April Maguire 2 min read Financial Aid, Scholarships

What is the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?

Reports show that more than 6,000 American soldiers died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. In an effort to support the children of these heroic individuals, the government created the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. Honoring those military members who lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11, this grant provides college funding for their children. Like other grants, this award does not have to be repaid. 

 

Equal to the maximum value of the Federal Pell Grant for the year in question, the grant cannot be greater than the cost of attendance of the school. It’s worth noting that the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the sequester law) is still in effect and reduces award amounts by a certain percentage each year. For grants disbursed between Oct. 1, 2019 and Oct. 1, 2020, for example, the award is reduced by 5.9 percent. 

 

Not all children of service members meet the qualifications for this financial award. Keep reading to discover the eligibility criteria associated with Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, as well as the steps required to apply.

 

Who is Eligible for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?

 

Wondering if you qualify for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant? Individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible to receive this financial award:

 

  • Lost a parent or guardian due to their military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11
  • Were under 24 years old or enrolled at least part time in college at the time of the death
  • Failed to meet the requirements for a Pell Grant on the basis of their expected family contribution
  • Meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements

 

Note that meeting the above qualifications does not guarantee you a grant. If you do receive the award, you may use it for full or part-time undergraduate study at any four-year college within the U.S.

 

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How Do You Apply for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?

 

If you think you may be eligible for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, the first step is to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. You will have to fill out this form every year in order to continue receiving aid. After you have submitted the FAFSA, your school will communicate with the U.S. Department of Education to determine whether or not you qualify for this grant.

 

If you are deemed eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, your academic institution will provide the funds to you in payments known as disbursements. Most schools distribute funding at least once per school term, or semester. It’s worth noting that students can only receive the grant until the time when they 1) earn a bachelor’s degree or professional degree or 2) complete 12 semesters of schooling. 

 

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April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.