Virginia Military Survivors and Dependent Education Program
General Description and Purpose
The purpose of the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependent Education Program (VMSDEP) is to provide eligible students enrolled in a Virginia public college or university (institution) with certain education benefits in acknowledgement of the military service and sacrifice of their military parent or spouse.
The eligible student must be:
- Accepted by and enrolled in a Virginia public college or university; and
a. A spouse of a qualifying military service member; or
b. A child, between the ages of 16 and 29, inclusive, of a qualifying military service member.
The qualifying military service member is one who meets at least one criterion in each of the following four areas.
- Served on active duty in:
- US Armed Forces;
- US Armed Forces Reserve;
- Virginia National Guard; or
- Virginia National Guard Reserve.
- Military operations against terrorism;
- A peacekeeping mission;
- Active duty as a result of a terrorist act; or
- Any armed conflict subsequent to December 6, 1941.
- While serving active duty:
- Was killed;
- Was missing in action;
- Was prisoner of war; or
- Became permanently disabled or at least 90 percent disabled due to such service and is now a veteran.
- Have one of the following qualifying statuses:
- Virginia domicile at time of entering service or called up from reserves;
- Virginia domicile for at least five years immediately prior to student applying for admission to the institution;
- If deceased, was Virginia domicile on, and for at least five years prior to, his death;
- In the case of a qualifying child, is deceased and the surviving parent had been, at some point previous to marrying the deceased military member, a Virginia domicile for at least five years or is and has been a Virginia domicile for at least five years prior to student’s application for admission; or
- In the case of a qualified spouse, is deceased and the surviving spouse had been, at some time previous to marrying the deceased military spouse, a Virginia domicile for at least five years or is and has been Virginia domicile for at least five years prior to his or her admission application.
Eligible students, as confirmed by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS), are guaranteed waiver of all tuition and mandatory fees at a Virginia public college or university regardless of degree program or enrollment level.
In addition, as funds are available, eligible students may receive a stipend to offset other educational expenses incurred by the student, such as room, board, books, and supplies. Please note that the stipend is not available for the advance purchase of books. The current maximum authorized award is $1,800, allocated to fall 2013 and spring 2014 terms according to the schedule below.
as of census date (end of add/drop)
Stipend priority funding system for fall and spring stipends
Because there may not be sufficient funding to make full VMSDEP stipends to all eligible students, a priority funding system will be used to determine the order and amount of stipends. Students in a higher Priority category must receive their full projected annual stipend, as determined by SCHEV based on student enrollment level, before subsequent categories can be considered for funding.
Only students appearing on the verification rosters released by SCHEV to the institutions will be funded for the terms specified as authorized, regardless of certification/verification from any other source.
The priority dates are as follows:
First Priority Date: November 1
Includes fall and spring term authorizations received by SCHEV from DVS as of November 1. All students within this category will receive the same award amount for the equivalent enrollment level for each current year term authorized by DVS by the first priority date.
Second Priority Date: February 1
Includes fall and spring term authorizations received by SCHEV from DVS between November 2 and February 1. If funding remains after stipends for First Priority students are fully funded, stipends for Second Priority students will be made. If remaining funds are insufficient to fund at the First Priority level, then a reduction in the amount of all Second Priority stipends will be implemented, but all students within the category will receive the same award amount for the equivalent enrollment level for each current year term authorized by DVS by the second priority date.
Third Priority Date: March 1
Includes fall and spring term authorizations received by SCHEV from DVS between February 2 and March 1. If all stipends for First Priority and Second Priority students are fully funded at their respective stipend amounts and funds remain, stipends for Third Priority students will be made. If remaining funds are insufficient to fund at the Second Priority level, then a reduction in the amount of Third Priority stipends will be implemented, but all students within the category will receive the same award amount for the equivalent enrollment level for each current year term authorized by DVS by the third priority date.
If funds remain after the priority category authorizations are funded, additional stipends at the Third Priority level will be made on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted (based first on date of DVS notice of term authorization to SCHEV and then date of DVS term authorization).
Stipend priority funding system for summer stipends
In May of each year, if all fall and spring term authorizations have been funded and sufficient funds remain, summer stipends will be awarded. Priority for summer awards will be based on a first-come, first served basis until funding is exhausted or the cut off for fiscal year disbursement requests, whichever occurs first. The first-come first-served basis is based first on the date DVS provides notification to SCHEV and second on the date that DVS authorized the student.
The following restrictions apply to the stipend:
- Stipends are based on available funding and are awarded according to the above priority system.
- The stipend is not available for noncredit courses, which include courses taken for audit.
- For purposes of determining the stipend amount, the enrollment level is determined as of the end of the institution’s census date (end of add/drop period); credit hours added after that date will not be included in the student’s enrollment level.
- A student may receive the stipend through one institution only. If a student is enrolled concurrently at multiple participating institutions and there is a formal consortium agreement in place, the student may receive funding based on the combined enrollment. If there is no formal consortium agreement, funds will be based and disbursed on the higher level of enrollment. However, a student remains eligible for the waiver of tuition and fees at each institution even if enrolled at multiple participating institutions.
The maximum amount of the VMSDEP stipend, when combined with “other scholarships, grants, and waivers” (i.e. other gift aid), cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance (room, board, books, supplies, etc.). Other gift aid may include athletic or academic scholarships, veteran’s benefits, etc.
An example: John Smith is enrolled full-time for both fall and spring terms and expects to receive a $5,550 Pell Grant, a $450 SEOG Grant, a $2,000 state grant, and a $1,000 institutional grant – a total of $9,000 in gift aid. His room, board, book, supply, and other expenses total $10,000.
Example: Expenses ($10,000) minus expected gift aid ($9,000) equal $1,000. Because the amount of the VMSDEP stipend cannot exceed expenses, his annual VMSDEP stipend would be reduced to $1,000.
If a student withdraws from college, the stipend is adjusted by a percentage equivalent to the tuition refund policy in effect at the institution.
Example: John Smith is receiving a $500 stipend for the spring term. He withdraws from the institution at the point where a student would be liable for 50% of charges. John is eligible to retain 50% of his stipend, or $250.
- No stipends will be awarded after the cut off for fiscal year disbursement requests has passed.