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There are major changes coming for the Alabama GI Dependents Scholarship starting July 31, 2017.

These changes will take effect on July 31, 2017 for those filing an application for the first time. Those already accepted into the program who have filed prior to that date will be grandfathered in. Here are a few important facts for you to know:

  • The minimum disability rating is returned to 40 percent.*
  • The existing residency requirements were unchanged. These included the requirement that veterans must have been Alabama residents for one year prior to entry into service unless they are rated 100 percent disabled and have been a resident of Alabama for the 5 years prior to filing the application for the scholarship. A new requirement that the veteran must be a current resident and have maintained that residency for the two years prior to the application for the scholarship was added.** Also, the student must now be a current resident when the application is filed and maintain that residency while receiving this benefit.
  • Books and fees are included up to a combined $1,000 per semester per student.
  • Tuition is limited to the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance Cap (currently $250 per semester hour). Schools are allowed to waive any overages for this and/or books and fees at their discretion.
  • Students must complete a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for each year that they are covered under the scholarship.
  • The student must use any other grants and scholarships first.
  • The student must meet the academic standard as is required for federal education benefits.
  • The student must authorize the school to release information to the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs.

Exceptions/Grandfathered Clauses:

*Those who do not have 20 percent but have a disability claim pending prior to May 23, 2017 may still qualify for the old program (full tuition, books and instructional fees) if their pending claims result in a rating of at least 20 percent and they file for scholarship benefits within 6 months for final adjudication. Those who have at least 20 percent but less than 40 percent who file for scholarship benefits prior to July 31, 2023 may still qualify for the new program (capped tuition, books, and fees) if they meet the other eligibility requirements of the new program. The student would need to be eligible to take college-level classes (including dual enrollment) the next academic year.

**If the veteran is a current Alabama resident and was discharged from service within the 12 months prior to filing for the scholarship, the veteran may meet the current residency requirement. If the veteran can show that they have paid Alabama income taxes for the last 10 years, the veteran may meet the current residency requirement.

For more information on these changes or if you have questions on your status, please call 205-934-8804 or email veteransaffairs@uab.edu.