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Military Dependents Scholarship (MDS)

General Information

The MIA/KIA Dependents Scholarship Program, created by Act 188 of 1973, was amended by Act 2127 of 2005, and subsequent legislation to include the dependents of disabled veterans. The Program, now called the Military Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS), provides financial aid for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor's degree or certificate of completion at any public college, university or technical school in Arkansas who qualify as a spouse or dependent child* of an Arkansas resident who has been declared to be missing in action, killed in action, a prisoner of war, or killed on ordnance delivery, or a veteran who has been declared to be 100% totally and permanently disabled during, or as a result of, active military service. *The Department of Higher Education uses the criteria of “dependent child” as defined by the U. S. Department of Education.

Eligibility Requirements

An Applicant must:

  • Be a bona fide Arkansas resident;
  • Be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident alien;
  • Be the biological, legally adopted child OR spouse of an eligible Arkansas veteran;
  • Be enrolled, or be accepted for admission to, an approved Arkansas public institution;
  • Provide required documentation as determined by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in order to determine eligibility.

Award Amount

The MDS Program will cover the unpaid portion of the cost (if any) of tuition and mandatory fees and a room and meal plan when provided in on-campus facilities after three (3) months of Dependents Education Assistance (DEA) or Chapter 35 benefits have been deducted from the total costs. If there is no positive balance after deduction of DEA benefits, then no benefits will be paid.

The MDS Program cannot be used to cover the cost of books, auto permit, damages or accessories to dorm room, or utility bills. The institution will be reimbursed for covered charges after verification of full-time (12 or more credit hours) enrollment each semester. Eligibility is limited to eight semesters or the achievement of a degree, whichever occurs first. The spouse will no longer be eligible if he or she remarries.

Continuing Eligibility Requirements

  • Must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Must complete a minimum of 24 semester hours per academic year.

Application Deadline Dates

June 1 to apply.

June 15 to submit required documentation.

For complete information regarding the Military Dependents Scholarship Program (MDS), please see the MDS Rules and Regulations or call 501-54STUDY or 501-371-2050.

Disclaimer: The laws, rules, regulations, award amounts, amount of awardees, eligibility criteria, funding per program, etc. are subject to change at any point prior to, during or after application through the YOUniversal application. These changes will be based on changes in law or funding provided by the Arkansas General Assembly. It is understood that ADHE is not at fault for any changes that occur to any financial aid program. In addition, awards for all ADHE programs are limited by the availability of funds.