What to know about the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
Receiving a Federal Pell Grant for your education can be an excellent way to help lower your college costs, however, not everyone qualifies for this type of financial aid. This is where the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant can come into play. This grant is a Title IV grant for dependents of service members who died in the line of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11. Here is what you need to know.
Who is eligible for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?
To be eligible you must not be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), but you do meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements.
Pell Grant Eligibility – Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. There are some cases where a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might be able to receive a Federal Pell Grant. You can read more about the Pell Grant at Pell Grant: Everything You Need to Know on College Recon.
In addition, to be eligible your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11.
You also will need to be under 24 years of age or be enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of your parent or guardian’s death.
How do you apply for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?
In order to apply for this grant, you will need to submit a FAFSA form and do this for every year you are in school. Your school, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, will determine your eligibility for the grant.
How much is the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?
The amount of the grant is equal to the amount of a max Federal Pell Grant for the award year, but it also can’t exceed the cost of attendance for the year. Meaning, that you won’t be getting extra money if your school doesn’t cost the maximum amount. For the 2022-2023 school year, the amount is $6,895.
It is important to note that due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, the 2021-2022 Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant that is first disbursed on or after October 1, 2021, and before October 1st, 2022, is reduced by 5.7%. The amount for the 2021-2022 school year is $6,495.
How do you receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?
You would receive payment like you would with the Pell Grant. The exact date depends on your school and that varies. Some give out the money more quickly than others.
When can you no longer get the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?
Once you earn a baccalaureate degree or your first professional degree or if you have used up all 12 semesters of your eligibility, you can no longer receive the grant.
You can read more about this grant on the Federal Student Aid website.
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About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.