Benefits of the Yellow Ribbon Program

The Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay you:

  • all resident tuition & fees for a public school
  • the higher of the actual tuition & fees or $17,500 per academic year for a private school
    • an exception to this exists for students enrolled in private schools in AZ, MI, NH, NY, PA, SC or TX. In these cases we will pay the higher of the actual tuition & fees or the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition & fees

    Your actual tuition & fees costs may exceed these amounts if you are attending a private school or are attending a public school as a nonresident student.

    Institutions of Higher Learning (Degree Granting Institutions) may elect to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program to make additional funds available for your education program without an additional charge to your GI Bill entitlement.

    Institutions that voluntarily enter into a Yellow Ribbon Agreement with VA choose the amount of tuition and fees that will be contributed. VA will match that amount and issue payment directly to the institution.

    For more information see our Yellow Ribbon Program Pamphlet

    Eligibility

    Only veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive this funding. Active duty servicemembers and their spouses are not eligible for this program (child transferees of active duty servicemembers may be eligible if the servicemember is qualified at the 100% rate).

    Therefore, you may be eligible if:

    • You served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
    • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001;
    • 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.

    How will I Know My School is Participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program?

    You must be enrolled in an approved program offered by an IHL.

    Search for Yellow Ribbon Program participating institutions for the 2011 - 2012 school year

    A list of institutions participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2010 - 2011 school year is here

    A list of institutions participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2009 - 2010 schoool year is here

    When Will Benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program Be Available?

    Benefits are payable for training pursued on or after August 1, 2009. No payments can be made under this program for training pursued before that date.

    How Much Money Will I Receive Under the Yellow Ribbon Program?

    Question: What portion of tuition and fees charges will be considered under the Yellow Ribbon Program?

    Answer: The difference of the amount charged to the student and what has been paid by VA as educational assistance.

    For public schools, a student could be eligible for all in-state tuition and fees so Yellow Ribbon Program funds would not be necessary.  However, Yellow Ribbon Program funds can be applied to the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees charges.

    For private and foreign schools, the cap of $17,500 begins on 8-1-11 and will be applied during the academic year until it is exhausted.  If, for example, the cap of $17,500 is used in the first semester, then Yellow Ribbon Program contributions can be applied to any potential shortfall in the first semester and for the remainder of the academic year. 

    If a student attended a public school in the Fall semester and then transferred to a private school for the Spring semester, the student could be eligible to receive up to the full $17,500 at the private school.  Likewise, if a student attended a private school for the Fall semester and used up the $17,500 at that school and then transferred to a public school for the Spring semester, the student could have all in-state tuition and fees covered at the public school.

    State maximum Tuition & Fees - 2009-2010 (No Longer Effective August 1, 2011)

    The information provided in this table is in accordance with VA’s statutory requirement to determine the highest in-state, undergraduate, public tuition as specified in 38 USC 3313(c)(1)(A). This information has no relationship to, and should not be compared with, average costs of tuition and fees of public institutions within any state commonly referred to when considering educational options. The amounts in this table are effective only for the 2010 academic year which ends July 31, 2011.

    Application Procedures

    How does A School apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program?

    Schools that intend to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program will establish application procedures for eligible students. The school will determine the maximum number of students that may participate in the program and the percent of tuition that will be contributed. VA is currently accepting agreements from institutions for participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

    How Do I Apply for Benefits under Post-9/11 GI Bill?

    You should complete and submit the application form available online here and will receive written notification explaining VA's decision regarding your eligibility for the program. If you are eligible, your Certificate of Eligibility will also advise you if your service meets the requirements for the Yellow Ribbon Program. If your school has volunteered to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, you should take your Certificate of Eligibility to your school and ask your school to certify your enrollment to VA, including Yellow Ribbon. You cannot certify your participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program directly to the VA. Your school must report this information on your enrollment certification. You may wish to inquire at your school about their intent to participate and the application procedures they plan to establish for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Please remember that you must be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% rate to be considered for the Yellow Ribbon Program.

    To receive benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program:

    • 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 transferee of an active duty member
    • Your school must agree to participate in the Yellow Program;
    • Your school must have not offered Yellow Ribbon to more than the maximum number of individuals stated in their participation agreement;
    • Your school must certify your enrollment to VA, including Yellow Ribbon program information.