Do States Provide any Educational Benefits for Veterans?

A number of states across the country offer educational benefits for veterans. While many think of the GI Bill as helping those students, most do not realize that the GI Bill only provides former service men and women with a set amount of money each year. This program also has a cap that limits the amount of assistance they receive. The total amount they get may not cover all their costs, which is why local governments now offer additional programs to help those students.

Those That Take Part

The American Legion is one of the top organizations that serves to assist those who served their countries. According to the American Legion, all 50 states in the country and the District of Columbia offer tuition help and specialized programs for those who were a member of the military in the past. Each of those has their own requirements as to how people qualify for a program, the amount of help they receive and even how they can use those funds. Some will only offer assistance to those who need help covering the gap between their financial aid and total amount owed, and others offer programs that help students pay for their expenses outside of school.

Tuition Assistance

The most common type of program that offers educational benefits for veterans is a tuition assistance program. Students who served in the military can take advantage of the GI Bill and file the FAFSA as well. If the amount of aid the student receives does not cover the total cost of tuition and all associated fees, the state will step in and provide some additional assistance. Many offer some type of grant to cover their educational costs, but some also offer scholarships that range in size from $1,000 to more than $10,000.

Living Stipends

After leaving the military, some former soldiers have a hard time finding a place to live because they do not have the money to afford rent or a mortgage. Some programs offer living stipends that give those students a specific amount of money each semester. The stipend is often large enough to cover both the rent on an apartment and food, and those who live on campus can apply for a stipend that will pay for both a meal plan and a dorm room.

Related Resource: What Housing Benefits are Available Through the GI Bill?

Additional Assistance

When looking at the cost of attending college, some students think about only the tuition and any fees charged by the school. They do not consider the additional expenses that they will face. Former military students may need a new computer to do homework, a graphing calculator for math class and even art supplies for other courses. They may also need help paying for their textbooks as well. Some of these programs provide students with a scholarship or grant that will give them $250 to $500 or more that they can use to cover those expenses. Colleges that offer programs for military students may award those students bookstore vouchers or credits as well.

Retired military personnel spend years protecting the country from threats around the world, which is why there are many programs that award them for their service. All 50 states in the country and Washington DC now offer educational benefits and programs that provide veterans with tuition assistance, living stipends and other help.