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College Scholarships & Grants for a Military Veteran's Dependents

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In addition to the educational benefits available to veterans, their dependents are also entitled to scholarships. There are several types of scholarships and/or other education benefits available to dependents, from both state governments and the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DOD).

GI Bill Transfer

The Post-9/11 GI Bill gives both active-duty servicemen and veterans the ability to transfer some or all of their GI Bill entitlement to their dependents. This law allows the DOD to authorize both service members and veterans who have served at least 6 years on active duty and agree to serving at least 4 more years to transfer any of their remaining GI Bill entitlement to their wife or husband. If the military member ultimately reaches 10 years service without having exhausted his GI Bill funds, he can transfer the funds to any dependents, which includes not just the spouse but also children.

Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) Program

The DEA program provides as much as 45 months of scholarship payments to eligible dependents of some veterans. Dependents eligible for this program may receive money not only for college and graduate school but also for other accredited education and training programs, including apprenticeships and other types of on-the-job training and professional certifications. Wives and husbands of qualifying veterans are also eligible to take correspondence courses.

State Education Assistance

Some states also offer scholarships for eligible dependents of veterans, especially dependents of deceased and disabled veterans. Available benefits and programs vary significantly between different states; the State Educational Benefits website provides links where you can find more details for opportunities in your state.


About the Author

Terry Smith is a retired Navy officer who began his third career as a freelance writer in 2008. Smith graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Smith also boasts a graduate degree in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School.

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