(BEDFORD) – There are only a few months before seniors will be handed their diplomas and Lawrence County Veterans Affairs Officer Brad Bough shared information at the commissioners meeting this morning about scholarship opportunities for those who are children of disabled veterans, those that were Purple Heart recipients or were prisoners of war.
There are three state aid programs for tuition and fee exemption administrated by the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs through ScholarTrack. Students must be eligible for the resident tuition rate to use these state aid programs.
Bough and his staff will help any Lawrence County high school student needing assistance applying. Teens or their parents can call his office at 812-275-6411 to ask questions or set up an appointment.
“These scholarships make a difference in a child going to college or not going to college,” Bough says.
1. Tuition and Fee Exemption for the child(ren) of a disabled veteran or POW/MIA or Purple Heart recipients – These are the documents needed to determine eligibility:
- Proof of relationship to the veteran.
- DD214 showing veteran’s wartime service or award of service, campaign, or expeditionary medal if all active duty was during peacetime and equally hazardous duty was performed. If the student is applying as the child of a Purple Heart recipient or child of a POW and the veteran is not service connected disabled, proof of award of the Purple Heart or POW status
- VA Award Letter of service-connected disability rating.
2. Tuition and Fee Exemption for Indiana Purple Heart Recipients – These are the documents needed to determine eligibility:
- Proof of award of the Purple Heart Medal if not annotated on the DD214 or DD215
- DD214 showing an Indiana Home of Record address at the time of entry
3. Tuition and Fee Exemption for Former Students of the Morton Memorial High School/Soldier’s and Sailor’s Home.
- IDVA will verify the student’s attendance at the Morton Memorial High School from the cumulative list IDVA has on file. No documents need to be uploaded when applying for this program.
All students must file a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before applying for this benefit in ScholarTrack. FAFSA information is fed into ScholarTrack and makes the application process easier.
How to Apply online through ScholarTrack
All students should create an account in ScholarTrack. Once the account is verified the student can access their account and apply for the appropriate state aid program. Parents cannot apply for the student it must be completed under the student’s account.
Before the student submits the application, proof of relationship to the veteran parent must be uploaded or the application cannot be processed. A birth certificate, Consulate Report of Birth Abroad, or appropriate adoption paperwork are all acceptable.
All documents must list the veteran parent. If available, also upload proof if needed, proof of Indiana residency.
If You are a Child of a Veteran:
The biological or legally adopted child(ren) of eligible disabled Indiana veterans may be eligible for tuition and fee exemption at any state-supported post-secondary school or university in the State of Indiana. Children of veterans must upload a copy of their birth certificate or adoption papers with their online application. Do not submit an application without uploading proof of relationship to the veteran. The child must have been legally adopted. Stepchildren are not eligible. Age restriction for adoption may apply depending on when the veteran initially entered the military.
Veteran Active Duty Military Service Requirements:
The veteran must have served on active duty in the US Armed Forces during a period of wartime or performed duty equally hazardous duty that was recognized by the award of service, campaign or expeditionary medal of the United States (the military discharge must reflect that medal) residency, adoption, usage rules, etc. may vary between Old Law and New Law rules. The discharge cannot be under dishonorable conditions.
Child’s Relationship to the Veteran Requirements:
Be the biological child of the veteran. If the veteran’s initial term of active duty, wartime service as on or before June 30, 2011, the child must have been adopted prior to age 24. If the veteran’s initial term of active duty, wartime service was on or after July 1, 2011, the child must have been adopted prior to the age 18. Stepchildren are not eligible.
Veteran Indian Residence Requirements:
If the veteran’s initial term of active duty, wartime service was on or before June 30, 2011, the veteran must have resided in Indiana for 36 consecutive months or entered on active duty from an Indiana home or record address.
If the veteran’s initial term of active duty, wartime service was on or after July 1, 2011, the veteran must have resided in Indiana for at least 5 years or entered on active duty for an Indiana home of record address.
All students must be eligible for the resident tuition rate for the state-supported school they will attend.
If documents verifying the veteran’s active, wartime, service dates, and service-connected VA disability rating are not available for upload, IDVA will request the information from the VA Regional Office in Indianapolis. This can sometimes take a week or longer to obtain. These information requests do not include proof of award of the Purple Heart Medal or POW status of the veteran. This information must be uploaded if applying as the child of one of these two categories. Additional proof of veteran’s residency may be required as well before the eligibility of the student can be determined. These are cases where there is no indication on uploaded documents of Indiana residency for the veteran of these documents were not uploaded. We will notify the student if additional documents are needed to verify the veteran’s residency.
The list of state-supported schools for these state aid programs are as follows:
- Ball State
- Indiana State University
- Indiana University – Bloomington
- Indiana University East
- Indiana University Kokomo
- Indiana University South Bend
- indiana University Southeast
- Purdue University West Lafayette
- Purdue University North West (Hammond)
- Purdue University North West (Westville)
- Purdue Global
- Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
- Indiana University Purdue University Columbus
- Indiana University Fort Wayne
- Ivy Tech Community College (all campuses)
- University of Southern Indiana
- Vincennes University
- Western Governor’s University (WGU)