Tuition and Fee Exemption is an Indiana state aid program administered through the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. These state aid programs provide eligible students tuition exemption for up to 124 hours at any state supported school listed below. Approved students will have 8 academic years to use the 124 hours after they use the exemption for the first time. Students must also complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, each year they intend to use the exemption.
The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs role is only to determine eligibility for Tuition Exemption for children of disabled veterans, children of Purple Heart recipients, children of former POW/MIA after January 1, 1960, Indiana Purple Heart recipients, and former students of the Indiana Soldiers and Sailor's Home / Morton Memorial High School. This is an Indiana State Aid benefit and not tied to any Federal VA educational benefits. The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) does not distribute funds or monitor usage of the exemption. If students or Parents have questions other than eligibility they should contact the School directly or the Indiana Commission for Higher Education at 888-528-4719.
The Student, whether they be the child of the veteran, a Purple Heart recipient, or the former student of the Morton Memorial High School must apply for this benefit on Scholar Track. We no longer accept paper applications for this benefit. Scholar Track can be access by clicking HERE. If the student does not have a Scholar Track Account, one can be requested from the log on page. Once the account is active the student can apply by clicking on the Apply for State Aid link and selecting the appropriate category.
You cannot apply for the student while logged on to a Parent account.
HOW WE WILL COMMUNICATE AND APPLICATION STATUSES
IDVA will communicate via the email shown on the Scholar Track Application for all Scholar Track Application statuses ( APPROVED,ON HOLD, or DENIED)
If the application is APPROVED a standard email for approval will be sent to the student. If the Student is under 18 the email for the veteran listed on the application will also be included.
Applications are placed ON HOLD if we need additional information or cannot open or read uploaded documents. The email will state specifics.
If applications are DENIED we will state the reason and provide an attached a letter showing the reason of ineligibility and include the current Indiana Code 21-14-4-1 as reference.
Basic Eligibility for Children of Veterans:
Indiana Code 21-14-4-1
1. Veteran parent must have served in Armed Forces of the United States During a war OR performed equally hazardous duty that was recognized by the award of a Service or Campaign Medal of the United States (i.e. Expeditionary Medal) This includes service in a reserve or National Guard component as long as the veteran was actively attending drill and annual training.
Eligible wartime dates are:
2. Veteran must have been rated for a service connected disability by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs 0-100%
3. Veteran Parent must have either entered the Armed Forces from and Indiana home of record address (noted on DD214) OR resided in Indiana for 5 years. (Must include this evidence with Scholar Track Application)
4. Student must be the biological child of the veteran OR adopted by the veteran prior to reaching their 18th birthday. Step Children are not eligible.
5. Student must first apply and be eligible prior to reaching their 33rd birthday
NOTE: the 32-year-old age limit DOES NOT apply to a Purple Heart recipient applying for this benefit and only applies to the child of the disabled veteran or the child of a Purple Heart recipient.
All students must use the education cost exemption within eight (8) academic years of using the exemption for the first time regardless of the veteran's initial enlistment date. However, to minimize the impact of this, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education is grandfathering students who first used the educational cost exemption before July 1, 2011 until students use the exemption again after June 30, 2017. Once these grandfathered students use the exemption after June 30, 2017, they will have eight academic years to use the remaining exemption.
Beginning July 1, 2020, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by the state educational institution.
The list of State Supported Schools for these state aid programs are as follows:
Indiana State University
Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University Fort Wayne
Indiana University East
Indiana University Kokomo
Indiana University South Bend
Indiana University North West
Indiana University Southeast
Purdue University West Lafayette
Purdue University Northwest (Hammond)
Purdue University Northwest (Westville)
Purdue University Fort Wayne
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (Becoming IU Indianapolis July 2024)
Indiana University Purdue University Columbus (Becoming IU Columbus July 2024)
Ivy Tech Community College (all Campuses)
University of Southern Indiana
Western Governor's University (WGU) INDIANA
NEW INFORMATION for 2023 High School Graduates and future high school graduates
For Students that graduated high school January 1, 2023 and later:
The Tuition and Fee Exemption for Children of Disabled Veterans or Purple Heart Recipients provides an annual award of up to $5,000 of tuition and regularly assessed fees at Indiana private, non-profit colleges and universities at the undergraduate resident tuition rate. (SEE LIST BELOW) Indiana Code 21-7-13-6
Calumet College of St. Joseph
Grace College and Seminary
Holy Cross College
Indiana Institute of Technology
Indiana Wesleyan University
Oakland City University
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary's College
University of Evansville
University of Indianapolis
University of Notre Dame
University of Saint Francis
There are four State Aid Programs for Tuition and Fee Exemption that IDVA determines eligibility for through Scholar Track.
Students must be eligible for the resident tuition rate for state supported schools in Indiana to use these state aid programs.
For children of Veterans that have graduated high school from January 2023 and forward the award can be used at Indiana private, non-profit colleges and universities at the undergraduate resident tuition rate. The annual award shall not exceed $5000 per academic year at private, non-profit schools.
1.Tuition and Fee Exemption for the Child(ren) of a Disabled Veteran or Purple Heart Recipients
Documents needed for eligibility determination:
a. Proof of relationship to the veteran either a birth certificate or adoption decree (step-children are not eligible for this benefit)
b. Documentation showing veteran's wartime service OR award of Service, Campaign or Expeditionary Medal if all service was during peacetime and equally hazardous duty was performed.
