Most college students look forward to semester breaks and spending time back home with their families. Often, their biggest worry is how to fit all that laundry into their car. But for military dependents, they may have to consider international travel to get to their families. International travel can be expensive, especially during the holidays. Fortunately, military dependents enrolled in colleges away from their active-duty parent's OCONUS duty station are eligible for travel benefits.
How to qualify for travel benefits
The government will pay for one round trip each fiscal year for college students if they meet the following requirements:
- The military parent is on an accompanied tour and the rest of the family is living OCONUS with them. If this is the case, the student will be sponsored by the command.
- The service member is the custodial parent of the college student.
- The student is unmarried and under age 23. Depending on the circumstances, there may be some exceptions to the age restriction.
- The student is attending an accredited college or school to obtain an undergraduate degree or post-secondary vocational or technical training.
- The student attends school full time (at least 12 credit hours).
- The student has already traveled to the parent's home on PCS orders. For example, if a student's family moves to Italy mid-semester, the student can fly to Italy on PCS orders during the semester break. After that, the student will be eligible for one round trip each fiscal year. This means the flight back to school would be covered, but the student would have to wait a full fiscal year before being eligible for military-paid travel again.
This travel benefit must be authorized through the service member's command and be completed through the military travel office. See the travel coordinator on your installation for more information.