The Yellow Ribbon Program helps students pay for higher out-of state, private, or graduate school tuition not covered by the GI Bill. Find out if school you’re interested is a part of this program.
Yellow Ribbon Benefits
Attending a public school as an in-state resident under the Post-9/11 GI Bill means your tuition and fees should be paid for. But what if you are interested in attending a public school that is not in your home state, or you want to apply for a private college, and the GI Bill does not cover 100% of your tuition and fees?
This can be a common problem, but the Yellow Ribbon Program is designed to help offset the cost of education in such circumstances. The GI Bill covers “the lower of the actual tuition & fees or the national maximum per academic year for a private school” or for attendance at an out-of-state school where you are not a resident.
Who Covers the Additional Tuition Costs?
Both the participating college and the Department of Veterans Affairs contribute to the tuition costs the student would otherwise be responsible for paying.
According to the VA official site, “Degree-granting institutions of higher learning participating in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program agree to make additional funds available for your education program without an additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement.”
This agreement is a voluntary arrangement and not all schools may choose to participate. But for the ones that do, the Yellow Ribbon Program is open to veterans “entitled to the maximum benefit rate, as determined by service requirements, or their designated transferees may receive this funding.”
Yellow Ribbon Qualifications
This program is aimed at veterans. Those on active duty (and the spouses of those on active duty) are not eligible for Yellow Ribbon benefits. Children of “transferees of active duty Servicemembers” may be eligible for Yellow Ribbon benefits, “if the Servicemember is qualified at the 100 percent rate” according to VA.gov.
The VA official site has a list showing who qualifies for Yellow Ribbon benefits:
- You must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
- You must not be on active duty or a spouse using transferred entitlement.
- Your school must agree to participate in The Yellow Ribbon Program.
- Your school must have not offered The Yellow Ribbon Program to more than the maximum number of individuals, as stated in their participation agreement.
- Your school must certify your enrollment to the VA and provide Yellow Ribbon Program information.
Forever GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program Enhancements
- Effective August 1, 2018 Fry Scholarship and Purple Heart recipients will be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program.
- Effective August 1, 2022 certain members of the Armed Forces serving on active duty will eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
You can view a list of schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program on the official VA website. Scroll to the bottom of the page to look for the section titled, “How Will I Know If My School Is Participating In The Yellow Ribbon Program?”