States That Offer Free Tuition to Spouses and Dependents

Updated: November 9, 2022
In this Article

    Did you know that many states offer free tuition to spouses and dependents of qualifying veterans?

    These states usually offer tuition waiver programs to dependent spouses and children of disabled or deceased veterans, but in some cases, dependents of other veterans might qualify.

    Below you’ll find qualifying criteria for each state’s programs, according to each state government website. You’ll also find links to each program’s application information.

    State tuition assistance programs for military dependents may change frequently, so check with your state’s education of veteran services office to confirm what’s available.

    Many states also offer free tuition programs for veterans, which you can read about here.


    The Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship offers scholarships to qualified dependents of veterans living with service-connected disabilities. Each scholarship covers up to five academic years or 10 semesters at any Alabama state-supported college, including state technical colleges.

    Veterans with VA disability ratings as low as 20% may be eligible for the program if they received that before July 31, 2017. However, after July 31, 2023, only dependents of veterans rated above 40% will be eligible for the program.

    Veterans must also meet residency requirements, including being an Alabama resident for one year before entering military service.

    The program caps tuition at the same rate as the Department of Defense (DOD) tuition cap, which is currently $250 per semester hour. Scholarships also cover , up to $1,000 per year in textbooks and fees.

    Alabama Scholarship Application Information

    Follow this link for more information on the Alabama G.I. Dependent’s Scholarship. Or, contact one of the ADVA offices for an application.

    Read about more Alabama state veterans benefits here.


    If you are a spouse or dependent of an armed forces member who died in the line of duty, you could qualify for undergraduate tuition waivers when you attend classes in the University of Alaska system.

    To qualify, the military member must have been an Alaska resident who:

    ● Died in the line of duty

    ● Was a prisoner of war

    ● Was killed in action

    How to Apply for Alaska’s Tuition Waiver

    Before you enroll, contact the University of Alaska school where you plan to attend classes and explain that you intend to use this benefit. You can read more about it in the State of Alaska Veterans Benefits Pamphlet.

    Read about more Alaska state veterans benefits here.


    Arizona’s tuition waiver program provides surviving dependents with tuition-free education at any public state university or community college. Children must be under the age of 30 to qualify for the benefit.

    Currently, this benefit is only available to dependents of military members that were Arizona residents who died in the line of duty. A proposal announced in January 2022 would make that benefit available to spouses of all veterans.

    How to Apply for Arizona’s Tuition Waiver

    For more information and to apply, complete the Tuition Waiver and Verification Form and email at [email protected]

    Read about more Arizona state veterans benefits here.


    The Arkansas Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS) provides financial aid for qualifying military spouses or dependents who want to earn their bachelor’s degree or certificate of completion from an Arkansas public college, university or technical school.

    To qualify, you must be a spouse or dependent child of a resident Arkansas military member who was:

    ● Classified as missing in action, killed in action or a prisoner of war after Jan. 1, 1960

    ● Killed during ordnance delivery

    ● Given a 100% permanent and total VA rating for a service-connected disability

    The program waives in-state tuition, on-campus room and board, and mandatory fees at eligible Arkansas institutions.

    How to Apply for Arkansas Financial Aid 

    After you read the MDS rules and regulations, you can apply online here.

    Read about more Arkansas state veterans benefits here.


    Certain military dependents may be eligible for a waiver of state-wide tuition and program fees (excluding books, housing and meals) for California State University, University of California and any California community college.

    Four plans allow military dependents to receive this benefit:

    ● Plan A provides benefits to qualifying spouses and unmarried children of veterans with 100% disability ratings.

    ● Plan B allows qualifying children of veterans with disabilities to receive tuition waivers, but only when their income doesn’t exceed certain limits.

    ● Plan C allows dependents of California National Guard members killed in the line of duty to receive benefits.

    ● Plan D allows Medal of Honor recipients and their children to receive benefits, as long as they do not exceed income limits set by the state.

    Read about the CalVet education benefits to find the exact qualifying criteria for each plan.

    How to Apply for California’s Tuition Waiver

    You can download an application and visit your local County Veterans Service Office to submit your application.

