The Yellow Ribbon program, an extension of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, helps veteran students pay their tuition. While it’s a mandatory program at the undergraduate level, graduate students do not always get the same opportunities. This year, however, all schools and colleges at WVU are offering these benefits at both levels.
The first colleges to join the program at WVU were the School of Public Health, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
In 2013, the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, the College of Business and Economics, the School of Dentistry and the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences joined the effort.
This year, six schools will be joining for the first time and two will be opting back into the program: the College of Creative Arts, the College of Education and Human Services, the Reed College of Media, the College of Law, the School of Medicine, the School of Pharmacy, the School of Nursing and the School of Public Health.
“Being a Yellow Ribbon school is a big step to being military friendly,” said Jerry McCarthy, director of Veterans Affairs at WVU. “We want our veterans to know they have our gratitude, care and respect, and that we want to give them the best opportunities for success in their education, whatever they want to study.”
WVU will do so by providing the maximum amount – 50 percent of the difference between the cost of in-state and out-of-state tuition – for each graduate student who uses the Yellow Ribbon program. There will not be unlimited spots, however; each college decides for itself how many veteran students will be able to use the program each year. But those who do, will not have to pay any tuition.
The Reed College of Media, one of this year’s first-time participants, has developed a partnership over the past two years with the U.S. Defense Information School. There also has been demand from both active members of the military and reservists who are interested in developing expertise in strategic communications and journalism. Joining the Yellow Ribbon program was the next logical step in the partnership with the Defense Information School.
“This is a mutually beneficial opportunity,” said Maryanne Reed, dean of the Reed College of Media. “While we are providing members of the military greater access to our academic programs, the students are the ones adding real value by sharing their diverse experiences and expertise.”
The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, on the other hand, was one of the first to join the program back in 2012 and has continued its participation each year.
“The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources joined the Yellow Ribbon Program to help those students who have supported our country through their service in the Armed Forces,” said Dave Solley, program coordinator in mechanical and aerospace engineering and coordinator of veteran affairs for the College. “Both the students and the College benefit from the program. The out-of-state student gets to attend WVU with their tuition and fees paid for. The Statler College gets mature, dedicated students who otherwise may have chosen to attend another school.”
Those eligible to receive benefits of the Yellow Ribbon include, but are not limited to:
• Those eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill
• Those who have served an aggregate period of 36 months in active duty after Sept. 10, 2001
• A dependent of a veteran who meets criteria for Transfer of Entitlement
For more information on qualifications and participation, visit the WVU Veterans webpage.
CONTACT: Jerry McCarthy, WVU Veterans Affairs
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