Finding Yellow Ribbon Schools
Yellow ribbons have always been significant for military personnel returning home. Part of returning home means reintegrating into civilian life, and one of the best ways to do that is to earn a college degree to advance your current career or to prepare yourself for a new career.
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For those veterans who have served at least three years of active duty post-9/11, there are a number of programs available to help achieve the level of education that is necessary to succeed in today’s marketplace. To assist veterans in earning their degrees without having to take on large amounts of debt, the Department of Veterans Affairs makes available a powerful assistance program called the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Yellow Ribbon Program Overview
The Yellow Ribbon Program, part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, pays fees and tuition for public colleges or universities, or up to $17,500 per year for an education at a private school. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a gap measure to help military veteran students avoid educational costs when the costs become in excess of what the GI Bill offers. There are states that are an exception to this rule. In South Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Arizona, Michigan and New York, the Yellow Ribbon Program will pay the actual tuition and fees for public in-state undergraduate education.
The Yellow Ribbon Program will cover the difference between the amount that the VA has already paid as educational assistance and the amount charged to the military student. For many states, since in-state education is generally covered, no Yellow Ribbon Programs funds may be necessary. The Yellow Ribbon Program can be helpful in situations where there is a gap between in-state and out-of-state fees and tuition costs. In order to receive Yellow Ribbon Program assistance, students need to first apply for the program through the VA, and then choose a school that is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant.
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The main benefit of the Yellow Ribbon Program is that it allows Post-9/11 GI Bill participants to afford a quality education even when the costs exceed what the Post-9/11 GI Bill offers. With the Yellow Ribbon Program, participating colleges and universities typically pay 50% of the veteran’s fees and tuition and the VA will match the remainder.
Who Qualifies for the Yellow Ribbon Program?
Since the Yellow Ribbon Program can virtually eliminate the tuition costs of an undergraduate education, the requirements to participate in the program can be quite stringent. In order to qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, a veteran must have served in active duty after September 10th, 2001 for a minimum of three years. Those who were honorably discharged because of a disability that served at least thirty days of continuous service qualify for Transfer of Entitlement are also the Yellow Ribbon Program as well. Dependents who qualify for eligibility to take part in this innovative program can also receive assistance with their educational costs.
How to Find a Yellow Ribbon School
In order to qualify for this program, the school the veteran wishes to attend must be qualified as a Yellow Ribbon School. With the list of schools participating constantly changing and expanding, the best place to find the most current information is on the Internet. It is also a good idea to call the school to verify once you have identified them as a Yellow Ribbon participating school.
Here are two links to visit for a comprehensive list of available Yellow Ribbon Schools in 2012:
For veterans who have served after 9/11 and who want to continue their education, taking advantage of the Yellow Ribbon Program can be a way for them to earn their education without taking on extra debt. Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, participants can expect to be able to earn a degree with little or no cost to themselves or their families. It is just another way that educational institutions can express their gratitude to our military veterans and prepare them to succeed in their transition to civilian life.