    Read about more California state veterans benefits here.


    Dependent children of a Connecticut veteran who died or went missing in action while serving in the armed forces after Jan. 1, 1960 can qualify for a tuition waiver.

    The tuition waiver covers the cost of tuition at community and technical colleges, the Connecticut State University System (CSUS) and the University of Connecticut. Dependents using this program must pay activity fees and room and board.

    How to Apply for Connecticut’s Tuition Waiver

    If attending the University of Connecticut, apply at their Veterans Affairs webpage. For students attending Connecticut State University, visit their Veterans Admission webpage. If attending one of the 12 Connecticut community colleges, contact the school’s admission office for application details.

    Read about more Connecticut state veterans benefits here.


    Delaware provides educational benefits for surviving children of veterans who died due to military service.

    The dependent must be between 16 and 24, a resident of Delaware for at least three years and attending or admitted to a four-year undergraduate or vocational program.

    The award covers tuition and required fees, based on the student’s desired program of study and according to available funds. Students attending public colleges in Delaware receive top priority for awards, while private and out-of-state schools are lower in award priority.

    How to Apply for Delaware Education Benefits

    You can read more about the benefits dependents receive under this program at the Delaware Veterans Benefits page. Apply online by completing the application at the Student Account Access site.

    Read about more Delaware state veterans benefits here.


    The Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans (CSDDV) provide financial awards to dependent children or spouses of qualified Florida veterans. These scholarships provide financial help with tuition and fees at any eligible public or private school.

    For a dependent to qualify for benefits, the Florida resident veteran must:

    · Possess a 100% permanent and total VA disability rating, or individual unemployability rating

    · Have died from a service-connected disability or killed in action

    · Have current POW/MIA status

    Dependent children of qualified veterans must be between the ages of 16 and 22. Spouses of veterans with disabilities must have been a Florida resident for one year and married to a disabled veteran for at least a year. Spouses of deceased veterans must not be remarried and must apply for the scholarship within five years after the veteran’s death.

    The scholarship funds up to 110% of required credit hours for an initial bachelor’s degree or certificate program. Once awarded, you don’t need to reapply for subsequent benefits.

    How to Apply for Florida Scholarships

    The on-time application window is Oct. 1 through April 1 for consideration for the following year. You can apply for benefits through the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA).

    Read about more Florida state veterans benefits here.


    Georgia’s HERO Scholarship Program provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of members of the Georgia National Guard and reserves who served in combat zones. You may receive up to $8,000 over four academic years of study if you qualify.

    This scholarship program is available to Georgia National Guard members and reservists who served in combat zones, as well as their spouses and children.

    How to Apply for Georgia’s HERO Scholarship

    You must file a Georgia HERO application for the initial HERO Scholarship award no later than two years after gaining eligibility. In addition, you must complete a renewal application each academic year.

    Read about more Georgia state veterans benefits here.


    The Illinois Missing In Action (MIA)/ Prisoner of War (POW) Scholarship is an educational scholarship for qualifying dependents of veterans who are missing in action, are prisoners of war, died while on active duty, have a 100% service-connected disability rating or died from a service-connected disability.

    The scholarship covers full payment of tuition and some fees to any Illinois state-supported college or university.

    Dependents must be spouses, natural children, stepchildren or certain minors under the veteran’s guardianship to qualify.

    Illinois POW/MIA Scholarship Application Information

    You can get more information about how to qualify for Illinois military dependent scholarships and apply for all programs here.

    Read about more Illinois state veterans benefits here.


    Indiana offers a tuition and fee exemption for children of disabled veterans, vets classified POW/MIA and Purple Heart recipients. There are also residency and campaign requirements, which you can read about on the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs website.

    The exemption provides eligible students up to 124 free credit hours at state-supported schools. Students have eight academic years to use their tuition exemption from the time they begin receiving the benefit.

    You can use this benefit at Ball State, Indiana University and Purdue University, among others. Check the Tuition-Exemption page for a complete list of participating schools.

