What is the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program?

The Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program is an extension of the original GI Bill, which served to help returning war veterans. Signed into legislature after World War II, the GI Bill allowed veterans to seek benefits for their service, including affordable home loans, business loans and money for college. Though the government changed the GI Bill after 9/11, it now offers more benefits that veterans can use for different types of schooling.

What Does the Program Cover?

This program is essentially an agreement between a college and the VA. The Post 9/11 GI Bill does offer veterans money for college, but many veterans find that they need more money than they can get from that program. This new program now allows veterans to get even more money for school. The college agrees to cover a portion of the balance between what the student owes and what the GI Bill covers, and the VA will match what the college provides. It covers education expenses at any accredited college or university that grants degrees.

Who is Eligible?

You must meet certain requirements to get benefits from the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, students must be eligible for the GI Bill, no longer be on active duty, choose a college or university that works with the program and submit proof of enrollment to the VA. The program is also open to those who served on active duty following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, even if that service member received a dishonorable discharge from the military.

Does It Apply to All Colleges?

Though this program helps students afford college, it does not apply to all colleges. Colleges must first apply for a spot within the program, and the program limits the number of veterans who can enroll on each campus every year. The college must agree to give financial benefits to students, regardless of where they are in their education plans, and the college must award students financial help in the form of a grant or another form that students do not pay back. The VA also asks that each college keep a record of the progress that each student makes to ensure that those students work on earning degrees.

How Much Can You Get?

As with other financial aid programs, there is a limit to what the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program covers and how much you can get. You must first see how much you can receive from the traditional GI Bill. The college and the program will then split the remaining balance on your account. If you attend a college that costs $20,000 a year and can only get $10,000 from the GI Bill, the VA will pay out $5,000 and your college will pay the remaining $5,000. Keep in mind that you may still be responsible for some of your other costs, including transportation to campus, living expenses and textbooks.

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The Post 9/11 GI Bill changed the way veterans could seek benefits for college. One of the newer facets of that act is the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program, which allows colleges and the VA to work with the GI Bill and to work together to cover the education expenses that veterans face.