The Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship (VAIC) Program is designed to provide financial assistance to United States armed forces personnel who served in the Afghanistan or Iraq Conflicts, and their son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, or spouse attending a Maryland postsecondary institution.
Who May Apply?
To be eligible for the VAIC scholarship, an individual must be a member of the Uniformed Services of the United States who served in Afghanistan, or contiguous air space as defined in federal regulations, on or after October 24, 2001, and before a terminal date to be prescribed by the United States Secretary of Defense; or in Iraq, or contiguous waters or air space as defined in federal regulations, on or after March 19, 2003, and before a terminal date to be prescribed by the United States Secretary of Defense. Current deployments are not eligible for the scholarship. Individuals may apply if they are:
- A veteran who served at least 60 days in the Afghanistan or Iraq Conflicts, as defined above.
- An active duty member of the Armed Forces who served at least 60 days in the Afghanistan or Iraq Conflicts, as defined above.
- A member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Maryland National Guard who was activated as a result of the Afghanistan or Iraq Conflicts and served at least 60 days, as defined above.
- A son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, or spouse of:
- A veteran or active duty member of the Armed Forces who is serving or has served in the Afghanistan or Iraq Conflicts at least 60 days, as defined above.
- A member of a reserve component of the Armed Forces or Maryland National Guard who was activated as a result of the Afghanistan or Iraq Conflicts and served at least 60 days, as defined above.
Applicants must be Maryland residents that have been accepted for admission or enrolled in a regular undergraduate program at an eligible Maryland institution, or be accepted for admission or enrolled in a 2-year terminal certificate program in which the course work is acceptable for transfer credit for an accredited baccalaureate program at an eligible Maryland institution. Students must be enrolled as either a full-time (12+ credits per semester) or part-time (6-11 credits per semester) undergraduate student.
Residents of Maryland include active members of the United States Armed Forces, their spouse, son, daughter, stepson, or stepdaughter who are stationed in the State of Maryland or whose home of residency is Maryland.
How do I Apply?
- Complete the Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts
Scholarship application through the Maryland College Aid Processing System (MDCAPS)
The online application and all required documents (which will reflect in MDCAPS upon completion of your application) must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Assistance for final consideration. Required documentation includes:
- If a spouse of a veteran, a marriage certificate.
- Documentation of military orders.
United States Armed Forces - Active Duty: copy of current official military orders documenting service in Afghanistan/Iraq
United States Armed Forces - Veteran: copy of Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214)
United States Armed Forces - Reserve Component: copy of Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214)
Maryland National Guard: copy of Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD-214)
The DD214 military orders or other official documentation must clearly indicate service in Afghanistan/Iraq or contiguous waters or air space and include the dates of service.
While the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is not required, if the applicant chooses to file the FAFSA it must be completed by March 1 each year.
Submit all required documents to MHEC by SECURE UPLOAD online through your MDCAPS account. Once logged in, select “Electronic File Upload" from the homepage then follow the prompts.
Award Selection & Award Amount
Awards are made annually, with renewal applicants given first priority. Eligible applicants who are veterans shall be given priority over dependent biological sons or daughters; or spouses. Within priority groups, applicants will be ranked according to application complete date.
Eligible applicants who receive the Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship will be notified of the award in writing.
The award amount may not exceed 50% of the annual tuition and mandatory fees and room & board of a resident undergraduate at the four-year public institution of higher education within the University System of Maryland, other than the University of Maryland Global Campus and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, with the highest annual expenses for a full-time resident undergraduate.
|On Campus:||up to $8,274|
|With Parents:||up to $5,390|
|Off Campus:||up to $4,820|
Scholarships awarded under this program shall supplement any federal education benefits for which a recipient qualifies as a result of an individual's military service or status as a dependent of a member of the armed forces or of a veteran of the armed forces. The funds may be used at any eligible Maryland institution to pay for educational expenses including tuition and mandatory fees, and room and board.
The total dollar amount of all State awards may not exceed your cost of attendance as determined by your school's financial aid office or $29,600, whichever is less. Funds may not be available to award all eligible students. The total amount of financial assistance that you receive, including State financial aid and Veterans Educational Benefits, may not exceed your cost of attendance, as determined by your institution.
Awards may be held for up to five years of full-time (12+ credits per semester) or eight years of part-time (6-11 credits per semester) if the recipient:
- files a FAFSA by March 1 each year (if applicable);
- continues to be a Maryland resident;
- is enrolled in an eligible program at a Maryland postsecondary institution;
- maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
Audited courses cannot be used to reach the minimum credit hours required for full-time or part-time status.
Click here for more information on the conditions of award.
Submit the Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts Scholarship application and all required documents by March 1st.