(WHNT) – The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs has announced major changes to its Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship program.
The program offers free tuition, textbooks and instructional fees to service members’ dependents at state colleges and universities. Now even more people are eligible.
Before this year Alabama veterans` children or spouses could only benefit from the scholarship program if the service member had served during war-time or under “extra-hazardous conditions”.
Now, thanks to a law passed by Governor Bentley in March, dependents of eligible peace-time veterans may now qualify to participate in the program beginning in 2014 Fall semester.
Also beginning this semester, the program will cover only undergraduate level courses at the in-state tuition rate. Students presently enrolled in the program will not have any change in their benefits.
“This is great news,” said Bill Koch, Director of Still Serving Veterans. “If you`re a veteran, particularly a disabled veteran, and you`re worried about sending your kid to college and put that money away, now that`s been eliminated you don`t have to worry about it because if they go to state school it`s free for them.”
Dependents previously denied education benefits because of the veterans’ peace-time service dates can reapply by August of 2015, to receive the full benefit.
Interested veterans, or their family members should visit their county veterans’ service office for more information, or call 334-242-5077.