Yellow Ribbon Program Helps Make College Free for Vets: Dartmouth College is Encouraging the Program


By Debbie Gregory.

The Yellow Ribbon Program was established by the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, and is a provision of the Post 9/11 (Chapter 33) GI Bill. The Yellow Ribbon Program offers Veteran Colleges and Veteran Universities the opportunity to create partnerships with The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to fund tuition expenses. The program addresses out of state fees and higher tuition rates at private schools, which Veteran Students previously had to pay for out of their own pockets. Under the provision, Yellow Ribbon Schools can waive up to half of the expenses that exceed the tuition of the most expensive in-state public school, and the VA will match the amount waived by the institution.

Dartmouth College is one such Yellow Ribbon School, making all possible attempts to enable Veteran Students to attend their institution with no out of pocket expense. The school is one of many Veteran Schools that is working with the VA to help Veteran Students afford the finest education possible.

Dartmouth College President James Wright said in an interview with The Dartmouth, “I think this fully equalizes higher education opportunities for veterans.” Wright continued, “All they (Veteran Students) should have to think about is where they want to go to school, not where they can afford to go.”

Wright contributed to designing The Yellow Ribbon Program, believing that this program is a great improvement over previous benefits because it creates a structure in which more private universities, such as Dartmouth, can participate in the education of Veterans. Under previous benefits, private schools were too expensive for the allotted amount of benefits that Veteran Students received using either the Montgomery or Post 9/11 GI Bill.

In the final draft of the program, each Yellow Ribbon School has the ability to choose its own percentage of tuition cost that the institution will waive, as well as the maximum number of Veteran Students in which it will offer aid to.

According to school officials, none of Dartmouth’s schools intend to cap the number of Veteran Students, or provide less than 50 percent of the tuition left over after the VA’s initial contribution.

Diane Bonin, Director of financial aid at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth said, “We want to participate 100 percent in the Yellow Ribbon Program.”

For more information about The Yellow Ribbon Program, Veteran Schools and other education programs and benefits for current and former military and their families, please search our education information page at