What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?
Established in 2008, the Yellow Ribbon Program was put into effect by the Post 9-11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act with the aim of offering veteran educational benefits. As one of the beneficial educational programs for veterans, the program acts as a bridge between the VA and high-level institutions (including graduate schools and universities), who combine their recourses to offer competitive tuition assistance to veterans. Essentially, various educational institutions donate a voluntary dollar amount, which is matched by the VA by a maximum of 50%. This integral educational assistance program has allowed veterans to achieve college level degrees without the need to take out student loans.
What are the Benefits?
The Yellow Ribbon Program allows funding from both private and public universities. Funding for private schools is limited to $17,500 per school year, however Arizona, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas are the exceptions to this rule, and will allow the maximum in-state public undergraduate tuition. In regards to financial assistance for public schools, the Yellow Ribbon Program will cover the full amount of resident tuition and any student fees.
On occasion, particular universities will offer additional funding to assist the amount already being covered by the VA program. Because these institutions contractually document the amount being donated to your education, your GI bill fund is never subsequently charged. To see a full list of the participating schools according to state, click here.
Am I Eligible?
To be considered eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program, you must be a veteran of the national guard, navy, air force, or army; furthermore, you are required to have served a combined total of 90 days on or after September 10th, 2001. Service members who served 30 days after September 10th, 2001 on a continuous basis are also eligible for the program. All applicants are required to have been honorably discharged due to an injury sustained during active duty. Eligible service members are able to pass their benefits on to dependents and spouse.
Note: Service men and women who have been accepted by the Fry Scholarship for the Post 9/11 GI Bill are not eligible for this program.