Indiana College Costs Estimator

Financial Aid for Veterans

Sorting out financial aid benefits for US veterans is a very complex process. We have provided some information and resources below, but we also encourage you to contact your county veteran’s services representative. For a complete list of Indiana counties and their representatives, click here:

Remember: To qualify for any federal or state money, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  To be eligible for a state grant, Indiana residents must complete the FAFSA by March 10 of every year for the next school year; a student can still file the FAFSA after March 10 for possible federal grants up to June 30 of the current year.   To access the FAFSA, go to: Also, don’t forget to check with the college you are interested in to see if they offer school-specific scholarships for veterans.  Also, remember these points when filling out the FAFSA:

  • Do not include VA educational benefits as income on the FAFSA. Doing this will reduce your need-based financial aid eligibility.
  • Students who are able to claim veteran status do not have to show their parents’ assets and income on the FAFSA, only their own (and spouse’s if married) income and assets.

Federal Government

Veterans have many options for federal financial aid, and many GI bills support different types of academic pursuits, such as: two and four-year college degree programs, non-college degree programs, on-the-job & apprenticeship training, flight training, distance and internet-based training, correspondence training, licensing and certification, entrepreneurship training, etc. You will want to check the GI bill you qualify for to make sure which programs you are eligible to be reimbursed for. Note that most GI benefits are dependent upon your length of service. To get a better understanding of what each program offers, you can reference the GI Bill Education Benefit Programs Comparison Chart (Source: US Department of Veterans Affairs).

  • Do you qualify for one or more veteran’s benefits? To see which ones you qualify for and which ones are best for you, you can go to the US Veterans Affairs’ “Road Map for Success” portal. You can also apply for the different benefits in the “Road Map:”

Other Federal Programs:

  • Yellow Ribbon Program: This is a program that allows participating colleges and universities to enter into an agreement with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution decides how much they will contribute (they are allowed to contribute up to 50% of the expenses) and the VA will match the institution’s contribution. The amount that the VA pays will go directly to the institution. Note that not all institutions take part in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and not all veterans can qualify to participate. You are eligible to participate if you:
    • Served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
    • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September, 10, 2011;
    • You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.  

  • Pell Grants: You can qualify for up to $5,995 in Pell if you attend an institution more than half-time.  Keep in mind that the full $5,995 can only be awarded for students attending an institution full-time and students attending part-time can only receive a prorated maximum of $4,331 (3/4 time). Further, the amount of the Pell you receive depends on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You will get this figure when you fill out the FAFSA. You can generate an EFC in the “Calculate” section of this tool and see what you might expect to receive as a full-time student.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG):  This is a need-based grant awarded by the institution. Individual awards cannot exceed $4,000 per academic year.

State Assistance

In addition to the Frank O’Bannon Grant, Indiana has a few programs that specifically help veterans, public officials, and their families pay for college.

Child of Veteran and Public Safety Officer Supplemental Grant Program.

There are 5 different categories where people can qualify for this award:

  1. Children of a Purple Heart recipient
  2. Former students and/or graduates of Morton Memorial High School; Former residents of the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Children's Home
  3. A child of a member of the Indiana National Guard who suffered a service connected death while serving on state active duty; A spouse of a member of the Indiana National Guard who suffered a service connected death while serving on state active duty.
  4. A child or spouse of a police officer, firefighter or emergency medical technician killed in the line of duty; A child or spouse of an Indiana state police trooper permanently and totally disabled in the line of duty
  5. Veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart Award

Find more information about each of these programs here:

Indiana National Guard Supplement Grant

A grant that guarantees up to 100% of certain tuition costs will be met by the State of Indiana for eligible members of the Indiana Air and Army National Guard. This grant is for Indiana public institutions only (shown below) and is for full-time enrollment status (15 credit hours per semester). Eligible institutions:

  • Ball State University
  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana University (all campuses)
  • Indiana University/Purdue University- Indianapolis
  • Indiana University/Purdue University- Fort Wayne
  • Indiana University/Purdue University-Columbus
  • Ivy Tech (all campuses)
  • Purdue University (all campuses)
  • University of Southern Indiana
  • Vincennes University
  • WGU Indiana

Find more about this program here:

Private Assistance

Is your tuition fully covered by a GI bill? You still might want to pursue private scholarship opportunities to pay for books, supplies, transportation fees, etc. Here are a few sources of private assistance:


Can I get college credit for my military training?

Many colleges offer elective credits for military training that you have already completed. You need to access your military training transcript and have it sent to your college so they can evaluate it and determine how many credits might transfer, if any.