    How to Apply for Indiana’s Tuition and Fee Exempton 

    The only way to apply for this benefit is by setting up an account on Scholar Track. If you don’t have a Scholar Track Account, you can request one on the login page.

    Read about more Indiana state veterans benefits here.


    If you are a child of a veteran killed in action after Sept. 11, 2001, you may qualify for up to $11,844 in annual tuition benefits at Iowa postsecondary institutions. To be eligible, you must be 26 or younger.

    Children of veterans killed in action before Sept.11, 2001 can receive a benefit of up to $600 in tuition reimbursement for up to five years.

    How to Apply for Iowa Tuition Benefits

    Fill out the War Orphans Tuition Assistance Application and mail it to the address on the bottom of the form.

    Read about more Iowa state veterans benefits here.


    Kansas provides a tuition and fee waiver for dependents and spouses of military personnel who died or suffered a service-connected disability due to military service on or after Sept.11, 2001.

    With this benefit, the State of Kansas waives tuition and mandatory fees at Kansas postsecondary educational institutions, including technical schools and technical colleges, community colleges, state universities and Washburn University.

    To qualify, the veteran parent or spouse must have:

    ● Been a Kansas resident.

    ● Served on active duty, active state or federal service in the Kansas Army/Air National Guard at the time of death.

    ● Died while and because of serving in military service.

    How to Apply for the Kansas Tuition and Fee Waiver

    To receive the tuition waiver, you must complete the Application for a Waiver of Tuition and Fees for Dependents and Spouses of Deceased Military Personnel and return it to the Kansas Board of Regents. In addition, you must provide supporting documentation as part of the application.

    Read about more Kansas state veterans benefits here.


    The Commonwealth of Kentucky provides a tuition waiver for qualifying children, stepchildren and spouses who meet tuition program requirements. The waiver applies to two-year, four-year or vocational or technical schools run by the Kentucky Department of Education.

    You may qualify for this Kentucky state tuition waiver program if you are the dependent of a veteran who:

    ● Died on active duty

    ● Died as a direct result of a service-connected disability

    ● Received a 100% service-connected disability rating from the VA

    ● Served during wartime and is considered totally disabled, regardless of service connection

    ● Served during a wartime and lived in Kentucky at the time of their death

    The dependent doesn’t have to be a Kentucky resident at the time of application, but the veteran must be a current resident of Kentucky or have been a resident at time of death.

    How to Apply for a Kentucky Tuition Waiver

    To apply for the tuition waiver, complete the application form and send it with the required documentation to the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. Submit the application only after you have been accepted into a Kentucky-funded school.

    Read about more Kentucky state veterans benefits here.


    Louisiana’s State Dependent Tuition Exemption program applies to qualifying children and spouses of veterans with VA-rated disabilities of 90% or higher, who died on duty or died of service-related issues during a wartime period.

    Students who qualify for this education program are exempt from paying tuition and school fees. Surviving spouses must use the program within 10 years of their date of eligibility. Dependent children must be under 25. There is no age limit for children to take advantage of this benefit.

    For more information about the Louisiana Dependent Tuition Exemption, check out the Louisiana Veterans Affairs page.

    How to Apply for a Louisiana Tuition Exemption

    You can apply for the waiver through your local Veterans Parish Service Office. If you qualify, you will receive a Fee Exemption Certificate from the Louisiana Department of Veteran Affairs.

    Read about more Louisiana state veterans benefits here.


    Maine offers qualified spouses and children a 100% waiver for college tuition and fees at schools in the Maine University System, Maine Community College System and Maine Maritime Academy.

    The veteran must have:

    ● A 100% service-connected disability rating

    ● Been Killed in action

    ● Died from a service-connected disability

    ● Died while 100% service-connected disabled, even if the death was unrelated to a service-connected disability

    ● Been officially classified as POW/MIA for more than 90 days

    ● Entered the service from Maine

    ● Been a state resident for five years

    Dependents and spouses may use the waiver to complete a certificate program or earn an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree. Children must enroll in the program before the age of 22. Once enrolled, applicants have 10 years to complete their program.

    This brochure has more information about the program.

