Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Veterans' Dependents Scholarship

Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Scholarship

The State of Illinois provides an education scholarship for the dependents of veterans who are either Missing In Action, a Prisoner of War, died while on active duty, 100% disabled due to service connected disabilities or died as a result of a service connected disabilities. 105 ILCS 5/30-14.2 (Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Scholarship) establishes the benefit and 95 Ill. Admin Code 116 (Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Scholarship) provides the rules governing the administration and eligibility of dependents.

ELIGIBILITY

An applicant must be the spouse, natural child, stepchild under the age of 18 at the time of marriage, adopted child under the age of 18 at the time of adoption, or minor child younger than 18 who is under a court-ordered guardianship for at least 2 continuous years prior to application, of the veteran to qualify. The veteran must have been an Illinois resident at the time of entering active military service, an Illinois resident within six months after entering active military service, or a resident of Illinois for at least 15 consecutive years after entering active duty as of the date of application.  Information about place of entry into active duty may be found on a Veteran's DD214 (Report of Separation) or Enlistment Contract. Examples of documents accepted to prove 15 years of consecutive years of residency include Illinois Secretary of State Driving Record Abstract (recommended), state or federal income tax transcripts, property tax records, wage and tax records (IRS Form W-2), or statement of benefits history from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Furthermore, the veteran must meet one of the following criteria in order to qualify – (1) Veteran must have been an MIA (Missing In Action) (2) Veteran must have been a POW (Prisoner of War) (3) Veteran must be rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (USDVA) as being 100% permanent and totally disabled by service connected causes (4) Veteran must be rated by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (USDVA) as being 100% permanent and totally disabled by service connected causes due to unemployability (5) Veteran's death must be rated service connected by the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (USDVA).

If the surviving spouse remarries or if there is a divorce from the veteran or serviceperson, the scholarship benefit for the remarried surviving spouse and stepchildren will terminate on the date of the remarriage or divorce.  If the surviving spouse remarries or if there is a divorce from the veteran or serviceperson while the spouse and/or stepchildren are pursuing a course of study, scholarship benefits will be terminated at the end of the term for which they are presently enrolled.  All eligible dependents, with the exception of eligible spouses, must begin utilizing the benefit prior to the age of 26. 

AMOUNT AND AWARD ENTITLEMENT

An eligible dependent is entitled to full payment of tuition and mandatory fees to any Illinois state supported college or university for a period equivalent to 4 years of enrollment, including summer terms. The scholarship is based on a points system measured in semester hours.  Maximum points allowed is 120.

1 CREDIT HOUR = 1 POINT

2 CREDIT HOURS = 2 POINTS

3 CREDIT HOURS = 3 POINTS

4 CREDIT HOURS = 4 POINTS

5 CREDIT HOURS = 5 POINTS

6-8 CREDIT HOURS = 6 POINTS

9-11 CREDIT HOURS = 9 POINTS

12 OR MORE HOURS = 12 POINTS

The holder of the Scholarship shall be subject to all examinations and academic standards, including the maintenance of minimum grade levels that are applicable to others enrolled in the Illinois institution of higher learning where the Scholarship is used.

The Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Scholarship will cover mandatory fees.

A mandatory fee is a charge assessed by an institution to each and every full-time student for each term. If the institution may waive the fee, the Department will not reimburse the fee. Application, graduation, laboratory, breakage, add/drop fees, online or distance education fees, and program administrative fees for out-of-state or foreign study are specifically excluded. The total benefit provided (120 points) expires 12 years from the date of enrollment in a course of study and shall not exceed the cost equivalent of four calendar years of fulltime enrollment, including summer terms, at the University of Illinois.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The application process for the Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Scholarship is online and may be accessed at https://studentportal.isac.org/student. Please use the Program Applications & Status Checks link at the top of this web page to access the application. 

Based on the applicant's relationship to the veteran, an applicant must upload the documents listed below to the website to complete the application process:

Spouse and Widow:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Veteran's DD214 (Report of Separation) and/or Casualty Report (if killed in service)       
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran is 100% permanent and totally disabled and/or
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran's death was ruled service connected
  • Proof of registration or acceptance letter to college or university attending.
  • If applicable, proof of 15 consecutive years of Illinois residency after entering active duty and date of this application.

Natural child:

  • Birth certificate listing name of veteran
  • Veteran's DD214 (Report of Separation) and/or Casualty Report (if killed in service)
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran is 100% permanent and totally disabled and/or
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran's death was ruled service connected
  • Proof of registration or acceptance letter to college or university attending.
  • If applicable, proof of 15 consecutive years of Illinois residency after entering active duty and date of this application.

Stepchild (under the age of 18 at the time of marriage):

  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage Certificate between parent and veteran
  • Veteran's DD214 (Report of Separation) and/or Casualty Report (if killed in service)
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran is 100% permanent and totally disabled and/or
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran's death was ruled service connected
  • Proof of registration or acceptance letter to college or university attending.
  • If applicable, proof of 15 consecutive years of Illinois residency after entering active duty and date of this application. 

Adopted child (under the age of 18 at the time of adoption):

  • Birth certificate
  • Adoption decree 
  • Veteran's DD214 (Report of Separation) and/or Casualty Report (if killed in service)
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran is 100% permanent and totally disabled and/or
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran's death was ruled service connected
  • Proof of registration or acceptance letter to college or university attending.
  • If applicable, proof of 15 consecutive years of Illinois residency after entering active duty and date of this application.

Minor Child Under a Court-Ordered Guardianship (Under the age of 18 for at least 2 continuous years) 

  • Birth certificate
  • Court-ordered legal guardianship records
  • Veteran's DD214 (Report of Separation) and/or Casualty Report (if killed in service)
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran is 100% permanent and totally disabled and/or
  • Award letter from USDVA stating veteran's death was ruled service connected
  • Proof of registration or acceptance letter to college or university attending.
  • If applicable, proof of 15 consecutive years of Illinois residency after entering active duty and date of this application.

     

    QUESTIONS
     If an applicant has any questions about the Deceased, Disabled, and MIA/POW Scholarship, or need to request an application be mailed to them, please contact the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs at 217-782-3564.