Dependents Educational Assistance

What is Dependents Educational Assistance?

Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA or Chapter 35) provides a monthly stipend for up to 36 months for children or spouses of veterans who have a 100% service-connected disability rating, died while on active duty, or died as a result of a service-related condition. Children can generally use DEA between the ages of 18 and 26, and spouses generally have 10 years from the qualifying date to use the benefit. There are exceptions in both cases.

Some dependents may also be eligible for the Fry Scholarship. If you qualify for both the Fry Scholarship and DEA, you’ll need to make an irrevocable choice between the two programs. You are exempt from this requirement if your parent died in the line of duty before August 1, 2011, meaning you can use both programs (one at a time) for up to 81 months of full-time training. You can compare the two benefits here.

If you are a parent or spouse of an incoming UW-Madison student, we recommend involving the student in the education benefits process early. University Veteran Services is here to help everyone understand education benefits, but all correspondence from our office will go directly to the student once they are enrolled. Students have certain protections on what information can be shared and are most successful when given ownership over the use of their benefits.

In-State Tuition: Non-resident students who start classes at UW-Madison using Chapter 35 will be charged equal to the in-state tuition rate until the completion of their program, even if they exhaust their benefit. However, students who don’t remain continuously enrolled (take a break longer than two semesters) will be assessed the non-resident tuition rate when they return. You can view current tuition rates on the Bursar’s Office website.

Because DEA doesn’t cover tuition, it can often be used at the same time as the Wisconsin GI Bill®.

UW-Madison benefit rates                         Learn more about DEA

Getting Started


Apply early! It’s best to give the VA at least 30 days to process your application.

  1. Gather the following information:
    • social security number
    • bank account direct deposit information
    • education and military history
    • name of school you want to attend or are attending
  2. Complete the VA’s online application (linked below).
  3. The VA will provide you a certificate of eligibility (COE) if approved. Email your COE to

Apply on

Next Steps

  1. Apply for other education benefits you intend to use.
  2. Contact University Veteran Services. If you start classes in less than 90 days, let us know you intend to use benefits (even if you’re waiting on approval).
  3. Complete a FAFSA®. You can learn more about using traditional forms of financial aid on our Financial aid & education benefits page.
  4. Confirm your benefits. You’ll complete this process every semester to let us know you’d like to use your GI Bill®.
  5. Read up on receiving federal benefits to learn about course restrictions for GI Bill® users and information related to payments.


University Veteran Services
school certifying officials

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Email us at:

Location pin for University Veterans ServicesUniversity Veterans Services
333 East Campus Mall
10th floor, Suite 10320
Madison, WI 53715

Monday - Friday
9:00am - 4:00pm


Drop-ins are always welcome, but appointments are encouraged.

Please visit our About Us page to make an appointment with a member of our staff.