Disabled Veterans College Benefits for Dependents

Aug 28, 2018

College benefits are available to dependents of disabled veterans to help dependents meet their educational goals. Find out more about financial assistance for dependents as well as award amounts and requirements.

In support of our disabled veterans, many organizations and foundations sponsor college benefits and scholarships to help the children of veterans reach their educational goals. These benefits help defray the high costs of obtaining a higher education degree or certification.

List of College Benefits for Dependents of Disabled Veterans

Benefit Military Branch Award Amount Qualifications
Dependents Education Assistance Program All Varies Dependent must be between ages 18 and 26
Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship All Full-time: up to $5,000, Part-time: up to $2,500 Dependent must be age 24 or younger as of March 31st of the current year
Freedom Alliance Scholarship All Varies Dependent must be between senior year of high school and age 26
ThanksUSA Scholarship All $3,000 Dependent must be age 24 or under
Dolphin Scholarship Foundation U.S. Navy Submarine Force Up to $13,600 Unmarried dependent under age 24

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Description of College Benefits for Dependents of Disabled Veterans

The benefits listed below mainly include scholarships, but one opportunity provides funding for several years of education. Most of the benefits apply to veterans from all military branches, while one is specific to Navy vets. Let's look more at these opportunities.

Dependents Education Assistance Program

Dependents of permanently disabled veterans may be eligible for education benefits offered by the Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) Program. The education benefits pay for training, apprenticeships, and programs that offer a certification or degree.

Dependents participating in the DEA program prior to August 1, 2018, may receive benefits for 45 months otherwise their benefits will last for 36 months. Although there are exceptions to this rule, the dependent must be between 18 years old and 26. If the dependent is on active duty, they must wait until after their military service is over to make use of this benefit. Their active duty time is added to the benefit time considered by the DEA program.

Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship

The Folds of Honor Higher Education Scholarship is available to dependents of a veteran who has lost a limb or has a 10% or more service-connected disability (as determined by the Veterans Administration). The scholarship will award up to $5,000 for a full-time student and up to $2,500 for a part-time student per school year. Exact award amounts are based on financial need.

To qualify, the dependent must be unmarried and age 24 or younger. The dependent must be working towards or planning to work towards their first bachelor's degree or a certification at an accredited college or trade school. This scholarship helps to pay for tuition, books, on-campus room and board, and other educational expenses the school finds appropriate. The student may reapply each year they have a financial need and meet eligibility requirements.

Freedom Alliance Scholarship

The Freedom Alliance Scholarship is awarded to remind recipients that their parents' sacrifices are appreciated and to provide needed financial assistance to defray education costs. It is awarded to children whose parent is 100% permanently disabled. This parent must have been a Soldier, Airman, Guardsman, Marine, or Sailor who was injured due to a combat mission, a training accident mishap, or enemy action. Veterans must be honorably discharged and should have received the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Coast Guard Cross, the Air Force Cross, or the Medal of Honor.

The applicant must be under 26-years-old at the time of application and is either a full-time undergraduate student, a high school senior, or a high school graduate.

ThanksUSA Scholarship

The ThanksUSA scholarship awards $3,000 scholarships to dependents of military service members. The scholarship gives dependents of disabled service members injured during active service preferential treatment.

The child must be 24-years-old or under when applying for the scholarship. His or her most recent GPA must be at least 2.00, and student status must be either a high school senior, a high school graduate intending to enroll in an accredited educational institute, or already enrolled full-time in an undergraduate program or a vocational/technical school. Although recipients are chosen based on financial need, merit is also given consideration. Merit is based on grades, school activities, community participation, demonstration of leadership abilities, and the statement of their goals which is submitted with their application.

Dolphin Scholarship Foundation

The Dolphin Scholarship Fund awards both children and stepchildren of a disabled veteran of the Navy's Submarine Force. The veteran must have served a specified number of years or been medically discharged due to illness and injury occurring during the active line of duty.

To qualify, the dependent must be unmarried and under the age of 24 when applying for the scholarship. The dependent can be either a high school senior, planning to enroll in higher education, or currently enrolled as a full-time student working towards an associate's degree, bachelor's degree, or a vocational certificate at an accredited educational institute. Military Service Academy students are ineligible for this scholarship.


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