Benefits of the Yellow Ribbon Program

  • Currently the Post-9/11 GI Bill pays up to the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition and fees.
  • Effective August 1, 2011 the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay all pay:
    • all public school in-state tuition and fees or
    • up to $17,500 annually for a private school.

Your tuition and fees 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.


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.

A list of Yellow Ribbon Program participating institutions for the 2011 - 2012 school year will be available in June, 2011

Search for Yellow Ribbon Program participating institutions for the 2010 - 2011 school year

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.

The following steps are provided to determine the difference for one student:

  1. Student's enrolled credit hours reported by the institution to the VA x Maximum Credit Hour Charge for the State = Maximum Tuition Payable
  2. Compare the Maximum Tuition Payable with the amount charged the student. VA will pay the institution the lesser amount
  3. Compare the Maximum Single Term Fees for your State with what you have charged the student. VA will pay the institution the lesser amount.
  4. Add the amounts VA has paid for tuition and fees and compare that with the total amount charged to the student. Institution charges that exceed what has already been paid by VA are the difference that could be applied to the Yellow Ribbon Program.
  5. Determine how much of the difference, up to one-half of that amount, that the institution will agree to cover with funds of the institution and the VA will match that amount.

Example: The student enrolled in 12 credit hours during the Fall term and the institution charged the student $5,000 for tuition and $1,200 in fees. The Maximum Charge Per Credit Hour for the State = $250 and the Maximum Fees for a single term = $1,000:

  1. 12 credit hours x $250 = $3,000 - VA will pay $3,000 of the $5,000 tuition charged
  2. VA will pay $1,000 of the $1,200 fees charged
  3. VA has paid $4,000 of the $6,200 charged the student. $2,200 could be applied to the Yellow Ribbon Program
  4. Your institution can choose to contribute up to $1,100 of this amount and VA will match that contribution.

PLEASE NOTE: The amounts provided by the States on the corresponding table are preliminary and are not necessarily the amounts for academic year 2009-2010. Also, the amounts used in this example do not relate to any specific State.

State maximum Tuition & Fees - 2009-2010

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.

Application Procedures

How do I 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. 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.

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

The Department of Veterans Affairs is now accepting and processing applications for the Post-9/11 GI Bill. You should complete and submit the application form available online 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.

To receive benefits under the Yellow Ribbon Program:

  • You must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill;
  • 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.