Soldier_military_YellowRibbonProgQualified military veterans and their dependents can now attend Christendom College tuition-free, via an agreement between the College and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Christendom is taking part in the new “Yellow Ribbon” program, a component of the post-9/11 GI Bill. The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program is a provision of the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The program is designed to help students avoid up to 100 percent of their out-of-pocket tuition and fees associated with education programs that may exceed the Post 9/11 GI Bill tuition benefit.

Under the new program, the GI Bill will only pay up to the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition, but that is not enough to cover the cost of many private colleges that veterans may wish to attend. As a result, Christendom will contribute 50 percent of the difference, and the VA will match that amount. The GI Bill also covers the cost of housing, books, and supplies.

And for the first time in history, service members enrolled in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program will be able to transfer unused educational benefits to their spouses or children.

Considering the fact that Christendom does not accept Federal aid, some have questioned how the College’s participation in this program does not imply a change in policy.

“All we are doing is agreeing to administer the Yellow Ribbon Program for the benefit of our servicemen and women,” says Executive Vice President Mark McShurley. “Although the money does go directly to Christendom, rather than the veteran or his family, the Government considers it to be aid to the student, and not aid to the institution.”

The institutions that have chosen to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program decide how many undergraduate and graduate awards they will give and the amount of tuition benefit they will contribute. While some colleges have chosen to limit enrollment to 5-10 GI Bill recipients, Christendom has elected to allow an unlimited number of veterans and their dependents to enroll.

“The program provides a wonderful opportunity for veterans and their families,” says Director of Admissions Tom McFadden. “This is a very generous program that will make it possible for more veterans and their dependents to attend an institution like Christendom College.”

To qualify, veterans need to have served for three years on active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or for at least 30 continuous days before being discharged for service-related injuries.

For more information about the program, visit the Yellow Ribbon website at www.gibill.va.gov.

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