In addition to providing financial aid directly to veterans, the U.S. government also extends benefits to the families of veterans under some circumstances as well.
The Veterans Administration provides full financial aid for 45 months of schooling in higher education and vocational training for sons and daughters ages 18 to 26 of veterans. Under the purview of the Survivors' and Dependents Educational Assistance Program (DEA), the children of a veteran who has been killed in the line of duty or permanently disabled in service or who has died while debilitated by a service-related disability can look forward to a token of repayment for their parent's sacrifice in the form of tuition assistance from the government [source: VA].
The DEA also allows children of soldiers who are missing in action or who have been captured by a hostile force or government in the line of duty to be eligible as well. As long as death, capture, a disability or permanent injury befell the soldier parent during active duty, the DEA should apply to his or her children.
What's more, the spouses of soldiers who fall into these categories are also eligible for assistance with correspondence courses. For spouses, the period of eligibility extends 10 years following the death of the solider, or 20 years from the day the soldier was rated as permanently disabled [source: VA]. Sons and daughters can file for an extension for the DEA benefit that covers them until their 31st birthdays.
As you can see there is a lot of information to consider and decisions to make when evaluating what type of financial aid best serves veterans. Before making any final commitments, contact your Veterans Affairs office.
Until then, read the next page for more helpful information and links on financial aid.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- FinAid. "Financial aid for veterans and their dependents." Accessed February 2, 2010. http://www.finaid.org/military/veterans.phtml
- Military.com. "GI Bill FAQ." Accessed February 4, 2010. http://www.military.com/money-for-school/gi-bill/gi-bill-faq
- Military.com. "New GI Bill overview." Accessed February 2, 2010. http://www.military.com/money-for-school/gi-bill/new-gi-bill-overview#tf
- Military.com. "Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP)." Accessed February 4, 2010. http://www.military.com/money-for-school/reserve/gi-bill/reserve-education-assistance-program-reap
- Military.com. "The Yellow Ribbon Program Explained." Accessed February 3, 2010. http://www.military.com/money-for-school/gi-bill/yellow-ribbon-program-explained
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- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "Education benefit payment rates." September 30, 2009. http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/rates.htm
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA)." November 6, 2009. http://www.gibill.va.gov/pamphlets/CH35/CH35_Pamphlet_General.htm
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. "The Montgomery GI Bill - active duty." March 2007. http://www.gibill.va.gov/pamphlets/CH30/CH30_Pamphlet.pdf