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10 Top Law Schools with Yellow Ribbon Programs

The Top Yellow Ribbon Law Schools

Not all colleges and universities are created equal. While attending college is a dream for most people, choosing where to apply can be a tough challenge.

For this reason, CollegeRecon compiled a list of the top 10 law schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) initiative that can extend the duration of GI Bill benefits.

RELATED: Veteran’s Guide for Going to Law School

Choosing the Top 10

There are thousands of colleges in the United States, and sifting through them all is a huge undertaking. The Wall Street Journal 2022 College Ranking List formed the foundation of our analysis. Based on their results, we present to you the best schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Wall Street Journal’s Methodology

The Wall Street Journal’s College Ranking focuses on student success and learning achievement. The WSJ looks for key indicators that illuminate issues related to student engagement, interaction with teachers, and overall satisfaction with their education.

The methodology encompasses four important areas of analysis:

  1. Resources – “Does the college have the capacity to effectively deliver teaching?”
  2. Engagement – “Does the college effectively engage with students?”
  3. Outcomes – “Does the college generate good and appropriate outputs?”
  4. Environment – Is the college providing a good learning environment for all students?”

The results of their survey helped determine which schools were better than others relating to these key areas. For more information, read the full Wall Street Journal College Rankings 2022 methodology.

RELATED: Vet Success on Campus

CollegeRecon’s Top 10 Yellow Ribbon Law Schools

After sorting the schools by program, we eliminated the ones that did not participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. So, the schools that follow are the top schools, in order of the WSJ ranking, that do participate in this VA program.

#10: Michigan State University

The Student Veterans Resource Center at MSU promotes educational and career advancement of military students. MSU ensures that veterans have the resources they need to get a quality education. These include:

  1. Financial Aid application support
  2. Transition services
  3. Career development
  4. Employment and Internship opportunities
  5. VA benefit and health assistance
  6. Space for meetings, studying, and socializing

Additionally, the MSU Disabled Veterans Assistance Program allows for “new and returning veterans with a military related disability who are Michigan residents working on their first baccalaureate degree” to qualify for a full-cost financial aid package without loans.

#9: University of California – Santa Barbara

The UCSB Veteran Resource Center exists to support Veterans in their transition and academically. They will help you apply for education benefits with the VA, find housing for you and your family, and offer general counseling during your academic career.

There is also an active Student Veterans of America (SVA) chapter at UCSB. This great Veteran community is an invaluable resource on the path to your degree.

#8: Tulane University

The Student Veterans Services (SVS) office provides veteran students with assistance while attending school. Tulane’s SVS department also acts as a liaison between the student and the regional VA office.

In 2019 Tulane University implemented a requirement that all student veterans using VA education benefits must complete a mandatory Veterans Enrollment Form. A new form is required each semester, and it appears to be in addition to, not a replacement of, other reporting required by the VA.

#7: University of Richmond

This school offers a maximum of $5,000 to each of 25 student veterans for the school year. This is the amount that will be matched by the VA. The funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

For consideration, you must

  • Be accepted into a degree program, AND
  • Submit a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to the School Certifying Official (SCO)

There doesn’t appear to be a specific office for assisting student veterans. The Yellow Ribbon Program contact is from the Registrar’s Office.

#6: University of Wisconsin – Madison

The University of Wisconsin Veteran Services (UVS) encourages their student veterans to apply for both the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the Wisconsin GI Bill

Additionally, UW-Madison has their own Benefit Eligibility Survey that they recommend student veterans take. This survey gathers information and offers specific guidance to the student regarding federal and state benefits that may apply.

You will also need a Certificate of Eligibility to secure a spot in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Space is limited, but it will cover fees for non-resident students eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

#5: University of Miami

The office of Veteran Student Services helps veteran students transition from the service to campus life. The university offers services such as:

  • The UM Counseling Center – offers specific programs  to the veteran student population
  • The Toppel Career Center – offers specific veteran student programs and career advising
  • Academic Resource Center – offers tutoring services
  • Student Health Service – assists with medical and insurance needs

The UM Law School offers a maximum of 15 Yellow Ribbon grants per year. These grants apply to Fall and Spring semesters only.

#4: Boston University

Boston University Veterans Services acts as an intermediary between the university and the VA. Once you are certified, your eligibility will automatically be certified each semester, which is a great benefit.

Boston University accepts 52 Yellow Ribbon Program participants each year, totaling $7,000 each ($3,500 from BU plus $3,500 from the VA). Once all the slots are filled, BU opens a waitlist that is populated chronologically based on when the applications are submitted.

Please note, being placed on the waitlist does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

#3: University of California – Berkeley

UC Berkeley’s Veteran Benefits office is located in the Office of the Registrar. In addition to providing assistance to veteran students and their families, they assist eligible students apply for the California Department of Veterans Affairs College Fee Waiver (Cal Vet) program.

To be eligible as a graduate student, i.e. law school, you must meet basic requirements (undergrad degree and minimum 3.0 GPA). However, there are limited spots in the program, and there are tons of applicants. There are also departmental requirements that must be satisfied.

Check out the Cal Veteran Services Center for graduate students to view their recommendations and requirements.

#2: Northwestern University

Northwestern’s Pritzker School of Law allows for unlimited participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It also has a maximum contribution of $99,999, which is one big reason why Northwestern is at the top of our list.

In addition to accepting every VA educational benefit, Northwestern also accepts the Illinois Veteran Grant and Tuition Assistance.

Moreover, the school hosts the Northwestern University Veterans Association, NUVA, which provides resources and support to its veteran students. Those resources include:

Check out Northwestern’s impressive page for Student Veterans’ Resources.

#1: Harvard University

The Harvard Law School is one of the nation’s most prestigious schools, and it proudly participates in the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program. This allows Harvard to offer additional funding to veterans for tuition and fees that exceed those covered by the GI Bill.

Harvard University has pledged to contribute the maximum amount matched by the Department of Veterans Affairs for all eligible veterans. For more information, check out Harvard’s VA and Military Benefits page.

Law School Within Reach

If you’ve dreamed of becoming a lawyer and legal professional, the schools listed above are the best ones that participate in the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program. 

Furthermore, many of these schools offer benefits outside of the VA that can ensure you earn your coveted Juris Doctor or LLM. You can get there by using every benefit available to you!

(Image courtesy of r.classen via Shutterstock)