Are Families of Military Members Eligible for Discounts on Tuition?

The spouses and children of active duty military personnel may qualify for a military tuition discount based on the schools they want to attend. This is a discount awarded to the dependents of someone on active duty status. While military men and women can qualify for discounts of their own and earn financial help through the GI Bill program, their families may qualify for other types of programs that allow them to save money. Those discounts apply to those going to school for the first time and those going back to school.

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How Much is the Discount?

The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 states that the spouses of service men and women who died while serving their countries after 9/11 will gain access to their spouses’ GI Bill benefits. This Act also requires that schools give the spouses and children of service men and women tuition discounts. If a school does not provide a qualifying student with a discount, it may lose out on getting GI Bill benefits in the future. Schools must provide qualifying students with discounts that lower their costs to within in-state tuition rates.

How a Discount Works

In-state tuition is typically only available to students who are full-time residents of a state. Students must prove that they lived in the state prior to applying for admission or enrolling in classes too. They usually need to show mail or fill out a form to qualify for in-state tuition. The families and dependents of military service personnel usually need to show proof that their loved ones are in the military and on active duty status. After submitting this proof, the college will automatically apply the discount to the student’s account and any classes he or she takes.

What it Covers

The military tuition discount created by this Act only applies to tuition alone. Students may still have a hard time affording to attend a specific school, especially a private university. Some schools offer discounts for both military students and their families that drop their tuition costs down to less than what in-state residents pay. Students may receive a discount that covers some of the fees charged by the college too. They are still responsible for covering any of their other costs, including room and board and their textbooks and school supplies.

Other Options

Military students and their families can look beyond discounts to find special programs designed just for them. Many schools now offer grants to qualifying students. They can use those funds to cover more than just their tuition. Some students use grants to pay for new computers or to cover their expenses while living on a college campus. Nonprofit organizations and large corporations offer scholarships for students also. Students can receive scholarships that range from just $100 to $250 up to $5,000 or more than $10,000. The money will go to the school, which will apply it to a student’s account.

As the cost of attending college rises, students of all types look at the financial aid options that they can use to pay their way through school. Scholarships and grants can help quite a bit, but students may want to look at loans too. The families of military personnel can qualify for a military tuition discount that drops their tuition down to the in-state rate.

Source: Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014