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State Veteran Benefits NY and PA

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New York
Pennsylvania

New York

Regents Award for Child of Veteran:

Eligibility:Children of veterans who are deceased, 40% or more disabled, former POW or MIA as a result of service during certain specified conflicts. Candidates must be a legal NY resident at the time of application and parent must have been a legal NY resident at the time of induction, death or disability.

Benefits: $450 per year to all eligible candidates up to five years depending on normal length of undergraduate program.

Application: New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12255 telephone: 518-473-7087

Veterans Tuition Awards

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time study and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.

NOTE: Students previously approved for this award must apply for payment each year. Those students attending a vocational school or who are attending an approved undergraduate or graduate program part-time may apply for payment for the current academic year by completing the supplement.

Award Amounts

  • For full-time study, a recipient shall receive an award of up to the full cost of undergraduate tuition for New York state residents at the State University of New York, or actual tuition charged, whichever is less. Full-time study is defined as twelve or more credits per semester (or the equivalent) at a degree-granting institution, or twenty-four or more hours per week in a vocational training program.
  • For part-time study, awards will be prorated by credit hour. Part-time study is defined as at least three but fewer than twelve credits per semester (or the equivalent) at a degree-granting institution, or six to twenty-three hours per week in a vocational training program.

2008 - 2009 Awards
For the 2008-09 academic year, awards will be set at 98% of tuition or $4,287.50, whichever is less. If a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award is also received, the combined academic year award cannot exceed tuition. Thus, the TAP award may be reduced accordingly.

Duration
Full-time Study

  • Undergraduate Degree-Granting Programs- Awards are available for up to eight semesters (four years) of undergraduate study. Awards can be made available for up to semesters of undergraduate study for enrollment in an approved five-year program or for enrollment in an approved program of remedial study.
  • Graduate Degree-Granting Programs- Awards are available for up to six semesters (three years) of graduate study.
  • Vocational Training Programs- Awards are available for up to a maximum of four semesters (two years) of study in an approved vocational training program.

Part-time Study

  • Undergraduate Degree-Granting Programs- Awards are available for up to the equivalent of eight semesters (four years) of full-time undergraduate study in a four-year program. Awards can be made available for up to the equivalent of ten semesters (five years) of full-time study for enrollment in an approved five-year undergraduate program which normally requires five academic years of full-time study.
  • Graduate Degree-Granting Programs- Awards are available for up to the equivalent of six semesters (three years) of part-time graduate study.
  • Vocational Training Programs- Awards are available for up to a maximum of eight semesters (four years) of part-time study in an approved vocational training program.

Approved programs are defined as undergraduate degree, graduate degree, diploma, and certificate programs at degree-granting institutions, or noncredit vocational training programs of at least 320 clock hours specifically approved by the New York State Division of Veteran's Affairs' Bureau of Veterans Education.

Eligible Veterans
Eligible students are those who are New York State residents discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed forces and who are:

  • Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.
  • Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

These students must also:

  • Establish eligibility by applying to HESC.
  • Be New York State residents.
  • Be US Citizens or eligible noncitizens.
  • Be matriculated full or part- time at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution in New York State or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.
  • Have applied for the Tuition Assistance Program for full-time undergraduate or graduate study.

How to Establish Eligibility
Complete the New York State Veterans Tuition Award Supplementor contact HESC. Be sure to print the Web Supplement Confirmation, sign and return it along with the required documentation according to the instructions.

Questions regarding eligible service or how to document service should be directed to the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372.

How to Apply for Payment
Once you have established your eligibility, you must apply for payment. While you need only establish your eligibility once, you must apply for payment each year.

Apply for payment as follows:

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Full-time Study- Apply for payment by doing one of the following:
  1. Apply online by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) -- the form used by virtually all colleges, universities and vocational schools for awarding federal student aid and most state and college aid - and then linking to the TAP on the Web application, or
  2. For veterans who do not anticipate filing a FAFSA, complete a Scholarship Grant Payment Application. For a copy of the application call HESC at 1-888-697-4372.
  • Undergraduate Part-time Study - Complete only the Veterans Tuition Award Supplement.
  • Graduate Part-time Study - Complete only the Veterans Tuition Award Supplement.
  • Vocational Training Program - Complete only the Veterans Tuition Award Supplement.

Applications must be completed by May 1, 2009 for awards for the 2008-09 academic year.

To learn more about programs and benefits for veterans visit the New York Learn more about the Military Service Recognition Scholarship

Operation Recognition - High School Diplomas
Operation Recognition allows certain veterans to earn high school diplomas if they left school without graduating. Learn more about Operation Recognition

Pennsylvania

Qualified veterans of the US Armed Forces, active-duty, Guard, and Reserve servicemembers and certain family members may eligible for one or more of the following education benefits offered by the state of Pennsylvania.

Educational Gratuity Program

Educational Gratuity program provides financial assistance to children of honorably discharged veterans who have service-connected disabilities and served during a period of war or armed conflict or children of veterans who die or died in service during a period of war or armed conflict.

Veteran's eligibility criteria:

  • Died in service during a period of war or armed conflict or,
  • A veteran who has:
    • An honorable discharge from the U.S. military
    • Served during established war service dates as determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The following decorations can also be used to establish wartime service: Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal or Navy Expeditionary Medal

  • Veteran must have a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability rating by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Child's eligibility criteria:

  • Must be between the ages of 16 and 23, living within the Commonwealth five years prior to application and must attend a school within the Commonwealth.
  • Applicant must have a financial need.

