Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is a type of grant issued to eligible undergraduate college students. This grant is similar to the federal pell grant and other types of student aid programs.

However, unlike other grants that assess the students’ income resources and their GPAs to determine eligibility, the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant have more specific eligibility requirements.

Who is Eligible for Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?

If you tried applying for a federal pell grant but unfortunately your application has not been approved, you might have a chance to get approved for Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for this grant:

  • You were not eligible for a federal pell grant due to high Expected Family Contribution;
  • You meet the other eligibility requirements for pell grant:
    • Currently taking up a bachelor’s degree;
    • Display a serious need of financial assistance;
    • A legal citizen of the US; and
  • Your parents died due to military services specifically in Iraq and Afghanistan where the tragic 9/11 event happened; and
  • You are currently taking up your bachelor’s degree the time they died (usually 24 years of age).

How to Apply for Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?

If you think you are qualified for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant you can apply by simply filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or known as the FAFSA

Keep in mind that once your application is approved, you will have to fill out the FAFSA form every school year to maintain your eligibility for the program.

How Much to Receive?

The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant provides financial aid to eligible students. The amount that the grantee will receive is equal to the maximum amount of a Pell grant in a term, however, it does not exceed the cost of attendance that the grantee has.

Based on the Federal Student Aid website, the maximum Pell grant for the year 2021 – 2022 is about 6,495 US dollars.

Moreover, based on the enacted Sequester Law or the Budget Control Act of 2011, there is a need to reduce the grant amount by 5.7 percent.

For example, for the school year 2020-2021, grants that are disbursed between October of 2020 to October of 2021 will be reduced by 5.7 percent.

This means that the 6,435 US dollars of student grants will become 5, 983.34 US dollars. This goes the same for the school year 2021-2022.

How to Stay Eligible for Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?

As mentioned earlier, the grantee should fill out the FAFSA form each school year to maintain one’s eligibility. While under the program, the university you are attending and the education department of the country monitor your status and eligibility for Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Other than that, maintaining good grades and academic progress is a significant requirement to maintain eligibility for the student aid grant.

Each university has its policy regarding this matter. If you want to know the standards set by the university you are attending, ask your school’s financial aid staff or check details on your school’s official site.

Details to take note of in maintaining satisfactory academic progress

Upon visiting your school’s financial aid office, they will tell you to:

  • Maintain a certain grade-point average that the school has set;
  • Maintain a good speed in progressing to graduation (e.g., it can be based on the number of school credits you completed each school year);
  • How factors like failed/repeated subjects, the shift of major, or school transfer might affect your academic progress and eligibility for the grant;
  • What to do when you have not been able to achieve satisfactory academic progress;
  • How and when to appeal; or
  • How to regain your eligibility for Iraq and Afghanistan Service grant (if you lost your eligibility due to certain circumstances).

Take note though that after you already acquired your first baccalaureate degree or you already reached the 12-semester limit period, you can no longer be eligible for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service grant.

Regaining your eligibility for student aid

There might be instances when you can no longer be eligible to receive a student aid/grant due to a variety of reasons:

  1. It can be due to shifting from one major to another; or
  2. It can be because you failed to meet one of the basic eligibility criteria for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

If that’s the case, there is still hope that you can regain your eligibility. To get started, it is highly advised that you talk to your school’s financial aid office and inquire about steps to take in becoming eligible again.

Other Military Scholarships Available

Other than the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, there are also other military-related scholarships that you can apply such as:

Air Force ROTC college scholarship

This scholarship program aims to provide financial aid to students pursuing technical degrees. Although in some instances, students who are studying various majors can avail of this scholarship. If this interests you, call their contact number: 1-866-4-AFROTC (1-866-423-7682) or visit their site: afrotc.com/scholarships to know more about Air Force ROTC college scholarships.

Army ROTC college scholarship

This scholarship is available in more than 1,000 colleges in the country. If you want to know more details including eligibility requirements, you can inquire at the program’s contact number: 1-888-550-ARMY (1-888-550-2769) or you can also visit goarmy.com/rotc.

Marine Officer Navy ROTC

This program will cover your college tuition and other expenses in any approved ROTC schools. If you are interested, you can go to marines.com.

Navy ROTC

This military program provides the opportunity for students to have either a four-year or a partial scholarship. Want to know more? Dial their contact number:  1-800-NAV-ROTC (1-800-628-7682)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Upon filling up your FAFSA form for the school year, you will be asked if you are convicted of a drug offense within the period that you are receiving student aid. If so, they will provide a worksheet for you and it is a requisite that you answer it truthfully. This will not affect your eligibility for student aid though.

Some student aid programs consider you ineligible to receive grants due to incarceration. In this case, you can only be able to receive grants again after you get released.

To be able to receive student aid, you need to restore your legal citizenship status. In this case, you can ask for help from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Visit the official website http://www.uscis.gov/.

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