Alabama GI Dependent Scholarship extends to new schools, US Space Force

ALABAMA (WHNT) — A bill signed by Governor Kay Ivey expands the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs dependent scholarship.

SB 119, which Governor Kay Ivey signed into law, adds certain private colleges and universities as eligible schools under the program and now allows dependents of U.S. Space Force veterans to qualify for the ‘advantage. The new provisions come into force on June 1, 2022.

The GI Dependents Scholarship Program is open to children, stepchildren, spouses, or an unremarried widow/widower of the veteran. To prove the eligibility of their dependents, Veterans must:

  • Provide proof of an honorable discharge or honorable termination of service after 90 consecutive days of active duty, or service less than 90 days if the veteran or service member was discharged or discharged on the basis of an eligible service-related disability
  • Veterans must be classified as 40% or greater disabled due to a service-related disability or have held the classification at the time of death, be a former POW, be missing in action, be deceased as a result of a service-related disability rating, or died during active military service in the line of duty (special eligibility requirements apply if a veteran was declared less than 20% disabled prior to 23 May 2017, or 20-30% no later than July 31, 2017 – visit the ADVA website for details)
  • Have a permanent address in Alabama for at least one year prior to initial entry into active federal military service or any subsequent entry into active federal military service where a 12-month break between tours occurred AND
    • Current resident for at least two years immediately prior to the date of the dependent scholarship application or the date of the veteran’s death
    • Current resident who has been discharged from employment within 12 months prior to the date of application for dependent scholarship
    • Filed a tax return for Alabama residents for the past 10 consecutive years immediately prior to the date of the scholarship application
  • In the case of a Veteran who is 100% permanent and totally disabled, such Veteran may also satisfy residency by being a resident of Alabama for at least five years immediately prior to the date of the scholarship application or the date of the veteran’s death.

The dependent applying for the scholarship must:

  • Be a current resident of Alabama at the time of application
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year they are covered by the GI Dependents Scholarship Program
  • Meet standards of satisfactory academic progress as set by their educational institution
  • Complete a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release form for each institution they attend, authorizing the disclosure of personally identifiable information necessary to determine continued eligibility as well as for necessary reporting

The GI Dependent Scholarship benefit will only be applied after all other scholarships and grants are applied to required education expenses. GI dependent assistance is limited to $1,000 per student per semester and the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Cap ($250 per semester).

Five academic years (10 semesters) of undergraduate coursework assistance at any eligible Alabama college/university is available for the following individuals:

  • Children and stepchildren of any qualifying veteran
  • Spouses or Unremarried Widows/Widowers of a Veteran Assessed at 100% Permanently and Totally Disabled

These 10 semesters must be used within eight years of receipt of the application at the ADVA office.

Spouses or unremarried widows/widowers of an assessed veteran 40-90% with disabilities can receive three standard academic years (six semesters) of undergraduate coursework assistance. In this case, the six semesters must be used within six years of receipt of the application at the ADVA office.

Children/stepchildren are also eligible to participate in comprehensive bridging and post-secondary programs for students with developmental disabilities at four-year state colleges/universities, where available.

Children/stepchildren must start their studies before their 26th birthday; the veteran and the step-parent must be legally married before the step-son’s 19th birthday.

For more information and assistance in completing the application, visit your local ADVA office.


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