About the Program
This nationally renowned program was created by Act 633 and approved October 1947 by the Alabama Legislature. It is administered by the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) and is governed by the Code of Alabama 1975, Section 31-6-1. The veteran must meet the qualifications listed below to establish eligibility of his/her dependents. A dependent is defined as a child, stepchild, spouse or the un-remarried widow (er) of the veteran.
Military Service: An honorable discharge or other proof of honorable termination of service from the armed forces for a period of at least 90 consecutive days of active duty service or service less than 90 consecutive days of active duty service if the veteran or serviceman was discharged or released by reason of qualifying service-connected disability.
Disability Requirements: Beginning July 31, 2017 veterans must be rated 40% or more due to service-connected disabilities or have held the qualifying rating at the time of death, be a former prisoner of war (POW), declared missing in action (MIA), died as the result of a service-connected disability rating or died while on active military service in the line of duty.
*Veterans with a disability rating of 20-30% may qualify if the effective date of their disability rating is on or before July 31, 2017. This provision will expire on July 31, 2023.
*Veterans whose disability rating is less than 20% prior to May 23, 2017 but who had a claim for compensation pending prior to that date which resulted in a final award by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs of at least 20% may be eligible if the dependent applies for benefits within six months of that final adjudication.
Veteran Residency Requirements: (Veterans must qualify under at least one of the following two requirements).
1. Permanent civilian resident for at least one year immediately prior to initial entry into federal active military service or any subsequent entry into federal active military service where a 12 month break in service occurred.
AND one of the following:
- Current resident for at least two years immediately prior to the date of the scholarship application or date of veteran’s death; or
- Current resident who was discharged from active duty within 12 months prior to the date of the scholarship application; or
- Filed a resident Alabama income tax return for the past 10 consecutive years immediately prior to the date of the scholarship application.
2. Bona fide permanent resident for at least five years immediately prior to the date of this application or the date of the veteran’s death. Applies to 100% permanent and total ratings only .
STUDENT REQUIREMENTS: As of July 31, 2017, students applying for benefits for the first time and also students attending eligible private schools must meet all of the following:
- Must be a current resident of the state of Alabama at the time of application; and
- Must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for each year that they are covered under the Alabama G.I. Dependent Scholarship Program; and
- Must comply with Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by their education institution; and
- Must complete a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release form for each educational institution that they attend to authorize the release of personally identifiable information required to determine continued eligibility and as required for necessary reporting.
STUDENT ENTITLEMENT: All other scholarships and grants must be applied to required education expenses first (unless otherwise prescribed by state or federal law). After these are utilized, textbooks and applicable fees will be billed to the program up to a combined maximum total of $1,000 per student and tuition will be billed to the program up to the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Cap (currently $250 per semester hour).
Children and stepchildren of qualified veterans may receive five standard academic years (10 semesters) at any Alabama qualifying school for undergraduate courses of study. Students have 8 years from the date the application is received at the Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs headquarters office to use their 10 semesters. Benefits cannot be granted retroactively.
Children and stepchildren of qualified veterans are also eligible to attend comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities at state four-year colleges or universities where applicable.
Spouses or un-remarried widow(er)s of a veteran rated as 100% permanently and totally disabled may also receive five standard academic years (10 semesters) at any Alabama qualifying school for undergraduate courses of study. Students have 8 years from the date the application is received at the Alabama Department of Veteran Affairs headquarters office to use their 10 semesters. Benefits cannot be granted retroactively.
Spouses or un-remarried widow(er)s of a veteran rated 40-90% disabled are entitled to three standard academic years (6 semesters) at any Alabama qualifying school for undergraduate courses of study. Students receive 6 years from the date that the application is received at the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters office to use their 6 semesters. Benefits cannot be granted retroactively.
Beginning with applications received at the ADVA headquarters office with a postmark dated on or after July 31, 2017, tuition will be limited to the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Cap (currently $250 per semester hour) and required textbooks and applicable fees will be limited to a combined $1,000 total per student for each semester. Schools may waive any overages of these charges at their discretion. All scholarships and grants must be applied to education expenses first (unless otherwise proscribed by state law) and the Alabama G.I. Dependent Scholarship Program will be applied for any applicable remaining charges pursuant to current state law.
Please note: Students who made application prior to fall 2009 received a lower amount of awarded semesters and students who made application prior to Fall 2014 were not required to utilize benefits for undergraduate courses of study.
Age Deadline: The child or stepchild must initiate training under our program prior to his/her 26th birthday. In certain situations, a child or stepchild may be eligible for our program up to the age of 30. If the applicant is a stepchild, the veteran and the stepchild’s parent must be legally married prior to the child’s 19th birthday.
Application Assistance: The ADVA maintains offices throughout the state which can furnish information and assist you in filing your application. To find your nearest veterans service office, visit the Veterans Service Office Locator Page for contact options.