The Yellow Ribbon Program: What Is It And How Can Military Personnel Benefit From It? The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, or The Yellow Ribbon Program, was created as part of the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program offers degree granting institutions of higher learning to voluntarily agree to partner with VA and pay for tuition expenses that go above the highest public in-state tuition cost. Under the rules of the Yellow Ribbon Program, the institution can cancel out up to 50% of those expenses and VA will automatically meet that same amount.
If the institution of higher learning, or IHL agrees to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, it must agree to the following:
• Offer contributions to those applicants who are eligible, not on the basis of the rate at which the applicant is pursuing training in any specific academic year, but rather on a “first-come, first-served,” basis
• Award contributions during the present academic year as well as all future academic years for which the applicant is maintaining satisfying academic progress, behavior, and attendance
• Offer contributions to the Yellow Ribbon Program on the applicant’s behalf through grants, scholarships, ect.
• Make a formal statement of the dollar amount that will be given for each participant during each academic year
• Declare the maximum number of participants for whom contributions will be given each academic year
How the Yellow Ribbon Program Benefits You
If you qualify to receive that Post 9/11 GI Bill, it will cover highest public in-state undergraduate tuition and fees. However, if you’re attending a private college, attending a college as an out-of-state student, of if you’re attending graduate school you may have to pay tuition and fees above what the GI Bill covers. And if you’re enrolled in a school that participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and you find that your tuition and fees exceed the amount covered by the GI Bill, you may be eligible to receive extra money to cover the extra costs.
When a school voluntarily enters into the Yellow Ribbon Program, the school is allowed to choose the amount of tuition and fees they’ll waive for eligible students. VA will match the amount chosen by the school and will send the payment directly to the college or university you’re attending.
How Do I Know If I’m Eligible?
The only individuals who can receive this extra money are those who are entitled to the maximum benefit rate; a rate based on service requirements. You might be eligible if you meet the following criteria:
• You’ve been an active member of the military who’s served a cumulative period of at least 36 months since September 10, 2001
• You were discharged from the military with an honorable discharge due to a disability connected to your service and you served at least 30 continuous days since September 10, 2001
• You are the dependent of a veteran who’s eligible for Transfer of Entitlement for the Post 9/11 GI Bill due to that veteran having met the first two requirements.
Yellow Ribbon Program
If you qualify for the Post 9/11 GI Bill, you may also qualify for the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (The Yellow Ribbon Program) which offers veterans of all branches of the military extra money on top of the money they receive from the GI Bill. The extra funds offered by the Yellow Ribbon Program are used to help cover any extra tuition and fees you might incur. If the school you attend is a Yellow Ribbon Program participant and you meet the few requirements, your extra tuition and fees will be paid by the program and will be given to you in addition to the money you receive through the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
How Much Money Will I Receive Under the Yellow Ribbon Program?
How much of your tuition and fees will be covered by the Yellow Ribbon Program?
The answer is that you’ll receive the amount that is the difference between the amount you’re charged and the amount that was covered by the VA education assistance program.
The following steps determine the difference for one student:
1. Student’s enrolled credit hours reported by the institution to the VA x Maximum Credit Hour Charge for the State = Maximum Tuition Payable
2. Compare the Maximum Tuition Payable with the amount charged the student. VA will pay the institution the lesser amount
3. Compare the Maximum Single Term Fees for your State with what you have charged the student. VA will pay the institution the lesser amount.
4. Add the amounts VA has paid for tuition and fees and compare that with the total amount charged to the student. Institution charges that exceed what has already been paid by VA are the difference that could be applied to the Yellow Ribbon Program.
5. Determine how much of the difference, up to one-half of that amount, that the institution will agree to cover with funds of the institution and the VA will match that amount.
Example: The student enrolled in 12 credit hours during the Fall term and the institution charged the student $5,000 for tuition and $1,200 in fees. The Maximum Charge Per Credit Hour for the State = $250 and the Maximum Fees for a single term = $1,000:
1. 12 credit hours x $250 = $3,000 - VA will pay $3,000 of the $5,000 tuition charged
2. VA will pay $1,000 of the $1,200 fees charged
3. VA has paid $4,000 of the $6,200 charged the student. $2,200 could be applied to the Yellow Ribbon Program
4. Your institution can choose to contribute up to $1,100 of this amount and VA will match that contribution.