Updated: Nov 14, 2020
Kansas, the Sunflower State, offers benefits to its over 200,000 veterans.
Kansas State Veteran Education Benefits
The Kansas Military Service Scholarship
The Kansas Military Service Scholarship is offered to military members residing in Kansas who meet eligibility requirements. The need-based scholarship provides funds for tuition and fees to state-supported schools.
Applicants must have received hostile fire pay because they served on active duty either on foreign soil or in international waters. The service must have been for a minimum of 90 days and must have started after September 11, 2001. The 90-day qualification is waived for anyone injured during this military duty.
Applicants must have a discharge other than dishonorable to qualify. Submit documents that prove the required military service along with your scholarship application. Because this is a need-based scholarship, applicants must complete a FAFSA form. Scholarship money can only be applied to undergraduate tuition and fees.
Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance
This program provides a percentage of tuition and fees at a state-supported institution. To qualify for the program, applicants must be active in the Kansas National Guard. The amount paid varies depending on the school. Students can be working towards any diploma, certificate, or degree up to and including a bachelor's degree. Students who already have a bachelor's degree do not qualify.
In-State Tuition Benefits for Veterans
Students pay in-state tuition rates for state-supported colleges if the applicant lives in Kansas at enrolling and be one of the following:
● Currently serving military
● Spouses and dependent children
● Veterans who were stationed in Kansas for all their service,
● Spouses and dependent children of the veterans described above
● Any of the above who lived in Kansas before military service
● Veterans who qualify for VA educational benefits
● Spouses and dependent children entitled to VA educational benefits
State Board of Regents
College Credit for Military Service Program
The Credit for Military Alignment Program allows service members to get college credit for some specialty work done during military service. The program allows service members to search a list of military career fields to determine if their specialty work qualifies for college credit.
Although not all military career fields qualify, the program ditis expanding the list. Find more information on the Kansas Board of Regents' website.
The State of Kansas offers free tuition to qualifying former Prisoners of War for attendance at any state-supported college. Tuition only is covered, and qualifying veterans are responsible for any additional costs.
Eligibility requirements for this program include:
● Kansas residency at the time of entry into military service
● A prisoner of war, after January 1, 1960
● Can present proof of eligibility
Contact the admissions office of any Kansas state-supported college to apply for this benefit. Funding for the program varies from year to year.
Waiver of School Tuition and Fees for Dependents and Spouses of Deceased Military Personnel
To qualify for this program, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:
● The parent or spouse of the deceased member was a Kansas resident.
● The parent or spouse was actively serving in state or federal service in the Kansas Army or Air National Guard when the military member died.
● A military spouse or military parent died on or after September 11, 2001, serving in military service.
● The applicant provides appropriate documentation such as a DD Form 13000 (Report of Casualty), Form AR 600-8-1, or other documentation.
Contact the admissions at any Kansas state-supported college to apply for this waiver.
Qualifying veterans whose college education was interrupted by wartime military service may qualify to receive a college diploma. Diplomas may also be awarded posthumously. The program includes those veterans who graduated but did not participate in a graduation ceremony. To qualify, applicants must:
● Be honorably discharged AND
● Have served during World War II (between September 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946) OR
● Have served during the Korean War (between June 27, 1950, and January 31, 1955)
Kansas State Veteran Employment Benefits
Kansas State Government Hiring Preference for Veterans
The State of Kansas offers a hiring preference for veterans and their spouses if they have not received punitive discharges.
Kansas state law was written to help prevent veterans who seek State employment from being penalized because of their time in the military. Veterans' preference considers the economic loss suffered by citizens who have served their country in uniform.
All Kansas veterans and spouses who qualify and apply to a position will be interviewed and considered for the job.
Veteran preference is available to military members and their spouses under the following conditions:
● The job qualifies as a regular classified position and lists Veterans Preference Eligible (VPE) in the job description.
● No one who qualifies for preference under the Kansas Employee Preference Program has applied for the job.
● The applying veteran was never dismissed from a state position.
● The active-duty service is "not for the Reserves or National Guard training."
● The veteran is not on active duty when applying.
Learn more about hiring preference on the State of Kansas Employment Center official website.
Veteran Housing Benefits
Kansas State Veterans Homes
The State of Kansas has two veterans’ homes:
Fort Dodge, Kansas
Priority care is given to in-need veterans who do not have adequate financial support. Veterans must have served on active duty and have a discharge other than dishonorable to qualify for admission.
Other admissions criteria include any of the following:
● Veterans with service-connected disabilities
● Former prisoners of war
● Veterans receiving disability compensation
● Veterans who seek VA hospitalization who agree to pay copayments.
● Spouses and surviving spouses may be admitted if space allows.
● Kansas residents are given priority, but out of state veterans are considered if space allows.
Kansas State Veteran Financial Benefits
Retirement Pay Tax Breaks
Kansas does not charge state tax on Military retirement pay.
Homestead Tax Break for Qualifying Veterans
Qualifying Kansas veterans who meet need-based thresholds and were state residents for the full tax year may qualify for a tax refund of up to $700.
Those qualifying for this refund include:
● veterans VA-rated at 50% disabled or higher.
● Surviving spouses of disabled Kansas veterans who have not remarried
● Surviving spouses of active-duty military members who died in the line of duty. Spouses cannot have remarried.
The homes must be owned by and the primary resident of the veteran or spouse. Contact the Kansas Department of Revenue for further information.
Motor Vehicle Tax Exemption for Qualifying Veterans
Qualifying Kansas veterans are eligible for a vehicle tax exemption on one or two privately-owned vehicles. The exemption applies if the military member is mobilized and deployed on the date of the registration.
The vehicles cannot be used for business, and the following qualifying conditions apply: The veteran legally owns and registers the vehicle.
● Kansas is the service member's home of record
● The applicant is on active duty in either the National Guard or Reserve (mobilized or deployed)
Contact the Kansas Department of Revenue for more information.
Additional Kansas State Veteran Benefits
Recreational Benefits for Veterans
Recreation benefits in Kansas include free or discounted fishing and hunting licenses and lower entrance fees for state parks and recreation areas. The benefits are for National Guard members and disabled veterans. Submit appropriate documentation with application forms. Veterans must have a VA-rated disability of 30% or more.
Active duty military stationed in Kansas can buy annual state licenses and permits at the in-state resident rate.
Burial Benefits for Veterans
Kansas has four veterans’ cemeteries located in:
● Fort Dodge, Kansas
● Fort Riley, Kansas
● Wakeeney, Kansas
● Winfield, Kansas
Requirements for interment are similar to those outlined by the Department of Veterans Affairs Department of Veterans Affairs.
● Any military with any discharge other than dishonorable
● All veterans who die on active duty
● National Guard or Reservist members have served for 20 years who are entitled to retirement pay and are 60 years old or older.
Spouses, surviving spouses, and dependent children qualify under the following conditions:
● The spouse or surviving spouse of any veteran eligible for interment in the State Veterans’ Cemetery.
● Any unmarried child of an eligible veteran under 21 or under 23 and a full-time student at an approved school.
● Unmarried older children of eligible veterans who became permanently physically or mentally disabled before the 21st birthday (or 23rd if a full-time student)
● Basic burial services are free, but pre-need eligibility application is encouraged. See more information at the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs' official site.