Yellow Ribbon Program


GI Bill Logo


VA Web site
News Items


UPDATE 6/22/10:  The VA posted information about Yellow Ribbon agreements for the 2010-11 academic year.

UPDATE 7/10/09:  The VA began posting 2009-10 tuition and fee information for the states that have made this updated information available.  The 2009-10 figures for all states will be posted by 8/1/09.

VA Website 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a Yellow Ribbon Web page.  This page includes a brief description of the program—including an explanation of the way in which the tuition and fee amounts subject to the program are calculated.   PLEASE NOTE:  Tuition and fee calculations are done separately.  The two figures (maximum tuition per credit hour and maximum fees) listed on the table for a particular state are not added together to obtain a single number for purposes of determining the amount subject to the Yellow Ribbon program.  Rather, one calculation is done to determine the difference between an institution’s tuition charge and the maximum in-state tuition charge.  A second calculation is done to determine the difference between an institution’s fee charge and the maximum in-state fee.  The results of these two calculations are then combined to determine the amount subject to the Yellow Ribbon program. 

In addition, the Yellow Ribbon page includes links to an FAQ document, program agreements, information about how payments will be made to institutions, and the listing of institutions participating in the program.

News items
Click here for recent news about the GI Bill

Hundreds of Private Colleges Enlist in the Yellow Ribbon Program (NAICU Statement, July 1, 2009)

Frequently Asked Questions 
What is the “Yellow Ribbon” Program?  It is part of the new Post- 9/11GI Bill legislation signed into law last year.  In general, the maximum tuition and fees benefit available under the bill is capped at the level of the in-state undergraduate charges at the most expensive public institution in a state.  

The “Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program” covers situations where an institution’s tuition and fees exceed the maximum public in-state amount.  Under this program, the federal government will match dollar-for-dollar any institutional contributions made to help eligible veterans cover any tuition and fee costs in excess of the maximum in-state public college tuition amount. 

Which veterans are eligible to participate?  Only veterans who are eligible to receive 100% of the benefit rate provided under the bill may participate in the “Yellow Ribbon” program.   To be eligible for 100% of the benefits, an individual must have served at least 3 years on active duty in the Armed Forces beginning on or after September 11, 2001, or have served at least 30 continuous days and been released for a service-connected disability.   

Will all institutions of higher education participate in the program?  Institutions are not required to participate in the program.  Those that choose to participate may do so at any matching level up to 50% or may limit the number of veterans eligible for the aid.  Institutions that choose to participate will enter into agreements with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. 

What is included in a “Yellow Ribbon” participation agreement?  The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued formal Yellow Ribbon program agreement forms.  Click here for the program agreement form and cover letter with additional details.

The formal agreement includes:

  • An agreement that the institution will provide its matching funds on a “first-come, first-served” basis to the eligible veterans it has admitted;
  • An agreement that the institution will provide its matching funds for a participating student during the current academic year and all subsequent academic years in which the institution participates in the program and the student maintains satisfactory progress, conduct, and attendance;
  • An agreement that the institution will provide its matching funds in a form that does not include other Federal funds or funds raised by a third-party on behalf of an individual or specific group of students;
  • A statement of the maximum number of individuals the institution will include in the program in any academic year; and
  • A statement of the dollar amount for each participant that will be provided by the institution during the academic year.

A list of participating institutions, with specific information about their agreements, has been published on the VA’s GI Bill Web site

When will this program take effect?  The provisions of the new Post-9/11 GI Bill will take effect on August 1, 2009.

Where can I obtain information about the highest in-state, undergraduate tuition amount in my state? A partial list of state-by-state information about maximum tuition per credit hour and maximum fee amounts for the 2009-10 academic year may be found on the VA website. By law, the VA must use 2009-10 academic year tuition and fee amounts — a complete listing will be published by August 1. (The site includes a link to the 2008-09 figures for all states.)

Is the “Yellow Ribbon” program an entitlement like other GI Bill benefits?  Yes.  The program does not rely on the annual appropriations process for its funding. 

Will spouses and dependents of eligible veterans be able to participate in the “Yellow Ribbon” program?   Yes, subject to the policy issued by Department of Defense on June 23, 2009.

UPDATE 6/12/09:  War-Financing Bill to Include Expanded Education Benefits for Dependents

Where can I go for additional information?  Visit for up to date information on this and other education benefits.  Among other things, this website includes a “Question and Answer” section about the new Post-9/11 GI Bill provisions.   The VA website has two sections specifically devoted to the “Yellow Ribbon” program, one for schools and one for students.

In addition, the VA has established a Yellow Ribbon corporate mailbox at