Education Benefits

Warrior Summit Coalition assists veterans with their education benefits by helping veterans navigate through the VA process of getting their benefits started and offering low-cost recruitment and retention techniques for college campuses to utilize. We also assist with graduation and post-graduation services.  This is accomplished through workshops that focus on applying and understanding the VA benefit process, and training and consulting for college campuses on how to effectively outreach to the veteran community.

Description of Educational Resources

Educational Opportunities for Children (Age: 10-18)

Financial aid is provided annually to each child between the ages of 10 and 18 years of a veteran who died or became totally disabled as a result of service in the Armed Forces during World War I, or II, the Korean and Vietnam Conflicts (beginning February 1, 1955), the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, until such individuals are no longer eligible for induction under the Universal Military Training and Service Act. The financial aid applies to a state educational institution of elementary grade, high school or vocational training school.

MIA/POW Scholarship

The State of Illinois provides an education scholarship for the dependents of veterans who are either Missing in Action, a Prisoner of War, died while on active duty, 100% disabled due to service connected disabilities or died as a result of a service connected disabilities. 105 ILCS 5/30-14.2 (MIA/POW Scholarship) establishes the benefit and 95 Ill. Admin Code 116 (MIA/POW Scholarship) provides the rules governing the administration and eligibility of dependents.

Illinois Veterans' Grant

The Illinois Veterans' Grant (IVG) Program pays tuition and certain fees at all Illinois state-supported colleges, universities and community colleges for eligible Illinois veterans. An individual must:

  • Be an honorably discharged veteran; and

  • Reside in Illinois six months before entering the service; and

  • Have at least one full year of active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. This includes veterans who were assigned to active duty in a foreign country in a time of hostilities in that country, regardless of length of service; and

  • Return to Illinois within six months of discharge from the service;

Applications and additional information are available from the VSO Offices of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, college financial aid offices or the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), 1755 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, 60015, telephone 847-948-8550 or 800-899-ISAC,

Illinois National Guard Grant

In order to receive benefits under this program an applicant must:

  • Be an Illinois National Guard member, defined as meeting on of these two criteria:

  • Be active in the Illinois National Guard or

  • Have been active in the Illinois National Guard for at least five consecutive years and have been called to federal active duty for at least six months and be within the 12 month period immediately following the applicant's discharge from the ING.

  • Have completed one full year of service in the Illinois National Guard;

  • Be enrolled at an Illinois public 2 or 4 year college;

  • Not be in default on any educational loan or, if in default, have reinstated eligibility in accordance with ISAC Rules;

  • Not owe a refund on any state or federal grant;

  • Maintain an acceptable grade point average (GPA) according to the policy determined by the applicant's college;

  • File a complete application each academic year, indicating the college to be attended;

  • Meet the applicable deadline for the term for which he/she is applying; and

  • Notify ISAC, in writing, of name, address or college choice changes as they occur.

Applications and information on the scholarship may be obtained from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), 1755 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, Illinois, 60015, telephone 847-948-8550 or 800-899-ISAC,

Get Academic Credit for Military Training

The Office of the Governor and the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, in cooperation with the Illinois Community College Board, several community colleges, the Illinois Board of Higher Education and MyCreditsTransfer, completed a collaborative project to grant student veterans appropriate academic credit for the education and training they gained in military service.

As a result of the Making Military Training Count initiative, veterans and service members can enter college with earned course credits, useful credits that apply toward meeting degree requirements, simply by documenting their already-completed military training. See how your military coursework, exams, and/or learning experiences count at specific schools using Transferology. Visit to learn more. You can also find out what your options are for taking classes at another school to transfer back to your current school by using the "Find a Replacement Course" feature.

Many Illinois colleges have developed transfer credit for military learning experience, including City Colleges of Chicago, College of DuPage, College of Lake County, DePaul University, Kaskaskia College and Southwestern Illinois College.

Veteran Coordinators at Public Universities and Colleges in Illinois

Veteran Coordinators are tasked to be the central point of contact for all veterans, service members, and dependents at universities and colleges Veteran applicants and student veterans are encouraged to contact these staff to learn about eligibility to veteran education benefits, benefit application processes, academic counseling, financial aid counseling, and student support services.


State Approving Agency G.I. Bill

The State Approving Agency (SAA) approves college and non-college degree programs, vocational flight training, apprenticeships and other on-the-job training so that federal educational assistance benefits may be paid to veterans and other eligible persons under the several programs administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to approvals, the SAA assists the US Department of Veterans Affairs in conducting compliance surveys at institutions and training establishments where eligible veterans and their dependents are attending.

The types of approved training establishments include the following:

Illinois Troops to Teachers

Teaching in public schools is a profession highly compatible with the experience veterans acquire in the military. The Illinois Troops to Teachers Program can help eligible veterans with at least 6 years of honorable active-duty service transition to K-12 public school teaching. The Illinois Troops to Teachers office, under the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs provides:

  • Educational and teaching career advisement;

  • Information resources for earning an Illinois teacher's certification;

  • Access to mentors, Illinois veterans who have successfully transitioned; and

  • Preparation for and referral to employment as an Illinois public school teacher.

With the required hours of past work experience, Illinois Veterans can teach their technical skills in a vocational or career center. With a bachelor's degree, former service members can qualify for referral to teach in an academic or subject matter area.

Find out if you're eligible for financial assistance and download registration forms at Illinois Troops to Teachers.  Illinois' public school children need quality educators in the teacher force. Make a difference, be a teacher.  For further information, please contact us at or at 1-866-372-3157.

Illinois Board of Higher Education

Assisting Student Veterans in Higher Education: Developing Faculty & Staff Awareness; Strategies for Addressing the Military-Civilian Gaps on Campus: please click link to view recorded Webinar:

Children of Veterans Scholarship

Each county in the state shall be entitled, annually, to one honorary scholarship at the University of Illinois, for the benefit of children of veterans of WWI, WWII, Korean War, the Vietnam Conflict and any time on or after August 2, 1990 and until those persons in service are no longer eligible for the Southwest Asia Service Medal. Preference is given to the children of deceased and disabled veterans. Such children shall be entitled to receive, without charge for tuition, instruction in any or all departments of the University for a term of at least four (4) consecutive years.  Details may be obtained from the University of Illinois' Financial Aid Office.

VA Work Study Locations -- IDVA

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs provides VA work-study opportunities at its numerous offices throughout Illinois.  The federal VA work-study program provides part-time employment to students receiving VA education benefits who attend school three-quarter time or more.   Work-study students are paid either the State or Federal minimum wage, whichever is greater.   Other available opportunities may exist at the school veteran's office, VA Medical Facilities, the VA Regional Office, and at approved veteran service organizations. 

For further information, please click here.

For more information on approved programs, call 312-814-2460 or 217-782-7839.

For information on VA Work Study locations available at IDVA, call 312-814-5538.