The Yellow Ribbon Program: Helping to Educate Veterans

The Yellow Ribbon has become the symbol of support and pride for the US Military since it became popular in the early 1990s.  With the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the yellow ribbons have become increasingly prevalent to show support for troops—whether tied to a tree or adhered on the back of a car. Now the Yellow Ribbon stands for more than just support; it stands for opportunity.

Over the last ten years, veterans’ benefits have been greatly expanded—including educational benefits.

Since its creation in 2008, the Yellow Ribbon Program has been helping veterans get the best education possible.  Oftentimes members of the military are unable to attend private universities because the costs exceed the tuition benefits provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The Yellow Ribbon Program helps veteran students pay up to 100 percent of their out-of-pocket tuition and fees for these costly education programs.

The program works by allowing higher education institutions to partner with Veteran Affairs to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate rate. Participating schools can wave up to 50% of those expenses and the Department of Veteran Affairs will match the amount.

There are two ways a veteran can qualify for this program:

  1. He or she must have served for at least 36 months after September 10, 2001.
  2. If he or she has been honorably discharged for a service-connected disability, he or she must have served a minimum of 30 days.

In addition, the Yellow Ribbon Program allows eligible veterans to transfer their education benefits to a dependent, including a spouse.

You served your country. Now it’s time for your country to help you pursue your dreams. Talk with the schools you are applying to about the Yellow Ribbon Program to see if you qualify.

What does the yellow ribbon mean to you? Please share your thoughts.

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