    How to Apply for a Maine Tuition and Fee Waiver

    To apply for the tuition waiver, complete the Veterans’ Dependents Educational Benefits Program Application and send it with all required documents to the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management Bureau of Veterans’ Services.

    Read about more Maine state veterans benefits here.


    The Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship offers free tuition and mandatory fees to family members attending a higher education institution in the State of Maryland, excluding the University of Maryland University College and the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

    Awards are good for five years of full-time study, eight years of part-time study or a combination of both.

    To qualify, you must be:

    ● The child, stepchild or surviving spouse of a veteran who died or has a 100% VA disability rating.

    ● The child, stepchild or surviving spouse of a victim of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon or the crash of UA Flight 93

    ● The child of a Vietnam veteran with POW/MIA status

    How to Apply for Maryland’s Scholarship Program

    To apply, contact the Financial Aid Office at the institution you will be attending. You must apply by July 15 of the year you wish to begin receiving benefits.

    Read about more Maryland state veterans benefits here.


    The Massachusetts Public Service Scholarship Program offers free tuition to students who lost a parent or spouse while working in public service in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The scholarship provides free tuition at any public or independent college or university in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    To be eligible for a Massachusetts Public Service Grant, military dependents must be:

    ● A child of a prisoner of war or service member declared missing in action in Southeast Asia with service between Feb. 1, 1955, and the termination of the Vietnam campaign.

    ● A child of a Massachusetts veteran who was killed in action or otherwise died because of military service.

    In all cases, the wartime service must be creditable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You can contact the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services to see if a veteran’s particular circumstance qualifies.

    How to Apply for a Massachusetts Public Service Scholarhsip 

    For your initial award, you must complete the First-Time Applicant Public Service Grant Application and return it by May 1 of your first year of school. In addition, you must fill out the Public Service Grant Program Renewal Application each year you wish you receive the scholarship.

    Read about more Massachusetts state veterans benefits here.


    The Children of Veterans Tuition Grant pays up to $2,800 per academic year towards the tuition of veterans who died or became totally and permanently disabled because of their military service.

    Students must be under the age of 26 and enrolled in a Michigan community college, public university or independent, degree-granting university.

    How to Apply for a Michigan Tuition Grant

    Applicants can file online through the MiSSG Student Portal. Supporting documentation must also be uploaded to the portal.

    Read about more Michigan state veterans benefits here.


    The Surviving Spouse/Dependent Education Benefit provides military spouses and dependent children free tuition to earn a bachelor’s degree. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will also pay $750 per fiscal year toward fees, books and living expenses.

    To qualify, you must be the unremarried spouse or dependent of a qualifying resident veteran who died while on active duty or because of a service-connected condition. Applicants must be Minnesota residents. There is no age limit for eligible surviving spouses.

    How to Apply for Minnesota Education Benefits

    You may apply for this benefit by completing the application and submitting it directly to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs or through your County Veterans Service Officer.

    Read about more Minnesota state veterans benefits here.


    Mississippi offers free tuition for children of veterans classified as POW/MIA. Dependent children attending state-supported schools may qualify for eight semesters of education benefits. The benefit does not cover the cost of books, food, supplies, dues or fees for extracurricular activities.

    You can read more about this benefit on page 16 of the Mississippi VA State Benefits Manual.

    How to Apply for Free Mississippi Tuition

    To apply, contact the financial aid office at your chosen Mississippi school. You can also contact the Mississippi Veterans Affairs Board (MVAB) for assistance.

    Read about more Mississippi state veterans benefits here.


    The Missouri Wartime Veteran’s Survivors Grant Program is available to children and spouses of resident veterans:

    ● Whose deaths or injuries were a result of combat action or due to an illness contracted while serving in combat action

    ● Who became 80% disabled because of injuries or accidents sustained in combat action since Sept.11, 2001

    Missouri law limits the total number of students who may receive a grant in a year to 25.

    To qualify, you must be an undergraduate enrolled at least half-time or accepted into a participating public college or university. Spouses must have been married at the time of the veteran’s death or within five years following the injury.

    Natural or adopted children or stepchildren must be younger than 25 years old.

