educational benefits if the veteran or service member conveyed his GI Bill benefits to his dependents while working as a service member.

What educational benefits would you get under VA?

If you are eligible for VA, you can get the following educational benefits:

  • Money for tuition
  • College, technical and vocational courses
  • High school diplomas
  • Distance learning courses
  • Correspondence Courses (for Spouses)
  • Apprenticeship
  • On job training
  • Money for books and other supplies; for license or certifications for getting or advancing in the job; and for housing

Obtaining these benefits

To get VA educational assistance, you need to apply at VA official website.

Two GI Bill programs offer education assistance to veteran survivors and dependents. If you qualify for both programs, you have to choose one of the two. After you have applied, you can’t switch to another program.

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship 

Fry Scholarship is specifically for the children and spouses of:

  • Service members who were on active duty and died on or after September 11, 2001 
  • Selected reserve members who died due to service-connected disability on or after September 11, 2001

In here, full payment for training at public school and up to $25,162.14/year for private or foreign school is made to the school. Students directly get $1,000 a year for books and supplies and monthly housing allowance based on local Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).

The child eligible before January 1, 2013, qualifies for the benefits when he reaches 18 years of age and can use them until 33 years of age. In contrast, a child who becomes eligible after January 1, 2013, can use the benefits without any age limit. Spouses also have no years restriction to use the benefits.

Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

DEA program offers education assistance to dependents of veterans who are

  • Permanently and totally disabled for a service-connected situation
  • Did while on active duty or due to a service-connected situation

In DEA, the student directly gets the payment. Currently, the amount for full-time training is $1,265. The child can use these benefits between the age of 18-26, whereas the spouse can use the benefits for 20 years after the service member’s death on active duty or 10 years from the date the veteran was qualified or from the veteran’s date of death.

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