The Yellow Ribbon Program

The Veteran Affairs Department announced the name of schools that will participate in the 2019-2020 academic year Yellow Ribbon Program, which began from August 1, 2019. Is your school part of the program? There are two ways to know if your school takes part in the Yellow Ribbon Program:

  1. The GI Bill Comparison Tool 
  2. Search by state or territory

But before you go out in your search for your school, do you know if you are eligible for the program? What do you know about the GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program? How will the program benefit you? Do you know how to apply for yellow ribbon program without overwhelming yourself? If you qualify for the Post 911 GI Bill, are you automatically qualified for the program?

Let’s answer these crucial questions and find out how you can save a lot of dollars in your education tuition and fees.

What Is The Yellow Ribbon Program?

The voluntary program is part of the Post 911 GI Bill that permits universities to fund any additional tuition expenses that exceeded the maximum benefit standard of the Post 911 Bill. The program covers only military students.

If you are new to the program, it comes with different names, which might sometimes confuse you. The program is also known as:

  • The VA Yellow Program
  • The Yellow Ribbon Enhancement Program
  • Yellow Ribbon Scholarships

How Does The Yellow Ribbon Program Work?

Usually, there’s a limit to the maximum national amount of the Post 911 GI Bills to private schools. The amount changes every year, but it rarely covers your entire tuition and college fees that the individual school charges. So the program helps you settle your annual tuition and costs if you decide to enroll in a private school.

However, if you decide to study in a public school, the Post 911 GI Bill will cover your entire cost because public schools are less expensive than private schools.

When you decide to enroll in a private school, they will waive a portion of your tuition. The Veterans Affairs (VA) will then match the waived amount, which will allow you to attend the private school with little or no cost at all. Remember to enroll in a private school that participates in the Yellow Ribbon Scholarships.

Here’s an example of how the program works:

Let’s say you attend a private university that participates in the program with a tuition of $46,000 a year. The school waives $10,000 in tuition costs. The VA equals the $10,000, which makes the total tuition waived $20,000. 

The Post 911 GI Bill will cover $24,476.79 since that’s the legally required maximum. You’ll be left with $1,523.21 to pay through financial aid or from the pocket.

Qualifications For The Yellow Ribbon Program

For you to be eligible for the program, you should:

  • Attend schools that participate in the program and have signed an agreement with the VA, called the Yellow Ribbon Agreement.
  • You must be qualified for the maximal benefit rate under the Post 911 GI Bill
  • Enroll in a school that participates in the program
  • Your school must not offer the program to more than the maximum number of students they agreed, as written in the participation agreement.
  • You must not be on active service or a transferred entitlement used by a spouse

Even though active duty military officers and their wives are not qualified to receive the program benefits, there is an exception: Children of transferees of active service military members can be eligible if the military member is 100% qualified.

Benefit Requirements

You can qualify for benefits in three ways:

  1. You must have served for a 36-month aggregate period after September 10, 2001, on active duty.
  2. Acquire discharge from service on disability during active duty, and have served 30 consecutive days at least after September 10, 2001
  3. You must be a dependant qualified for Entitlement Transfer under the Post 911 GI Bill. You should be an assignee of a veteran who is 100% rate eligible for the benefits.

 How To Apply For Yellow Ribbon Program 

You have to verify with the VA that you are 100% eligible for the Post 911 GI Bill. Visit the official VA eBenefits to proceed. If you also want to apply for the program benefits, request a form from your School Certifying Official.

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Yellow Ribbon Schools

Not every school is under the program. But some reputable universities and colleges have registered. There are two ways to check if your school is part of the program. They are:

  1. The GI Bill Comparison Tool or
  2. Search by state or territory

There are other ways to find out if your school is part of the program:

  • Visit the VA’s official website and check the schools under the program for 2019-2020.
  • You can call the potential school admissions adviser and ask if they are part of the program.
  • Type the school’s name in Google search and add the Yellow Ribbon Program. For example, the “University of Phoenix Yellow Ribbon Program.”

What Determines A Yellow Ribbon School?

A school becomes part of the program when they sign the Yellow Ribbon Agreement. The agreement demands that they:

  • Set a limit on the number of students they can receive contributions in an academic year
  • Write down the amount of money they can contribute to each student in every academic year.
  • Contribute in the form of scholarships, grants, or other tuition assistance.
  • Offer contributions for qualified first-come students who applied for the program benefits.

Note: It’s not possible to know precisely how much contribution a qualified school can give you. You have to call the school and enquire. 

Are You Automatically Qualified To Receive The Yellow Ribbon Program Benefits?

No. You can be eligible, and your school may register under the program, but the answer may still be no. There are limits on the number of students that can receive the Yellow Ribbon benefits at your school each year. It is based on a “first-come, first-served” basis. So, the best way for you to secure your benefit is to find out how to apply for yellow ribbon program and apply it as early as possible.

Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness Help

If you struggle with university student loan forgiveness, then you should get help with that. Because the employees in these agencies are dealing with the student loans every day and they have enough experience for solving different kinds of student loan problems.

Stay On-Trend With Your Education Benefits

There are a lot of changes going on with education benefits. It would help if you kept up with new updates being released from time to time. Visit trusted sources for reliable information. When you do that, you will be on the high-end to get your tuition and fees settled for you.

Final Thoughts

The GI Bill Yellow ribbon program is no doubt a lifesaver if you want to enroll in a private school. But it would help if you didn’t make it the primary determinant when selecting a school. The reason is that you may lose an excellent school that can give you the education you need. However, it is best if you seek counsel from appropriate student advisers and third-party sources. If you have any other questions, you need answers to, visit the VA official website for a list of their FAQs.