The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program

Overview

The Yellow Ribbon Program is part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill that offers additional financial assistance for anyone who qualifies for the maximum education benefit (under the Post 9/11 GI Bill). If you choose a participating school and you qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, the school and the government will each pay up to half of the tuition cost in excess of "the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate."

If you choose to attend a private college, university or technical school that grants undergraduate academic degrees, or you attend a school on an out-of-state basis, or you pursue a graduate degree, the cost of tuition might exceed the highest tuition rate at a public institution for an in-state student. In this event, schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program will pay up to half of the additional tuition cost and the government will match that amount if you qualify for the program.

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Qualifications
In order to qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

1. 36 months total combined active duty after September 10, 2001.

2. You served 30 continuous days active duty after September 10, 2001 and you were honorably discharged for a service-related disability.

3. You are a dependent of a veteran who qualified under requirement #1 or #2 and you are qualified for “Transfer of Entitlement” under the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

Type of Assistance
Qualifying military and veterans who attend a participating school (after August 1, 2009) can receive financial assistance from the school and the Department of Veterans Affairs in a stated amount or in an amount equal to as much as the entire amount of the cost difference between the highest tuition rate at a public institution and the costs at the school you are attending. The costs covered under this program apply to both tuition and fees.
Your Benefits
Should you, for example, decide to pursue a Master’s Degree at a private university, your tuition might cost $400 per credit hour. If you carried 12 hours during the fall term, your costs would be $4,800 for tuition and $1,800 for fees. The school you have chosen participates at unlimited cost and an unlimited number of program participants per term. The highest in-state undergraduate tuition rate is $250 per credit hour and fees of $1000. Therefore, $1800 in tuition and $800 in fees would be paid by the school and the government (each paying half).
Getting Started
Review all qualifications carefully to be certain that you qualify. Ensure that the “institution of higher learning (degree granting institution)” you choose to attend participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and that their allocated funds have not been exhausted for the coming academic year. Then work with the school you wish to attend to establish and fulfill the application process.

A list of participating schools and the number of students and amounts of funds available can be found at http://www.gibill.va.gov/gi_bill_info/ch33/YRP/YRP_List_2010.htm.

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