    Here is what you can receive under the Survivor’s Grant Program:

    ● Actual tuition costs up to the amount a Missouri resident would pay for the same amount of hours at the University of Missouri in Columbia

    ● Allowance of up to $2,000 per semester for room and board

    ● Up to $500 in book expenses each semester

    The Missouri Veterans Commission verifies applicant eligibility.

    How to Apply for a Missouri Education Grant

    The application is available through the State Financial Aid Portal. The application deadline is May 1 each school year.

    Read about more Missouri state veterans benefits here.


    Montana’s War Orphans Waiver is available to children of Montana residents who died on active duty of a combat-related injury, disease or other disability during a qualifying war or conflict.

    Children must be 25 years or younger to qualify.

    The waiver applies to students accepted to schools in the Montana University System. It allows qualifying students to receive up to 100% of tuition for undergraduate studies. The waiver doesn’t cover other fees and expenses.

    How to Apply for Montana’s Tuition Waiver Program

    To apply for the tuition waiver, complete the Montana University System – War Orphans Tuition Waiver and send it along with the required supporting documentation to the address listed at the bottom of the application.

    Read about more Montana state veterans benefits here.


    Nebraska’s Waiver of Tuition is available to surviving spouses and children of eligible veterans. This benefit waives 100% of tuition and tuition-related fees at participating Nebraska universities and community colleges. The waiver does not cover books, room and board or other expenses.

    To qualify, the veteran must have:

    ● Received a 100% permanent and total VA rating for a service-connected disability

    ● Died of a service-connected disability

    ● Died following discharge because of injury or illness sustained while a member of the armed forces.

    ● Benn classified POW/MIA during armed hostilities while a member of the armed forces.

    How to Apply for a Nebraska Tuition Waiver 

    Complete this application and mail it with all required supporting documentation to the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs address listed at the top of the application. You can also email the application or fax it.

    Read about more Nebraska state veterans benefits here.


    Nevada offers a tuition and lab fee waiver for surviving children and spouses of Nevada National Guard members who died in the line of duty. Children and spouses of active-duty military members who were permanently stationed in Nevada or were classified as POW/MIA are also eligible for the waiver.

    Spouses and children of veterans who died on active duty may also be eligible for education grants in addition to the tuition waiver.

    Dependents can choose any school in the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). Dependent children may use the waiver for 10 years after they turn 18. Surviving spouses may use the waiver for 10 years after the service member’s date of death.

    How to Apply for a Nevada Tuition and Fee Waiver

    Contact the financial aid office at your NSHE school of choice to apply.

    Read about more Nevada state veterans benefits here.

    New Hampshire

    New Hampshire offers tuition benefits to qualifying children of service members.

    You qualify if you are a:

    ● Child of a service member killed during wartime

    ● Child of a veteran who died from a service-related disability

    Benefits include free tuition at New Hampshire institutions of higher learning plus up to $2,500 per year to cover other expenses like books, fees and room and board.

    Children of veterans with official POW/MIA classifications can receive free tuition at community colleges in New Hampshire.

    You can learn more about these and other New Hampshire benefits for military dependents from the New Hampshire Benefits for Veterans website.

    How to Apply or New Hampshire Tuition Benefits

    To apply, contact the Financial Aid Office at the New Hampshire state college or school of your choice.

    Read about more New Hampshire state veterans benefits here.

    New Jersey

    Free undergraduate college tuition is available to children of veterans classified as POW/MIA after Jan.1, 1960. The veteran must have been a New Jersey resident when they entered service or New Jersey listed as their state of permanent residence. Eligible students can attend any public or private New Jersey school.

    Under the War Orphan program, children of military members who died or were MIA during their military service can qualify for a $500 benefit for each of up to four years of college.

    Additionally, surviving dependents of Air National Guard soldiers and airmen may also qualify for free tuition at state schools. To find exact eligibility requirements, check out the National Guard tuition waiver program page.

    How to Apply for Free Tuition in New Jersey

    To find out more about these programs, including how to apply, contact the New Jersey Veterans Benefits Bureau at (888) 865-838. You can also email them at [email protected]

    Read about more New Jersey state veterans benefits here.

