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Yellow Ribbon Institutions for Higher Learning

As part of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, you may qualify to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. This is a financial aid benefits program for military veterans. It is one of the most valuable programs available to eligible individuals. However, there are specific requirements that you must first follow to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is a GI Education Enhancement Program that was inducted after the Post-911 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. If you meet any of the below listed requirements, you are eligible for this program if:

  1. You served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
  2. You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001;
  3. You are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran's service under the eligibility criteria listed above.
  4. You must be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% rate

What Does the Yellow Ribbon Program Do?

With the Yellow Ribbon Program, you can pay your tuition and fees for a public institution. These grants have the voluntary option to fund tuition expenses to eligible individuals (for further information see below) that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. This option is agreed upon with the VA and can contribute up to 50% of said expenses and the VA will match the same amount as the institution.

If eligible, you choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. The VA will match the amount chosen by the IHL and issue payment of the funding directly to the institution. According to the US Department of Veteran's Affairs the Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) must agree to the following:

  1. Provide contributions to eligible individuals who apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program on a first-come first-serve basis, regardless of the rate at which the individual is pursuing training in any given academic year;
  2. Provide contributions during the current academic year and all subsequent academic years in which the IHL is participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program and the student maintains satisfactory progress, conduct, and attendance;
  3. Make contributions toward the program on behalf of the individual in the form of a grant, scholarship, etc;
  4. State the dollar amount that will be contributed for each participant during the academic year;
  5. State the maximum number of individuals for whom contributions will be made in any given academic year.

What If I Attend a Private Institution, Graduate School or Enroll with Out-of-State Status?

The Post 9-11 GI Bill pays up to the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition and fees. If you are enrolled at a Yellow Ribbon participating institution and the tuition fees exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition or fees, do not despair! Additional funds, grants, or scholarships that can be made available for your education program without an additional charge to your entitlement under the Yellow Ribbon Program. You can find all the information you need on further grants and scholarships on our Funding School Page.

How Do I Find a List of Schools Participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

There is a vast array of schools that offer the Yellow Ribbon Program. To find your school of interest or to browse schools that participate for the academic year of 2010-2011, visit Which is a part of the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Some Things to Know Before You Apply

Schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program have application procedures for eligible students. Each school has a different maximum number of students that they permit to participate in the program and the percent of tuition that is contributed by them (and of course then matched by the VA). The VA continues to accept agreements from IHL for participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

If you are already attending a school that you don't believe has yet participated in the Yellow Ribbon Program, you may find it helpful to inquire at your school if there is an intent to participate in the Program and the application procedures if they intend to do so.

If you have not yet applied for benefits under the Post 9/11 GI Bill and received the 100% rate to be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program, you need to do this first.

Visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs website to complete and submit an application form online:

Once you have done this, you will receive written notification containing the VA's decision of your eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon Program. If you are eligible you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility which will contain the information as to whether or not your service meets the requirements for the Program.

Applying For the Program

If your Certificate of Eligibility meets the Yellow Ribbon Requirements, you will need to bring that to your school where they will certify your enrollment to the VA, which would include the Yellow Ribbon Program. You cannot certify your participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program directly to the VA. Your educational institution must report this for you on your enrollment certification.

Your college will then give you the information you need to continue the application process.

Need Additional Information?

We advise you go to the VA website at for any other questions you may have on the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Find Post-Military Education

Many schools set up entire veterans communities with transition assistance, tutoring, prep courses and stable support system. Finding a college that provides services for veterans is simple.

Use our FREE custom search tool to find great military-friendly schools:

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