Colleges and universities that participate in the Yellow Ribbon program will cover some or all of the costs above that which Post 9/11 GI Bill will pay. Check this list to find out if the school you hope to attend is one of the Yellow Ribbon schools.
Yellow Ribbon Schools – What Are They?
Colleges and universities that are participating Yellow Ribbon Schools make additional funds available for veteran students. These funds help cover charges above what is covered by the GI Bill.
The school can cover up to 50% of the tuition expenses that exceed the annual maximum cap. The VA then agrees to match the same amount that the school contributed. In some cases, this covers 100% of any additional cost. However, this is not always the case.
All Public Universities Now Offer In-State Tuition for Veterans
It is important to note that all public universities offer in-state tuition for veterans. This was originally a part of the Yellow Ribbon schools program.
As a result, the main benefit of the program is reserved for those looking to attend a participating private school where the cost exceeds the Post 911 GI Bill.
Are You Eligible For Yellow Ribbon?
Only Veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate, as determined by service requirements, or their designated transferees are eligible to receive funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs and participating institutions.
Active duty service members and their spouses are not eligible for this program.
Yellow Ribbon Schools: 3 Quick-ish Facts
However, when it comes to your unique situation, the Yellow Ribbon program may not apply.
What do we mean?
Here are a few facts to help you understand how a school’s participation in the Yellow Ribbon program may or may not be important to your situation.
#1 Applies Differently
For eligible students, if you wish to attend a public school, 100% of your in-state tuition is covered under both the original Post 9/11 GI Bill and the current “Forever GI Bill.”
Veterans enrolling within 3 years of discharge, or their dependents.
Fry Scholarship recipients enrolling within 3 years of their parent’s date of death.
100% online programs at public schools may charge the higher non-resident rate if the GI Bill recipient doesn’t live in-state.
GI Bill recipients will lose their eligibility if a second or subsequent enrollment is more than 3 year from the date of discharge in the cases where they:
stop using their GI Bill for at least a semester (not a summer semester)
transfer schools and lose more than 12 credit hours in the transfer
GI Bill recipients who were originally within the 3 year time period when they started school before July 2, 2015, but are now past their 3-year eligibility are not covered or “grandfathered” with this program. They still have to pay the non-resident rate, unless the school has made an exception.
Active duty service members and their spouses and children are not eligible while they are serving.
The Yellow Ribbon program would apply to your situation if:
If you’re attending a private school where the costs exceed the GI Bill payment limit
If you’re attending a public school as a non-resident and are ineligible based on the criteria above where the tuition cost exceeds the GI Bill payment limit.
BUT, even then…
#2 You May Not Be 100% Covered
The amount covered by the Yellow Ribbon is predetermined by the VA and the school – it may not fully cover your out-of-pocket cost.
The Yellow Ribbon agreement between the VA and school sets:
the maximum value of the coverage
the maximum number of veterans that can use the program at any given time
which majors and degree programs are covered
As such, it does not cover all students nor does it cover the full amount in all cases.
You’ll need to get more details like:
How much of the tuition cost is covered?
Are there open slots for you to take advantage of the program?
You are eligible if one of the following applies to you:
Served 36 months on active duty
Received the Purple Heart and an honorable discharge (with any length of service)
Were discharged after 60 days with a service-connected disability and served 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001
Are a dependent using transferred benefits.
In addition, the school must:
Agree to participate in the Program
Have not offered Yellow Ribbon to more than the maximum number of individuals as stated in their participation agreement
Certify your enrollment to VA and provide Yellow Ribbon Program information
Active duty service members and active duty spouses are not eligible.
While it is good to research Yellow Ribbon schools, you shouldn’t necessarily make it a determining factor when searching for a school. The fact is that you may eliminate an excellent school based on a program that may not even apply to your situation.
Yellow Ribbon Colleges and Universities
You may know that education expenses for tuition and fees may exceed the amount covered by the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Which means you could end up paying for things out of your own pocket.
Schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon program have joined with the VA to help offset any tuition expenses not covered by the GI Bill.
>> Get started on a search in our School Finder for schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon program.