Payments:
Payment will not exceed $500.00 per term or semester per qualified child to each approved educational institution upon submission by that approved educational institution of proof of matriculation of the applicant. Educational gratuity payments may not be made for longer than 4 scholastic years.

Application process:
Contact the County Veterans Affairs Director in the county you reside to apply for this program.

Required documentation:

  • Need a copy of last military service DD214 or Military Death Certificate of the sponsoring veteran
  • Copy of birth certificate of applicant
  • Proof of identification (driver's license, voter registration, etc.)
  • Proof of Pennsylvania residency for last five (5) years

Financial Aid for National Guard Members

Together with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), administer the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) for members of the Pennsylvania National Guard. This program provides tuition assistance for students who enter into a service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard, typically for a period of six years.

To be eligible you must:

  • Be a bona fide resident (domiciliary) of Pennsylvania.
  • Be enrolled in a degree- or certificate-granting program of study at an approved Pennsylvania institution.
  • Maximum Award Values for 2007-08 Undergraduates
  • Full-time: 100% of tuition charged at a state-owned university ($5,177 for the 2007-08 academic year)
  • Part-time: EITHER actual tuition charged for the part-time course of study, OR two-thirds (2/3) of the full-time tuition charged to a Pennsylvania resident at a state owned university ($3,451 for the 2007-08 academic year), WHICH EVER is less.
  • 3 credit minimum (or the equivalent)

Graduate degree candidates or those who already hold a bachelors degree:

  • Full-time: Not available
  • Part-time: EITHER one-half (1/2) of the actual tuition charged for the part-time course of study, OR one-third (1/3) of the full-time tuition charged to a Pennsylvania resident at a state owned university ($1,725 for the 2007-08 academic year), WHICH EVER is less.
  • 11 credit maximum (or the equivalent)
  • 3 credit minimum (or the equivalent)

If you fail to honor the service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard, you must repay all EAP funds you receive, plus interest.

Special Grants to Children of Soldiers Declared POW/MIA

PA provides a special state grant to children of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been designated a "Prisoner of War" or as "Missing in Action" and:

  • Served on active duty after January 31, 1955.
  • Was a resident of Pennsylvania for at least twelve (12) months preceding his/her service on active duty.

Students do not qualify if they are a child of any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who deserted, defected to the enemy, or was discharged under conditions other than "honorable."

To apply:

File a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the POW-MIA application.

You may obtain the POW-MIA application by calling:
1-800-692-7392 (toll-free)
717-720-2366(TDD, for hearing-impaired ONLY)

Students should file as early as possible. Funds permitting, PA may be able to consider applications for the full academic year as long as they are filed with the Agency before April 1 of the spring term for which aid is being requested.

Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program

This program honors individuals who lost their lives protecting the citizens of this Commonwealth by providing their children with a waiver of tuition, fees, and room and board charges. An act was signed into law that provides financial assistance to children of Pennsylvania police officers, firefighters, rescue or ambulance squad members, corrections facility employees or National Guard members who died in the line of duty after January 1, 1976.
On November 30, 2004, the Governor signed into law an amendment to this Act, to also include sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, National Guard members and certain other individuals who are on federal or state active military duty, are Pennsylvania residents, and who died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.
This program provides a waiver of tuition, fees, and room and board costs charged by public postsecondary institutions. This waiver is only applied to charges that remain after all other grants (federal, state and outside scholarships) have been applied to your student account.

To qualify you must:

  • Be a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Be a child by birth or adoption of a deceased police officer, firefighter, rescue or ambulance squad member, corrections facility employee or active National Guard member who died after January 1, 1976, as a direct result of performing his or her official duties.
  • Be a child by birth or adoption of a deceased sheriff, deputy sheriff, National Guard member or certain other individual who was on federal or state active military duty who died since September 11, 2001, as a direct result of performing his or her official duties.
  • Be 25 years of age or younger at the time of application for the program.
  • Have already applied for available scholarships, as well as state and federal grants, and have provided a record of application for financial aid to the postsecondary institution to which application is made.
  • Be enrolled at a Pennsylvania community college, state-owned institution, or state-related institution as a full-time student pursuing undergraduate studies that will lead to an associate or baccalaureate degree.

How to apply:

Please Note: A certified copy of the student's birth certificate must accompany the PEGP Application for first-time applicants. For more information on how to obtain this certificate, please visit www.health.state.pa.us/vitalrecords.

  • Call toll-free: 1-800-692-7392.
  • Mail a written request to:

Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program
PHEAA State Grant and Special Programs
P.O. Box 8114
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8114

More Education Resources:

PA Division of Veterans/Military Education

The Veterans/Military Education Division of the Pennsylvania Department of Education has been designated by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as the State Approving Agency for Training of Veterans/Eligible persons and reservists in the field of institutional training, correspondence training, flight training, apprenticeship training, and other on-the-job training under the provisions of Chapters 30, 32, 34, 35 and 36 of Title 38, United States Code, Chapter 1606 of Title 10, United States Code, and Chapter 1607 of Title 10, United State Code.PA Division of Veterans/Military Education

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