The Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program (VMSDEP) provides education benefits to spouses and children of military service members killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or who have been rated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as totally and permanently disabled or at least 90 percent permanently disabled as a result of military service. 

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) is responsible for managing the program and collaborates with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) and Virginia’s public colleges and universities to assist spouses and children of qualified military service members and Veterans in attaining their educational goals.

Please visit the VMSDEP website for eligibility requirements and the online application.

Mason VMSDEP Process

The process for applying the tuition and fees waiver to the student account at Mason is dependent on the action of the eligible student.

  • Each Semester a student wishes to use the benefit, the student is required to update the term information in the VMSDEP portal account.  This should be done by the first day of class to avoid any delays or penalties.
  • VMSDEP has established permanent open and close enrollment dates for the program.
    • Fall: Open 1 July - Close 31 October
    • Spring: Open 1 November - Close 31 March
    • Summer: Open 1 April - Close 30 June
  • Mason periodically accesses the Institutional VMSDEP portal for the list of students that requested the waiver.   
  • The waiver will be visible in the student account once the Office of Student Accounts has manually applied the waiver. This may not be immediately visible through Patriot Web.
  • Tier 2 students eligible for the stipend: the stipend is validated after the add/drop date. The Stipend will be disbursed to your student account as financial aid if state funds are available. Please note this is approximately 4 weeks after the beginning of the term.
  • Mason will not process retroactive VMSDEP requests. We strongly encourage students to update the VMSDEP portal prior to the first day of class and no later than the publicized close enrollment dates noted above.  
  • Please note, the summer is considered a term and if requested, it will count against one of the 8 semesters awarded by VMSDEP.  Plan accordingly. Some students choose to self-pay for summer since it's usually a reduced schedule and does not maximize the use of the tuition waiver.  Additionally, stipends are not available for Tier 2 students.