    New Mexico

    New Mexico offers free tuition to dependent children of qualifying veterans who were killed in action or died because of wounds sustained in battle. Children up to the age of 26 qualify for full tuition waivers at any state-funded postsecondary school. The benefit includes a $150 stipend per semester to help with books and fees.

    How to Apply for Free Tuition in New Mexico

    Complete the Application for Scholarship for Children of Deceased Military Personnel. Mail it with the veteran’s discharge paperwork and death certificate to the New Mexico’s Department of Veterans Services address listed at the bottom of the page.

    Read about more New Mexico state veterans benefits here.

    New York

    New York’s Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship provides education assistance to dependents of active duty, reserve and National Guard members who died or became severely and permanently disabled while performing military duties.

    The scholarship covers the full cost of earning a four-year undergraduate degree (or five years in an approved five-year bachelor’s degree program), including tuition, room and board and allowances for books, supplies and transportation up to the average cost at SUNY Colleges.

    You can read more about specific allowances, including tuition and cost of living maximums on the MERIT scholarship page.

    How to Apply for New York’s Scholarship Program

    Complete and submit the MERIT Scholarships Web Supplement. Be sure to print the confirmation, sign and submit it with the required documentation, according to the instructions on the application.

    If you are the dependent of a disabled veteran, you must submit this Total and Permanent Disability Verification Form along with your application package.

    Read about more New York state veterans benefits here.

    North Carolina

    The North Carolina Scholarship for Children of Wartime Veterans provides free tuition for eight academic semesters over up to eight years at North Carolina state colleges.

    To qualify, you must be a biological child of a deceased, disabled, combat or POW/MIA veteran who served in combat during a wartime period and was a resident of North Carolina.

    You can read more about specific qualifications here.

    How to Apply for a North Carolina Scholarship 

    You must log In to the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website and complete the application.

    Read about more North Carolina state veterans benefits here.

    North Dakota

    The North Dakota Dependent Tuition Waiver Program provides free tuition to qualified dependents attending any North Dakota state-supported institution of higher education or technical school.

    The waiver provides free tuition and fees while earning a bachelor’s degree or certificate of completion. In addition, you must complete the degree or certificate within a 45-month or 10-semester period.

    You qualify if you are the dependent of a resident veteran who meets one of these criteria:

    ● Killed in action

    ● Died because of military service

    ● Totally disabled because of military service

    ● Died from disabilities that occurred because of military service

    ● Classified POW/MIA

    How to Apply for a North Dakota Tuition Waiver

    To apply, contact your school’s financial aid department.

    Read about more North Dakota state veterans benefits here.


    The Ohio War Orphan and Severely Disabled Veterans’ Children Scholarship Program awards tuition assistance to the children of veterans who died or received a VA disability rating of 60% or more, and served in the armed forces during a period of declared war or conflict.

    For the 2021-2022 academic year, the scholarship grants students attending Ohio public colleges 84% of tuition costs and general fees. Students attending private institutions will receive an annual award amount of $7,532.

    How to Apply for Ohio’s Scholarship Program

    To apply, complete the scholarship application and submit it to Ohio’s Department of Higher Education according to the direction on the form. The deadline is May 15 every year.

    Read about more Ohio state veterans benefits here.


    The Heroes Promise is a special tuition scholarship for children of Oklahoma resident military members who died of injuries sustained in the line of duty after Jan. 1 2000.

    To qualify, the veteran must have submitted a joint or individual tax return to the State of Oklahoma the year before their death. The dependent student must also be an Oklahoma resident.

    Qualifying children can receive an award for tuition for up to five years of undergraduate studies or the receipt of a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. The student must enroll in an Oklahoma State System for Higher Education prior to turning 21.

    Awards vary based on school but are available to students of private and public colleges and public technology centers.

    You can find out more information by calling (800) 858-1840 and asking about Heroes Promise or by emailing [email protected]

    How to Apply for Oklahoma’s Heroes Promise Scholarship

    To apply for the Heroes Promise scholarship, log in to the OKCOLLEGESTART webpage and complete the online application.

