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Yellow Ribbon Program Offers New Option to Veterans

June 9, 2009 - Starting in the fall, veterans of the armed forces may be eligible for more Georgetown tuition and fee benefits, thanks to the university’s participation in a Veterans Educational Assistance Act program.

The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program allows Georgetown to expand its financial commitment to veterans by extending education benefits above and beyond those provided by the Montgomery GI Bill.

Under an agreement with the Department of Veteran Affairs, Georgetown will make more than $2 million in tuition and fee benefits available to eligible veteran accepted to and enrolled at the university. Veterans Affairs will then match Georgetown’s contribution to individual students.

“We are proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program, and we look forward to this opportunity to give back to the soldiers who have so bravely served our nation,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said.

About 24 million Americans make up the U.S. veteran population, according to Veterans Affairs.

“The men and women of our armed forces have always figured prominently in the life of our university,” DeGioia added, “and we look forward to supporting a new generation of soldiers who come here to further their education.”

Benefit Details

All Georgetown schools and colleges will participate in the program at various levels. All graduate programs, including those at the Law Center and Medical Center, will offer eligible veterans a $2,500 benefit in addition to any financial aid packages for which they may qualify.

Eligible veteran undergraduate students on the Main Campus will receive a $1,000 benefit on top of their need-based financial aid package.

The School of Continuing Studies (SCS) has set aside a $13,400 benefit for up to 75 eligible veterans who enroll in the school’s undergraduate programs and a $10,700 benefit for up to 100 eligible veterans who enroll in the SCS master’s programs.

Vincent Kiernan said the program lifts a huge burden off veterans applying to Georgetown because Veterans Affairs will pay each student’s allotment directly to the university.

“So the veteran will not even have to bother with the hassle of shelling out money upfront and waiting for reimbursement, as is the case with the current GI Bill,” said Kiernan, associate dean of SCS’s liberal studies program.

Helping Veterans Earn Degrees

The Yellow Ribbon Program helps makes participating private institutions more accessible to veterans who are pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Congress authorized the initiative under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, more commonly referred to as the New GI Bill.

More than 170 Georgetown students enrolled last year using veteran benefits. Eligibility for the benefit is determined by Veterans Affairs and is limited to veterans who served in the armed forces after Sept. 10, 2001.

“The increased military activity on behalf of U.S. service personnel, in particular in Afghanistan and Iraq, since Sept.11, 2001, prompted Congress to look at the educational benefits provided to our veterans,” said Scott Fleming, federal relations associate vice president. “This program gives Georgetown the opportunity to express our appreciation for our nation’s veterans while educating them.”

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