The purpose of VMSDEP is to provide undergraduate or other postsecondary education to eligible participants by providing a waiver of tuition and all required fees associated with tuition at any public institution of higher education or other public accredited postsecondary institution granting a degree, diploma, or certificate in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Benefits are available for up to 36 months. To be eligible, children and spouses of qualifying veteran service members must be the dependent child must be between the ages of 16 and 29 inclusively; there is no age restriction for spouses. The qualifying military service member must be a current Virginia citizen or maintain a physical presence in the Commonwealth of Virginia presently and for five consecutive years prior to the date of application submission or must have entered military service as a citizen of Virginia.
In the case of a deceased qualifying military service member, the surviving spouse can meet the residency requirements contingent upon having been a Virginia citizen or maintained a physical presence in the Commonwealth of Virginia for five consecutive years prior to marrying the military service member or presently being a Virginia citizen or maintained a physical presence in the Commonwealth of Virginia and for five consecutive years prior to the date of application submission.
The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is responsible for managing the program and collaborates with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and Virginia’s public colleges and universities to assist spouses and children of qualified military service members and Veterans in attaining their educational goals. Benefits are available for up to eight semesters, the equivalent of four academic years. This is offered three times a year, so deadlines will differ. Dollar amounts will also vary.