Understanding the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Education Grant

Understanding the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Education Grant

by Kim Pinnelli
Senior Contributing Writer

January 26, 2020
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Children of those who lost their lives fighting for our country may be eligible for the Iraq and Afghanistan Education Service Grant.

College students today have access to a large number of grants, helping them pay for college. Among those grants are the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Education Grant. This grant helps college students that lost a parent during his or her military service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Keep reading to learn the specifics of the program.

Who is Eligible?

As we discussed above, you may be eligible for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Education Grant if you lost a parent during his or her time serving in the military in Iraq or Afghanistan post 9/11. In addition, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Prove that you aren’t eligible for a Federal Pell Grant due to your Expected Family Contribution
  • Prove that you meet all other Pell Grant requirements
  • You were younger than 24-years old when your parent died (if you were older than 24-years old but enrolled in college at least part-time, you may qualify)

How to Apply

Like all federal grants, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. This application contains the details necessary to determine your eligibility for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Education Grant as well as all other federal financial aid opportunities. You must complete the FAFSA every year that you need assistance.

How Much Money can be Awarded?

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Education Grant offers an amount equal to the Federal Pell Grant for that year. Like the Pell Grant, the award cannot exceed the cost to attend your college. For the 2019-2020 school year, the maximum award is $6,195. However, due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, also known as the sequester law; the grant must be reduced by 5.9%.

The sequester law applies to all Iraq and Afghanistan grants awarded between October 1, 2019, to October 1, 2020. Rather than a maximum award of $6,195, college students may receive up to $5,830.

How do you Receive Funds?

Most schools disburse the grant funds twice a year or once per term. The exact schedule depends on how your school operates – do they have semesters, trimesters, or quarters? At the very least, you’ll receive disbursement twice a year.

The DOE first disburses the funds directly to your school to cover tuition and room and board. Any remaining funds (if applicable) are sent directly to you to use for other education expenses, such as books and supplies.

How to Maintain the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Maintaining the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Education Grant requires you to complete the FAFSA each year that you are eligible. You remain eligible for up to 12 semesters or until you receive your Bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first.

You must also prove that you’re achieving academic success, including:

  • Meeting the GPA required by the school
  • Making progress toward graduation at an average speed
  • Any other school-specific requirements

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Education Grant helps those that have lost a parent due to their time in the military. It’s a great way to get funds needed for college, especially when your family’s income or assets exceed the parameters for the Pell Grant.

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