    Read about more Oklahoma state veterans benefits here.


    Oregon waives tuition for children of deceased and disabled veterans, as well as Purple Heart recipients at Oregon state schools.

    This tuition waiver applies if you are the child of a veteran who:

    ● Died on active duty in the armed forces

    ● Died as a result of a service-connected disability

    ● Received a 100% total and permanent disability rating from the VA

    This waiver applies to both bachelor’s and master’s programs.

    How to Apply for an Oregon Tuition Waiver

    You can apply for the tuition waiver at the financial aid office of your Oregon postsecondary institution.

    Read about more Oregon state veterans benefits here.

    South Carolina

    South Carolina offers tuition assistance for children of qualifying war veterans. Children of veterans are eligible for free tuition if they are 26 or younger and enrolled in an undergraduate program at a state-supported school.

    The veteran must have been honorably discharged after serving during a wartime period and have:

    ● A 100% permanent and total VA disability rating

    ● Died during military service or from a service-connected disability

    ● Been Classified as POW/MIA

    ● Been a recipient of the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart

    You can read more about program eligibility and participating institutions here.

    How to Apply for South Carolina Tuition Assistance

    To apply, download and complete the Application for Tuition Assistance for Certain War Veterans Children.

    Read about more South Carolina state veterans benefits here.

    South Dakota

    South Dakota offers tuition waivers for qualifying dependents attending state colleges.

    To be eligible for this benefit, you must:

    ● Be the child of a veteran who died during service in the U.S. Armed Forces

    ● Be the spouse or child of a veteran who is listed POW/MIA

    ● Be the spouse or child of a member who died or was permanently and totally disabled in the line of duty while a member of the South Dakota National Guard

    How to Apply for a South Dakota Tuition Waiver

    To apply, visit the Financial Aid Office, veteran’s representative, or registrar’s office at your institution. You can also download the application from the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.

    Read about more South Dakota state veterans benefits here.


    Tennessee offers qualifying dependent children free tuition, maintenance fees, student activity fees and registration fees to any of the colleges or universities owned, operated or maintained by the state.

    To qualify, you must be younger than 23 years old, and your veteran parent must have been serving as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces during a qualifying period of armed conflict and:

    ● Died as a direct result of injuries received during combat

    ● Officially reported as POW/MIA

    The veteran parent must also have been a Tennessee resident at the time of their death.

    How to Apply for Free Tuition and Fees in Tennessee

    To apply, visit the financial aid office or veteran resource center at the school of your choice.

    Read about more Tennessee state veterans benefits here.


    Texas offers benefits through the Hazlewood Act. This benefit provides qualified spouses and dependent children an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. The exemption does not include living expenses, books or supply fees.

    To qualify, you must be the spouse/child of a qualifying veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Texas National Guard who:

    ● Died because of service-related injuries

    ● Received a 100% permanent and total VA disability rating

    ● Is missing in action

    The veteran must also have been a Texas resident at the time of death, entered the service from Texas or designated Texas as their home of record. Dependent children must be under the age of 25 during their first semester.

    How to Apply for Texas Education Benefits

    You must apply and be accepted to the institution, complete the Hazlewood Exemption Application Form and take it your financial aid office with all required documentation.

    Read about more Texas state veterans benefits here.


    Utah offers qualifying dependents free tuition at state schools through the Scott Lundell Military Survivors Tuition Waiver. The tuition waiver is only available for undergraduate study and does not apply to fees, books or housing expenses.

    You qualify if you are a surviving dependent of a qualifying veteran who:

    ● Died from injuries received while serving on active state or federal duty

    ● Was a Utah resident and member of the armed forces, reserve component or Utah National Guard

    You can read more about specific qualifications here.

    How to Apply for a Utah Tuition Waiver

    To apply, visit the Veterans Resource Office at the school of your choice.

    Read about more Utah state veterans benefits here.


    The Armed Services Scholarship is a Vermont benefit program for spouses and children of qualifying military members. The scholarship provides free tuition toward the completion of an undergraduate degree at a Vermont school. For state schools, the scholarship covers the full tuition. For private schools, the scholarship pays partial tuition.

