Veterans Yellow Ribbon Program Launched In 1,165 Colleges

By Staff
July 7, 2009

A federal effort which aims to help military veterans attend college will be implemented in 1,165 colleges throughout the country.

The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program provides additional financial aid to veterans beyond the new GI Bill, which currently gives qualifying veterans educational benefits capped at the highest public in-state four-year college rate. Participating institutions may pledge funds which are then matched dollar-for-dollar by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which can be used to pay for out-of-state public colleges, private institutions or graduate programs.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 750 private nonprofit, 254 for-profit, and 161 public institutions have agreed to participate in the program. The number of participating colleges has more than doubled since June 11, and VA is currently processing Yellow Ribbon agreements with a handful of additional colleges.

At Drexel University in California, for example, eligible veterans will be able to pursue their education without paying tuition or fees, while receiving a living stipend of about $1,700 monthly.

"A graduate education at Drexel will help our veterans master the substantive knowledge and practical skills they need to succeed in careers that are at the heart of this region's economic engine," said Carl "Tobey" Oxholm III, dean of Drexel's Sacramento campus, who was quoted in the Sacramento Business Journal.

Some other participating institutions include Chapman University, DeVry University, and the University of Phoenix. All are accepting an unlimited number of veterans under the program.

Other schools, such as Cornell University and Ithaca College in New York, will accept up to a certain number of enrollees in the program.

Jim McDonough, director of the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs, commended the institutions. "By providing our nation's returning veterans with an enhanced opportunity to attend some of the best institutions in the country," he told the Ithaca Journal, "these schools are rewarding service to our nation with a greater educational opportunity."

A complete list [from an article originally located at] of institutions participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA anticipates that 460,000 veterans will participate during the first year of the program.

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