This article by Jim Absher first appeared on Military.com, the premier resource for the military and veteran community.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the schools that will participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2019-2020 academic year, which begins Aug. 1.
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill that allows veterans to attend a private school for little or no out-of-pocket money. Normally, Post-9/11 GI Bill payments at private schools are limited by law to a national maximum amount. Although that amount changes every year, it seldom covers the full tuition and fees that private schools charge for enrollment.
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Currently, the maximum amount for the 2019-2020 academic year is $24,476.79. The academic year lasts from Aug. 1 to July 31, 2020.
Normally, private schools are more expensive than public schools, but schools that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program agree to waive a portion of their tuition. The VA then matches the waived amount, which allows a veteran to attend a private school at little or no personal cost.
For example: You attend a private university with a tuition of $45,000 a year. The school is participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program and agrees to waive $10,000 in tuition costs for veterans. The VA matches that $10,000 waiver, making the total tuition waived $20,000. Your Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay the legally mandated maximum of $24,476.79, and the Yellow Ribbon Program will waive $20,000. You will be responsible for tuition of $523.21 that you must pay with financial aid or out-of-pocket.
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The program is voluntary for schools, and many have limits on which degree programs they allow and may limit the number of participants in the program.
There are certain restrictions on who is eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program as well: Active-duty members cannot use it, but dependents can. More details.
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