As a veteran, you know that the Post-9/11 GI Bill is one of the greatest tools in your personal career advancement arsenal. Did you know that the benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill are greatly increased when you attend a Yellow Ribbon School?
The Yellow Ribbon School designation refers to schools that have teamed up with the VA to voluntarily provide additional funds to your education program without costing you a dime — designated schools simply offer tuition waivers to help lower the cost of your education.
You may be eligible to receive Yellow Ribbon School benefits if:
- You served an aggregate period of 36 months in active duty after Sept. 10, 2001
- You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001.
- You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on the service eligibility criteria listed above.
Active duty service members or their spouses are not eligible. However, if a servicemember is qualified at the full rate, it is possible to transfer eligibility to their child.
The beauty of the Yellow Ribbon School program is that it provides veterans private school opportunities at little or no extra cost than attending a public school. Essentially, the program offers extra incentive for veterans to attend private schools.
Knowing that the GI Bill will pay up to $20,235.02 (edit: as of 8/15 – $21,084.89) per academic year for a private or foreign school, here’s an example where you can see the breakdown of these benefits:
Assume a Yellow Ribbon School’s tuition is $60,000/year and an eligible vet gets the full GI Bill rate of $20,235.02. If the Yellow Ribbon program gives the student $12,000, which is then matched by the VA, the vet pays just $15,764.98 to attend ($60,000 – 20,235.02 – 12,000 – 12,000).
While schools are fully responsible for choosing the amount of tuition they will waive and what programs are included in the program, you can never go wrong with tuition waivers of any amount.
For transitioning military members, it just makes sense to take advantage of these opportunities for earning advanced degrees by taking advantage of the Yellow Ribbon School program.
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