Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Iowa, the Hawkeye state, offers benefits to its over 225,000 Veterans.
Iowa State Veteran Education Benefits
Tuition Benefits for Military Members, Spouses, and Dependent Children for Iowa Residents
Iowa automatically grants in-state status for tuition rates to everyone who currently serves on active duty, their spouses, and their dependent children. Submit documentation to apply:
● a copy of PCS orders or military ID card for active military members
● for dependents-the military parent’s tax return (must show the applying student as a dependent) and a copy of the parent’s military ID card or current orders.
● Spouses should submit a marriage certificate and a military spouse ID card or a copy of the current PCS.
Domestic partners also can qualify by submitting a certification of domestic partnership.
Members of the National Guard and Reserve qualify for in-state tuition status if:
● They are assigned to an Iowa unit.
● They have completed basic training or have served for at least one year.
Submit documentation to the Office of the Registrar, including:
● Paperwork confirming completion of basic training OR
● Paperwork confirming 12 months of service
● Confirmation of attachment to an Iowa unit
● Enlistment/Reenlistment Paperwork
● Current military orders
Full-time members of the Iowa State Guard or Reserve and spouses and dependents also qualify.
Branstad/Reynolds Scholarship Fund
Children of those military members who died on active duty after September 11, 2001, can apply to the Branstad-Reynolds Scholarship fund. The member's death needs not to be combat-related. The scholarship money can be applied to school tuition and fees, housing, books, any special tools, or equipment required by the school program.
Apply to the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs before December 31 of each year. Applicants should submit an estimate of the education costs to be covered the scholarship.
Iowa War Orphan Tuition Assistance
Iowa War Orphan Tuition Assistance Program provides up to $600 per year to dependent children of Iowa veterans killed in action on or after September 11, 2001. Students 26 years or younger can apply the assistance to costs for any coursework at an Iowa college. The maximum amount allotted to each student is $3000. Iowa residency is required. Dependent children of Guard and Reserve members may also be eligible.
To receive the benefit, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:
● The applicant must have earned a high school diploma or the equivalent.
● The applicant must live in Iowa for at least two years immediately before applying.
● The applicant must be applying to an approved school in the State of Iowa.
Iowa National Guard Tuition Assistance
Iowa National Guard members who currently serve may be eligible for a maximum of 2,700 each semester for full-time coursework. Part-time students can get a smaller amount towards their tuition. Guard members who are mobilized in the middle of a semester may be eligible for a refund.
Operation Recognition High School
Students who left high school before receiving a diploma to enlist in the military may qualify for a diploma. Veterans of World War I or II, Korea, and Vietnam who have been honorably discharged can apply to the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. Family members can apply for a deceased member to receive the diploma posthumously.
Iowa State Veteran Employment Benefits
Hiring Preference for Veterans
Some state jobs have a hiring preference for veterans and Guard and Reserve members who qualify for preference.
To be eligible for preference, you must be:
● Disable Veterans
● Veterans currently receiving VA pension payments
● Purple Heart awardee
● Guard or Reserve (must have a minimum of 20 years of service since January 28, 1973
Documentation like VA award letters and discharge paperwork need to be presented with employment application.
Iowa State Veteran hiring preferences for veterans are not equivalent to the federal preference program. Contact the Iowa Department of Administrative Services for more detailed information.
Home Base Iowa Program for Veterans
Home Base Iowa Program connects veterans and their families to employment agencies and job resources to aid them as they transition from military to civilian life. The program connects Iowa businesses with veterans hunting for employment. Veterans can post a resume on The Home Base Iowa official site, and businesses access the website to find employees. The site also lets companies apply to have a small business recognized as a Home Base Iowa business.
Commercial Driver's License Waiver for Qualifying Veterans
Veterans with experience driving large trucks during their military service may be exempt from a driving skills test when they apply for a commercial driver's license. The vehicle driven in the service must be the same type as the commercial vehicle on the permit to qualify.
Iowa State Veteran Housing Benefits
Iowa State Veterans Home in Marshalltown, Iowa
The historic Iowa Veterans Home, built in 1887, is a long-term care facility for honorably discharged military members who meet qualifications. Dependents and surviving spouses who meet the qualifications may also be eligible.
All applicants must live in Iowa and meet eligibility requirements for admission to VA Medical Centers. Spouses and surviving spouses of qualified veterans must have been married to the deceased veteran for at least one year.
The 700 bed home features nursing home-style care and domiciliary care.
Home services may include:
● Physical, respiratory, and occupational therapy
Residents' fees will be charged according to the patient's income and assets.
IFA FirstHome Mortgage Program
IFA FirstHome Mortgage Program is primarily for a first-time homebuyer, but veterans can apply even if they are not buying their first home. The mortgage comes with lower fees and a lower interest rate regardless of the applicant's credit report. Borrowers must have a minimum of 3% of the purchase price for a down payment. (FHA loans require a 3.5% deposit) Check the website for further details.
IFA Home for Iowans Mortgage Program
Similar to the program described above, the Home for Iowans Mortgage Program helps first-time buyers and repeat buyers. The requirements are like the First Home program, including income caps and purchase price maximums. caps
Military Homeownership Assistance Program
This IFA program offers a $5000 grant to help qualifying military members with a down payment or closing costs when they purchase a home.
Iowa Veteran Financial Benefits