Virginia Department of Veterans Services – Education
Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program
The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who became at least 90 percent disabled as a result of military service in an armed conflict. (Scroll over highlighted text for additional information or see the note below). Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or the Reserves. Armed conflict includes military operations against terrorism or as the result of a terrorist act, a peace-keeping mission, or any armed conflict after December 6, 1941.
- NOTE: A Veteran’s 90-100% disability must have been directly caused by the Veteran’s involvement in: 1) military operations against terrorism; 2) a peacekeeping mission; 3) a terrorist act; 4) an armed conflict subsequent to December 6, 1941. The service connected disability cannot have been incurred during active duty that coincides with, but was not the direct result of, one of the listed events/missions.
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 meet the following requirements:
- The dependent child must be between the ages 16 and 29 inclusively; there is no age restriction for spouses
- The qualifying military service member must be a current Virginia citizen or maintained 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