Yellow Ribbon Program Boosts Support for Veterans Education
June 4, 2012
For a third year, Mason will participate in the Yellow Ribbon Education Enhancement Program to support post-9/11 veterans who are pursuing degrees.
The initiative partners the university with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help fund higher education for out-of-state veterans. In the first year, Mason’s Office of Military Services provided $500 of tuition assistance, which was matched by $500 from the VA, to 25 qualifying veterans who were enrolled as graduate students.
After a steady increase in funding each year, the 2012-13 program is open to an unlimited number of out-of-state post-9/11 veterans for undergraduate and graduate study. Mason will provide a $5,000 student scholarship, which will be matched by $5,000 from the VA.
Under the G.I. Bill, the government will pay for the highest in-state tuition for veterans, or up to $17,500 for private schools or out-of-state students. In the past, any leftover balance was the responsibility of the veteran. The increased funding under the 2012-13 Yellow Ribbon Program will cover nearly all of the tuition costs for out-of-state veterans.
“This initiative is not about recruiting, it’s the right thing to do,” says Jennifer Connors, director of the Office of Military Services. “Mason recognizes the sacrifices of these men and women. This is one small way to show our appreciation and truly be an ambassador of military- and veteran-friendly policies in higher education.”
To qualify for funding under the Yellow Ribbon Program, veterans must meet several service requirements specified by VA. Veterans must have served an aggregate period of active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, of at least 36 months, or have been honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and served 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001.
Mason’s Office of Military Services serves more than 1,000 active duty, reserve, National Guard and veteran students on issues ranging from academic counseling to benefits options.