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The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced that more than 1,000 private and public colleges and universities across the US have agreed to reduce tuition for student veterans during the 2010-11 school year as part of agency’s Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program. A number of participating institutions are located in Virginia!

The Yellow Ribbon program pays up to the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition and fees for eligible student veterans. Only individuals entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) may receive this funding.  Eligibility requirements include the following:

  • Student served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months;
  • Student was honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001; 
  • Student is a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above. 

Colleges and universities participating in the Yellow Ribbon program determine application procedures for eligible students, the maximum number of students that may participate in the program, and the percent of tuition that will be contributed. 

For a complete list of participating Virginia institutions, click here  or visit www.gibill.va.gov.

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Last week, President Bush signed the updated GI Bill into law with support from Virginia Senators Jim Webb (D-Va.) and John Warner (R-Va.). Starting in August 2009, the new bill promises veterans full in-state tuition and fees at public colleges and universities, as well as a monthly housing stipend and $1,000 per year for books. The bill also allows veterans to transfer benefits to their spouses and children. In order to qualify, active members, reservists, and veterans must have served at least 90 consecutive days on active duty since 9/11/01.

To find out more about the benefits of the new bill, which is known as the Post- 9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008 or the Webb-Hagel GI Bill, check out the brochure on the Veterans Affairs Department web site at www.gibill.va.gov. You can also call their toll free number, 1-888-GIBILL1, with follow-up questions.

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