If the student is applying as the child of a Purple Heart recipient or child of a POW, and the veteran is not service-connected disabled, proof of award of the Purple Heart Medal or POW status is required.
c. United States Department of Veterans' Affairs service-connected disability rating award letter
d. If the veteran's DD214 does not show an Indiana Home of Record at time of entry or the DD214 is not uploaded with the application in Scholar Track, please include evidence the veteran parent has resided in Indiana for at least 5 years. We can consider an Indiana Driver's record for this purpose and these can be obtained for free on the BMV web page, CLICK HERE We can also consider Property records that show transfer history, rental agreements, W2's with Indiana addresses.
2. Tuition and Fee Exemption for children of former POW/MIA after January 1, 1960
as taken from Indiana Code 10-17-7
a.The dependent means a child born before or during the period which the child's father was a prisoner of war or missing person OR legally adopted or in the legal custody of the child's father before and during the period which the father was a prisoner of war or person missing in action.
b.Prisoner of War or person missing in action means a person who was a resident of Indiana at the time the person entered service in the United States armed forces and while serving in U.S. Armed Forces was declared a prisoner of war or a person missing in action as established by the U.S. Secretary of Defense after January 1, 1960
3. Tuition and Fee Exemption for Indiana Purple Heart Recipients
Documents needed for eligibility determination:
a. Proof of award of the Purple Heart Medal if not already annotated on the DD214 or DD215
b. DD214 showing an Indiana Home of Record address at the time of entry
4. Tuition and Fee Exemption for Former Students of the Morton Memorial High School/ Soldier's and Sailor's Home
IDVA will verify the student's attendance at the Morton Memorial High School from the cumulative list IDVA has on file. No documents need be uploaded when applying for this program.
ALL STUDENTS MUST FILE A FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) for the academic year(s) they want to use the exemption. FAFSA INFORMATION IS TRANSMITTED INTO SCHOLAR TRACK ACCOUNTS. Scholar Track award letters for each school listed on the FAFSA will be available on August 1st each year and throughout the academic year. CLICK HERE FOR THE FAFSA WEB SITE
There are major changes and improvements coming to the 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. As a result, the new form will be available in December 2023, not Oct. 1. For more information click here
APPLY ONLINE THROUGH SCHOLAR TRACK
All students should create an account in Scholar Track. Once the account is verified the student can access their account and apply for the appropriate state aid program. Parents cannot apply for the student while logged on to a parent account, it must be completed under the student's account.
Before the student submits the application, proof of relationship to the veteran parent must be uploaded or the application cannot be processed. A birth certificate, Consulate Report of Birth Abroad, or appropriate adoption paperwork are all acceptable. All documents need to list the veteran parent. If available, please also upload proof of veteran's wartime service and proof of service connected disability and, if needed, proof of Indiana residency. (see NOTE below)
These information requests do not include proof of award of the Purple Heart Medal or POW status of the veteran. this information must be uploaded if applying as the child of one of these two categories. Additional proof of the veteran's residency may be required as well before eligibility of the student can be determined. These are cases where there is no indication, on uploaded documents of Indiana residency for the veteran or these documents were not uploaded. We will notify the student if additional documents are needed to verify the veteran's residency.
Sec. 2. (a) Subject to this section and section 2.5 of this chapter, an eligible applicant is entitled to enter, remain, and receive instruction in a state educational institution upon the same conditions, qualifications, and regulations prescribed for other applicants for admission to or scholars in the state educational institutions, without the payment of any educational costs for one hundred twenty-four (124) semester credit hours in the state educational institution.
(b) The maximum amount that an eligible applicant is exempt from paying for a semester hour is an amount equal to the cost of an undergraduate semester credit hour at the state educational institution in which the eligible applicant enrolls.
What Costs are covered? (If the veteran parent initially served on or after July 1, 2011)
Subject to subsection (d) and section 2(b) of this chapter, the eligible applicant is entitled to a reduction in the educational costs that would otherwise apply as follows:
(1) If the individual's father or mother suffered a disability as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs with a rating of eighty percent (80%) or more, the individual is entitled to a one hundred percent (100%) reduction in education costs.
(2) If the individual's father or mother suffered a disability as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs with a rating of less than eighty percent (80%), the individual is entitled to a reduction in education costs equal to the sum of:
(A) twenty percent (20%); plus
(B) the disability rating of the individual's father or mother.
(d) The latest disability rating determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for an individual's father or mother shall be used to compute the percentage by which education costs are reduced under this section. If the disability rating of the individual's father or mother changes after the beginning of an academic semester, quarter, or other period for which educational costs have been reduced under this section, the change in disability rating shall be applied beginning with the immediately following academic semester, quarter, or other period.
As added by P.L.169-2011, SEC.17.
IC 21-14-4-3 Purpose
Sec. 3. For purposes of this chapter, the commission shall define mandatory fees that qualify as educational costs.
[Pre-2007 Higher Education Recodification Citation: 20-12-19-1(c) part.]
As added by P.L.2-2007, SEC.255. Amended by P.L.107-2012, SEC.40.
IC 21-14-4-4 Payment of incidental expenses
Sec. 4. If an eligible applicant:
(1) is permitted to matriculate in the state educational institution;
(2) qualifies under this chapter; and
(3) has earned or has been awarded a cash scholarship that is paid or payable to a state
educational institution, from any source; the amount paid shall be applied to the credit of the eligible applicant in the payment of incidental expenses of the eligible applicant's attendance at the state educational institution. The balance, if the terms of the scholarship permit, must be returned to the eligible applicant.
[Pre-2007 Higher Education Recodification Citation: 20-12-19-1(d).]
Sec. 14. "Educational costs" means tuition and regularly assessed fees.
The Complete IC 21-14-4 covering this state aid program can be viewed by clicking HERE