disabled student advocacy

College Options for Disabled Veterans

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Disabled veteran grants for college reduce tuition for those who have served the country. The most well-known grant for veterans is through the GI Bill. The GI Bill was first created in 1944 to reduce the cost to attend college for veterans and their dependents. Undergraduate and graduate programs are eligible for funding through the GI Bill with tuition and fees paid directly to the college. A housing allowance and money for books may be mailed directly to the disabled veteran. College benefits for disabled veterans through the GI Bill are usually permitted as long as they served at least 90 days of active duty.  

Other grants are available to cover costs of college for disabled veterans. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed prior to enrolling in college. The federal government calculates need based on income, household size, and the type of degree program the applicant is pursuing. The most popular types of grants are Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. Award amounts are calculated annually with tuition payments made directly to the accredited college or university. Disabled veteran grants for college do not require re-payment. Free college tuition for disabled veterans is possible with funding from grants and scholarships.

Can I Get College Scholarships for Disabled Veterans?

Another way to pursue free college for disabled veterans is to look into scholarship programs. Scholarship money is not repaid and may be awarded on a one-time basis or annually. Private companies sponsor college scholarships for disabled veterans to assuage tuition costs. Award amounts vary, but typically range between $200 and $5,000. Local and regional veteran associations are most often responsible for creating scholarship funds for disabled veterans. Prospective students should contact local VFW and American Legion organizations to research available college scholarships for disabled veterans.

Before applying for college scholarships, review important information such as deadlines and requirements. As an example, the Disabled Veterans Scholarship from Feldman Law Firm is available annually for students enrolling in a community college, four-year university, or vocational college. The applicant must have belonged to a branch of the military and have a disability rating of at least 30 percent. An essay is also required for consideration. Annual deadline for the $1,000 award is in February.

Scholarships for disabled veterans may also be offered to students who served in certain wars. As an example, there are scholarship funds for veterans and their offspring who served in the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars.

What are Some Challenges for Attending College for Disabled Veterans?

College for disabled veterans can have challenges, but fortunately laws have been created to protect their rights. The Americans with Disabilities Act prevents discrimination based on a person’s disability. There is also an Assistive Technology Act that provides grant funding for those with disabilities that need assistive technologies to complete coursework. Students with disabilities are also protected under Section 504. This helps provide services to any disabled student who attends a state college or university. These services may include additional exam time, adaptive technology coursework and exams, alternative exam formats, and personalized attention from faculty members.

Accessibility is the main challenge when looking at college for disabled veterans. Some colleges have yet to make entrances accessible with the inclusion of ramps and wider entrances. Disabled veterans should research higher learning institutions to ensure they are able to navigate the campus easily. Colleges are required to make changes to accommodate disabled students as long as the renovations are possible. In some cases, the buildings are historic or very old and can’t accommodate students with wheelchairs or braces. To assist these students, the college may offer classes at alternative locations. Also, online classes have grown in popularity and make it easier for all students to attend higher learning courses.  

The most significant help to overcome any challenges is financial aid can provide free college for disabled veterans possible.

What are the College Benefits for Disabled Veterans?

College benefits for disabled veterans are plentiful. A higher education allows the veteran to explore job opportunities that don’t require military service. Also, the grants and scholarships for disabled veterans allow for plenty of flexibility. Disabled veteran students don’t have to enroll full-time at a four-year university. They can attend on a part-time basis with benefits being paid for as little as six credit hours per semester. The benefits also cover graduate schools and alternative learning pathways like vocational schools. Finishing college expands the individual’s career options and provides more opportunities for job advancement and higher annual salaries. Since the disabled veteran is eligible for grants and scholarships, he or she will not graduate college with a large amount of debt. Due to the high amount of federal funding, the veteran may decide to pursue advanced degrees at the master and doctoral level.

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