Education

Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program
The Military Survivors and Dependents Program (MSDEP) 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. Military service includes service in the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces Reserves, the Virginia National Guard, or the Virginia National Guard 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. This program may pay for tuition and fees at any state-supported college or university. This program waives tuition and fees in Virginia. Benefits are available for up to four years.

Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible, children and spouses of qualifying military service members 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.
  • Effective July 1, 2014, the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program residency requirements have been changed to deem certain surviving spouses and dependents of military service members eligible for the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program if the service member through whom they claim eligibility (i) has had a physical presence in Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date on which the admission application to the public institution of higher education was submitted; (ii) had a physical presence in Virginia on the date of his death and for at least five years immediately prior to his death; (iii) is deceased and the surviving parent of the qualifying child has had a physical presence in Virginia for at least five years immediately prior to the date on which the admission application to the public institution of higher education was submitted; and (iv) is deceased and the surviving spouse has had a physical presence in Virginia for at least five years prior to the date on which the admission application was submitted by the qualified spouse. The current law requires bona fide domiciliary status in Virginia in these circumstances.

    Documents or a combination of documents must provide sufficient evidence supporting or indicating five years of continuous physical presence for the Veteran or applicant (in the case of a deceased Veteran) in Virginia.

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.

Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program FAQs (60KB)

VMSDEP Online Application

The Veteran Education Training & Employment (VETE) division of DVS is pleased to offer this new VMSDEP online application process. Click on the link above to proceed; please contact Keia Watkins at keia.watkins@dvs.virginia.gov or 804-786-0571 should you have any questions while completing this new process online.

Virginia Public Colleges and Universities (33KB)

Wartime Service
World War I: April 6, 1917 through Nov 11, 1918
  • for veterans who served in Russia

April 6, 1917 through July 1, 1921

April 6, 1917 through Nov 11, 1918
  • for veterans who had at least one
    day of service
World War II: Dec 7, 1941 through Dec 31, 1946
Korean War: June 27, 1950 through Jan 31, 1955
Vietnam War: Aug 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975

Feb 28, 1961 through Aug 5, 1964
  • for veterans who served "in country"
Gulf War: Aug 2, 1990 through a date to be set by
law or Presidential Proclamation.

For More Information
To learn more about the VMSDEP program,

Keia Watkins, VMSDEP Administrator
Phone: (804) 786-0571
Fax: (804)-786-0809
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

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