California Veterans’ Benefits

In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans’ benefits programs provided by the states.  The following are the California veterans’ benefits programs for education in 2018.

California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (CNGEAAP)

The California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (CNGEAAP) issues financial awards to qualifying members of the California National Guard (CNG) and State Military Reserve (SMR).

This financial education benefit can pay for up to 100% of fees at the Universities of California, California State Universities, and California Community Colleges.

It can also be used for eligible California proprietary and public institutions.

With combined military training and a civilian education in areas such as engineering, nursing, communications and information technology,

California’s National Guard members will be able to serve on two fronts.

California College Tuition Fee Waiver for Veterans Dependents

Waiver of mandatory systemwide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University or University of California campus. There are 4 different classes of eligibility:

Who is eligible:

  • A child between 14-27 of a veteran who is totally service-connected disabled, or whose death was officially rated as service-connected is eligible. If the child is a veteran, the age limit is extended to age 30;
  • The spouse, Registered Domestic Partner (RDP), or unmarried surviving spouse or RDP of a wartime totally service-connected disabled veteran
  • 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


The veteran must have served at least one day of active duty during a period of war, or awarded a campaign or expeditionary medal. You cannot get Plan A and VA Chapter 35 benefits at the same time. There are no income restrictions. 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 VA 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. There are income limits. 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 VA Chapter 35 benefits and this plan.


Any dependent of any member of the California National Guard, who was killed in the line of duty, died of a disability which was received in the line of duty, or was permanently disabled in the line of duty. Surviving spouses or RDPs who have not remarried are also eligible.


Medal of Honor recipients and their children under 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.


Find colleges in California with our School Finder.  Use the filters to sort schools by state.


For more information regarding California veterans benefits, please visit – California Department of Veterans Affairs


Related state military and veteran information:

State Veterans’ Benefits – By State

California BAH Rates

Yellow Ribbon Schools