About: The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (MSDEP) provides educational assistance for the spouses and children of military Service members who, while serving as an active duty member in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or Virginia National Guard Reserve, during military operations against terrorism, on a peace-keeping mission, as a result of a terrorist act, or in any armed conflict subsequent to December 6, 1941, was killed or is missing in action or is a prisoner of war, or a Veteran who is or may hereafter become at least 90% disabled, as rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and has been discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable, due to such service. The applicant must use this entitlement to attend either a Virginia state supported college, university or post-secondary educational institution. Eligible individuals are entitled to a maximum of forty-eight (48) months of tuition-free education and required fees at any Virginia state supported college, university, or post-secondary educational institution.
Eligibility: In order to be eligible for this benefit, the surviving child or spouse must meet the following requirements:
- The child must be between ages 16 and 29; there are no age restrictions for spouses.
- The military Service member is and must have been a Virginia citizen at the time he or she entered active duty or must have been a Virginia citizen for at least five years immediately prior to the date of the application for admission.
- In the case of a deceased military Service member the Veteran's surviving spouse can meet the residency requirements if he or she lived in Virginia for at least five years prior to marrying the military Service member or has been a citizen of Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date of application.
Required Documentation: In most cases, eligibility will be determined using documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. However, the Veteran or surviving spouse may be asked to provide documentation verifying residency or the applicant's age or relationship. State income tax records, birth certificates, and/or marriage certificates are usually sufficient.
Recertification: To continue receiving MSDEP benefits, qualifying enrolled students must provide a letter to the Virginia Department of Veterans Services stating their continued enrollment, the period attended, and the period of time for which they are requesting benefits.