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Yellow Ribbon Program Agreements Due to VA by May 15

April 20, 2012

Institutions wishing to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program for the 2012-13 academic year must submit signed agreements to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) no later than May 15. The program, part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, allows the VA to match institutional contributions to cover the gap when tuition and fees for academic programs exceed the maximum veteran benefit.

As amended in 2011, the Post-9/11 GI Bill sets a nationwide cap of $17,500 for tuition and fees benefits for veterans attending independent and foreign institutions. At public institutions, benefits cover in-state tuition and fees. Public institutions may still wish to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, as some states allow all veterans to pay in-state rates but many others do not.

For the first time, this year accepted Yellow Ribbon agreements will be considered open-ended and will remain in effect "for the upcoming academic year and all future academic years unless VA or the institution notifies the other party that changes are requested." The VA plans to conduct an "open season" from March 15 to May 15 each year during which new or revised agreements may be submitted.

The VA's Yellow Ribbon Program website contains the agreement document, a checklist, and a helpful FAQ document.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst