The College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board. There are four plans under which dependents of Veterans may be eligible.
The unmarried child of a Veteran who is totally disabled due to service-connected disabilities or whose death was officially rated as service-connected is eligible. The child must be over 14 years old and under 27 years old to be eligible. If the child is a Veteran, then the age limit is extended to age 30;
The spouse of a wartime Veteran who has been rated as service-connected totally disabled is eligible. There are no age limit restrictions;
The unmarried surviving spouse of a wartime Veteran whose death has been rated as service-connected is eligible. There are no age limit restrictions;
Any dependent of any Veteran who has been declared missing in action, captured in the line of duty by hostile forces, or forcibly detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power is eligible.
The Veteran must have served at least one day of active duty during a period of war as declared by the U.S. Congress, or during any time in which the Veteran was awarded a campaign or expeditionary medal. Concurrent receipt of benefits under Plan A and VA Chapter 35 benefits is prohibited. To receive benefits under Plan A, a dependent must sign an "Election To Receive College Waiver Benefits" statement acknowledging this fact. There are no income restrictions under this plan. To be eligible, the event which caused basic entitlement to benefits (i.e., the date the Veteran died of service-connected causes or the date the military or United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) rated the Veteran as totally disabled as a result of service-connected disabilities) must have occurred prior to the child's 21st birthday.
The child of a Veteran who has a service-connected disability, or had a service-connected disability at the time of death, or died of service-related causes is eligible. The child's annual income, which includes the child's adjusted gross income, plus the value of support provided by a parent, may not exceed the annual income limit. The current academic year entitlement is based upon the previous calendar year's annual income. Under Plan B, wartime service is not required and there are no specific age requirements. Children are the only dependents eligible under this plan. There is no prohibition against receiving concurrent VA Chapter 35 benefits.
Any dependent of any member of the California National Guard, who in the line of duty while on active service to the state, was killed, died of a disability resulting from an event that occurred while in active service to the state, or is permanently disabled as a result of an event that occurred while in the service to the state is eligible. Surviving spouses who have not remarried are also eligible.
"Active service to the state," for the purpose of this benefit, means a member of the California National Guard activated pursuant to Section 146 of the Military and Veterans Code. A copy of those orders pursuant to Section 146, not Section 143, must be furnished to establish eligibility.
Medal of Honor recipients and children of Medal of Honor recipients under the age of 27 may qualify. Benefits under Plan D are limited to undergraduate studies only, and applicants are subject to both income and age restrictions. There is no prohibition against receiving concurrent VA Chapter 35 benefits.
All applicants must meet California residency requirements.
If eligibility criteria is met, use of the College Waiver for Veterans Dependents may be applied to state-support programs in the CCC, CSU, and UC systems. Some academic programs at these institutions that are considered self-supported, commonly referred to as extension courses or extended education are not required to apply the College Fee Waiver because these courses, degrees, and certificates are neither funded by the state nor are they system-wide programs. Veterans dependents using this waiver should research their academic programs thoroughly before applying to the college or university.
Education Code, Section 66025.3 does not provide the authority to grant College Fee Waiver benefits retroactively. However, an exception exists relating to applications received under the provisions of Military and Veterans Code Section 890.3(a)(1). The law permits retroactive fee waiver benefits when an application is denied solely due to the fact that the Veteran has a claim pending with the USDVA for service connected disability or death benefits, but the claim has yet to be awarded, and in the future the USDVA adjudicates a service connected rating. The Veteran or student must have applied for the College Fee Waiver during each academic year in which they are seeking the benefit; the application will be denied due to no service connected disability. Once the Veteran has been awarded service connected disability rating, bring the VA notification letter and denial letter(s) back to the CVSO for review.
If you are a child of a Veteran, you must attach Verification of Dependency. Acceptable verifications include, but are not limited to, a Birth Certificate, Adoption Records or Marriage Certificate. Those seeking status as an Adopted Child or as a Stepchild must have entered into such status prior to the child's 23th Birthday.
How to Apply
Please use the College Fee Waiver Calculator to verify eligibility.
To apply download an application, then go to your local County Veterans Service Office. For more information, you can also contact the admissions office or the Veterans Affairs office of any California college system campus.
For eligibility information, please review the information for each Plan, shown above. In accordance with California Education Code 66025.3(c), the income limit for otherwise eligible students under Plan B for the school academic year 2018-19 is $12,752. Income limit for the upcoming academic year 2019-20 is $13,064.
To obtain complete eligibility requirements or assistance in applying for these benefits, please contact your local County Veterans Service Office. Note: This program does not cover expenses such as books, housing and parking.
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