The Yellow Ribbon Scholarship is a program initiative that can assist you in covering tuition and fees for out-of-state, private, foreign, or graduate schools, which are not covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Under this program, colleges, universities, and other degree-granting institutions in the U.S. have the option to voluntarily partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
This partnership aims to provide funding for tuition and fee expenses that go beyond the amounts payable through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
While the Post-9/11 GI Bill fully covers the cost of in-state public school tuition, fees, and housing assistance.
It also offers a stipend for books and supplies to qualified Veterans, enabling them to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program over a 36-month period.
Yellow Ribbon Scholarship Eligibility
To qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100% benefit level.
At least one of the following conditions must also apply:
- You served for a minimum of 36 months on active duty, either continuously or with breaks in service, and received an honorable discharge.
- You received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged, regardless of the length of your service.
- You served for a minimum of 30 continuous days, without any breaks, on or after September 11, 2001, and were discharged or released from active duty due to a service-connected disability.
- You are an active-duty servicemember with at least 36 months of continuous active duty service.
- You are a spouse using benefits transferred by an active-duty servicemember who has completed at least 36 months of active duty service.
- You are a dependent child utilizing benefits transferred by a Veteran.
- You are a Fry Scholar.
How to apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program
Here are the steps to apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program:
- Secure your Certificate of Eligibility (COE):
- Begin by applying for your Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
- Once approved, obtain your COE, which details your available education benefits and the portion already utilized.
- You can request a new copy or submit a benefits claim through your VA account online or by contacting the Education Call Center at 888-442-4551.
- This process may take approximately one month or more.
- Provide your school’s financial aid office your COE:
- Many colleges require you to submit your COE as proof of eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- Submit your COE to your school’s financial aid office to determine the additional funding needed to cover your qualifying expenses.
- Inform your intent to apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program:
- Notify your financial aid counselor of your intention to apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- If your school has funding or enrollment limitations, apply early to avoid missing the cutoff.
- Ensure your institution certifies your enrollment with the VA promptly to secure necessary funding and start classes as planned.
- Wait for the school’s acceptance notification:
- The school will inform you if you are accepted into the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- You will also receive information about the decision regarding your benefit level.
- After acceptance, you can decide whether to proceed or not.
- Continuation of Yellow Ribbon Program:
- Similar to Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, Yellow Ribbon Program payments are directly made to the school.
- Once accepted, there’s no further action required on your part.
- As long as you remain enrolled and meet Post-9/11 GI Bill eligibility requirements, you’ll automatically continue in the Yellow Ribbon Program, provided you’re making progress in your program.