There are several education benefits available to dependents of veterans as well as surviving family members of deceased veterans. Ranging from scholarships to a free education, these benefits are often overlooked. College bound students who are in any way related to a service member (active duty, retired or deceased) are entitled to certain benefits and should research and explore their alternatives carefully, as many of these benefits can be valuable and often go unused.
In addition to the very generous education benefits offered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, there is a special provision of the program that allows career service members to share their remaining GI Bill (education) benefits with immediate family members. The key factor is whether the member has used any of his or her GI Bill in the past; only unused benefits can be transferred. This means that if the member has used 12 months of his or her GI Bill, then there is only 24 months of benefit left to share.
Service members must meet specific criteria to be eligible to transfer their GI Bill benefits. This includes having at least six years of service and an obligation to serve at least four more.
Click here to learn more about the Post 9/11 GI Bill Transferability benefits
The Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program provides education and training opportunities to eligible dependents of certain veterans. The program offers up to 45 months of education benefits. These benefits may be used for degree and certificate programs, apprenticeship, and on-the-job training. If you are a spouse, you may take a correspondence course. Remedial, deficiency, and refresher courses may be approved under certain circumstances.
Click here to learn more about the Dependents Education Assistance Program.
The Veterans Administration has developed GI Bill® Comparison Tool to help Service members learn about education programs and compare estimated benefits by school.