Penn State participating in Yellow Ribbon Program for veterans

University Park, Pa. -- Fully qualified U.S. veterans who have served on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001, and who currently attend or wish to attend Penn State can have their tuition costs covered at nearly every Penn State campus and for nearly every degree offered by the University, thanks to the U.S. government's Yellow Ribbon Program, part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill.

"Penn State recognizes the tremendous contributions being made by our servicemen and women and wants to ensure they have access to a Penn State education, regardless of their state of origin," said Brian Clark, director of Penn State's Office of Veterans Programs.

The existing Montgomery GI Bill covered tuition for qualified veterans residing in Pennsylvania who enrolled at Penn State. The Post 9/11 GI Bill -- officially known as the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, effective Aug. 1, 2009 -- expands college options to out-of-state veterans, at both public and private higher education institutions. Depending on a veteran's length of active-duty service, the Post 9/11 GI Bill will cover the amount of tuition and fees charged, "not to exceed the most expensive in-state public institution of higher education." The Yellow Ribbon Program enables participating institutions to share tuition costs with the Veterans Administration if costs exceed those of the state's most expensive public institution.

At Penn State, the Post 9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program will cover appropriately qualified in-state and out-of-state veterans' tuition and fees for undergraduate, professional and other graduate degrees, with the exception of medical degrees.

At University Park, as many as 340 degree-seeking veterans -- approximately twice the number of veterans enrolled at the campus during the spring 2009 semester -- can be enrolled for the 2009-2010 academic year through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Combined with all Commonwealth Campuses, a total of 1,460 veterans are able to be enrolled, which also is approximately twice the number of veterans enrolled at the University during the spring 2009 semester.

At Penn College, an unlimited number of qualified veterans can be enrolled through the Yellow Ribbon Program, with a school contribution of $1,000 per student-veteran per year. At the Dickinson School of Law, 10 spaces are available for student-veterans participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, with a law school contribution of $5,000 per student per year.

Penn State submitted applications to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for each campus participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program. In late June, the University's status was approved and Penn State's information appeared online under the Pennsylvania State Yellow Ribbon Program Information page, at http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/CH33/YRP/states/pa.htm.

"I'm pleased that Penn State's application to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program has been approved," noted Executive Vice President and Provost Rodney Erickson. "We look forward to helping additional veterans to achieve their higher education goals across our many campuses in Pennsylvania."

There will be no direct costs assumed by the University from the Yellow Ribbon Program. Instead, the University will see a reduction to the tuition income received for some out-of-state students, mostly at University Park.

Veterans should consult the V.A. Web site to determine what program is best for their needs and for what programs they are qualified.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010