    You may qualify if you are the spouse or child of an active duty, reserve or Vermont National Guard member who died while on active or inactive duty.

    How to Apply for Vermont Education Benefits

    You can apply for this benefit through the Veteran Services Director at the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs.

    Read about more Vermont state veterans benefits here.


    Through the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP), spouses and dependents of qualifying military service members can get free tuition and fees at any state-supported college or university for up to four years. Visit the program webpage for applicant requirements.

    Dependents between the ages of 16 and 29 and spouses of military members qualify, if the member’s service in armed conflict lead to their:

    ● Death

    ● POW/MIA classification

    ● VA disability rating of 90% or greater

    How to Apply for Free Tuition in Virginia 

    To apply, use the myVMSDEP portal to establish an account and submit an online application.

    Submit your application for this benefit by May 1 if you are planning to start school in the Fall. The Spring semester deadline is Sept.1, and if you are starting class during a Summer session, you need to have your application in by Dec. 1.

    Read about more Virginia state veterans benefits here.


    The state of Washington waives undergraduate tuition and fees (up to 200 quarter credits or 133 semester hours) at state community colleges, colleges and universities for eligible dependents of military members and veterans.

    Washington also provides a $500 book stipend each academic year.

    To qualify, children must be between 17 and 26. A spouse must use the benefit within 10 years of the qualifying event.

    You qualify for free tuition if the qualifying veteran or National Guard member:

    ● Is 100% total and permanently service-connected disabled as determined by the VA

    ● Died because of military service

    ● Received a federal POW/MIA designation

    You can read more about specific qualifying criteria and residency requirements in this Fact Sheet.

    How to Apply for a Washington Tuition and Fee Waiver

    To apply, visit the Financial Aid Office of your school of choice.

    Read about more Washington state veterans benefits here.

    West Virginia

    Under West Virginia’s War Orphan Education Program, children of qualifying veterans don’t have to pay tuition or fees at West Virginia postsecondary education and training institutions. You can also get up to $2,000 towards books and other expenses from the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance.

    Eligible children must be between the ages of 16 and 25 and the dependent of a veteran who designated West Virginia as their home of residence upon enlistment. The veteran must have died as a result of war service.

    How to Apply for Free Tuition in West Virginia

    To apply, fill out the War Orphan Application and send it to the address on the bottom of the form.

    Read about more West Virginia state veterans benefits here.


    The Wisconsin GI Bill is a veteran’s benefit that enables qualifying resident Wisconsin veterans’ children and spouses to attend Wisconsin public post-secondary educational institutions for free. It provides tuition remission for 128 credits or eight semesters – whichever is longer – at all University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Technical College System institutions, including graduate programs.

    You qualify for free tuition if you are the spouse or child of a resident veteran who:

    ● Received a VA service-connected disability rating of at least 30%

    ● Died in the line of duty.

    ● Died because of a service-connected disability.

    You can read more about the Wisconsin GI Bill in this brochure.

    How to Apply for the Wisconisn GI Bill

    To apply, visit the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs online portal and create an account. You will be asked to enter all required information and upload supporting documents that prove your eligibility. If you are eligible, you will get a certificate of eligibility. You will need the certificate to apply for the Wisconsin GI Bill though your institution.

    Read about more Wisconsin state veterans benefits here.


    Wyoming offers free tuition and fees for the surviving spouse and dependents of qualifying resident veterans. The tuition waiver is good for eight semesters over eight years while attending the University of Wyoming or Wyoming community colleges.

    You qualify for the free tuition if the veteran:

    ● Served in Vietnam between Aug. 5, 1964-May 7, 1975, and received the Vietnam Service Medal.

    ● Died while serving on active state or military service.

    ● Was officially listed as POW/MIA

    ● Received an honorable discharge and then died of an injury or disease incurred while on active state or military service.

    How to Apply for Wyoming Tuition Assistance

    To apply, contact the Financial Aid Office at your Wyoming institute of choice.

    Read about more Wyoming state veterans benefits here.

    Written by Team

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