Hundreds of Private Colleges Enlist in the Yellow Ribbon Program

June 22, 2009


CONTACT: Tony Pals,
direct office: 202.739.0474     cell: 202.288.9333

Participation Is One, but Not the Only, Indication of a Veteran-Friendly College

Statement by David L. Warren, President,
National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

A count by NAICU finds that at least 750 private, nonprofit colleges and universities are participating in the new Post-9/11 GI Bill's Yellow Ribbon program. The VA released its final list of participating institutions on June 30.

We are pleased with the high level of interest that our institutions have shown in serving student veterans, through the Yellow Ribbon program and other campus aid resources, especially given the economic pressures of the time and the administrative hurdles associated with implementing a major new federal program.

NAICU was a proud supporter of the legislation that created the Post-9/11 GI Bill. It is a critical investment in the nation's veterans, and a prime example of how by working as partners, the federal government, colleges and universities, and others can pool critical resources to enhance student access and affordability.

My advice to veterans considering college is to not limit your search to those institutions on the Yellow Ribbon list. Private nonprofit colleges and universities may not be participating in the program for reasons that have nothing to do with their commitment to providing assistance to student veterans. Many private institutions have existing student aid programs that provide generous support for all students.

Also, scores of private institutions are located in states where the base Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition benefit is high enough by itself to cover the full tuition at private colleges, making it unnecessary for them to participate in the Yellow Ribbon component. At the other extreme, the base GI Bill benefit for veterans attending private institutions in states such as California (where such veterans will not receive any tuition assistance) will be so low that some colleges and universities simply cannot afford to fill the gap-or choose to do so through existing institutional aid programs.

Students should consider multiple factors when deciding which institution is the best fit for them. These include all forms of student aid available, the college's academic and co-curricular offerings, and its campus environment. The best college value for a student cannot be measured by an institution's list price or simply by its participation in the Yellow Ribbon program alone.

NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education. With more than 1,000 member institutions and associations, NAICU reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States. NAICU members enroll 90 percent of all students attending private institutions. They include traditional liberal arts colleges, major research universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, single-sex colleges, art institutions, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions.


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