'Yellow Ribbon' Veterans Benefit Increased
April 26, 2010 – The benefit for eligible Georgetown undergraduates who served in the military on or after 9/11 will be five times greater in 2010-2011 than it was last year.
The benefit is the result of the university's continued participation in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program under the 2008 Veterans Educational Assistance Act.
In 2009-2010, the first year of the Yellow Ribbon program, eligible Georgetown undergraduates received $1,000 in addition to their need-based financial aid package. This fall, that benefit will go up to $5,000. With a match from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the total benefit goes from $2,000 in the current academic year to $10,000 in 2010-2011.
Under an agreement with the department, Georgetown will make more than $2 million in tuition and fee benefits available to eligible veterans accepted to and enrolled at the university.
"We are proud to continue participating in the Yellow Ribbon program, and we look forward to this opportunity to continue to give back to the soldiers who have so bravely served our nation," Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said.
Other Programs Provide Veteran Benefits
The McDonough School of Business will offer a new, $7,500 benefit for up to 15 eligible veterans who enroll in their graduate programs in addition to any financial aid packages they receive.
Programs at the Graduate School for Arts and Sciences, in addition to those at the Law Center and School of Medicine, will continue to offer eligible veterans a $2,500 benefit in addition to any financial aid packages for which they may qualify.
The School of Continuing Studies has set aside a $12,675 benefit for up to 85 eligible veterans who enroll in SCS' undergraduate programs. In addition, $10,140 has been allocated for up to 60 eligible veterans who enroll in the school's master’s degree programs on Main Campus. And a $9,100 benefit for up to 45 eligible veterans will be offered to those who enroll in the master’s degree programs on the Clarendon campus which has a distinct agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs because of its operations in Virginia.
"Essentially, the School of Continuing Studies is making it possible for up to 85 eligible veterans to study full time as undergraduates at no cost," said Vincent Kiernan, associate dean of the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degree program. Kiernan says it lifts a huge burden off of veterans because the Veterans Affairs will pay each student's allotment directly to the university.
The New 'GI Bill'
The Yellow Ribbon Program is intended to make participating private institutions, including Georgetown, more accessible to veterans pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. The initiative was authorized by Congress under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, more commonly referred to as the New GI Bill, the lead sponsor of which was Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) (GULC ’75).
More than 230 Georgetown students enrolled last year using veteran benefits, with 85 using Yellow Ribbon benefits. Eligibility for the benefit is determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs and is limited to veterans who served at least thirty-six months of active duty in the armed forces after Sept. 11, 2001.
"Georgetown is working with other higher education institutions in Washington on a proposal that would help increase the basic benefit in D.C. since it is among the lowest in the nation and is much lower than the benefit available to eligible veterans in adjacent Maryland and Virginia," says Scott Fleming, federal relations associate vice president.
The New GI Bill basic benefit is tied to the highest undergraduate in-state tuition and fees at a public higher education institution in the jurisdiction, explained Fleming.