Yellow Ribbon .... Explained

By Curtis L. Coy

Colleagues and Fellow Veterans, Many of you may have heard of the “Yellow Ribbon” program … but some may be confused as to what it refers to.  Your confusion is warranted, there are two “Yellow Ribbon” programs, both very different from each other.

There is the *Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program (YRRP)* offered by the "Department of Defense for National Guard and Reserve members" of the Armed Forces. Through their programs, families are connected to resources through the deployment period and help with reintegration afterwards. You can learn more about YRRP by visiting their website [ ]. It’s a very useful program.

Then there is the *Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program*" provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)".  The Yellow Ribbon program offered by VA allows degree-granting Institutions of Higher Learning in the United States (colleges/universities) to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition and fee expenses not covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill for out-of-state students or those attending a private institution. The institution can contribute a specified dollar amount of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution, not to exceed 50 percent of the difference. Nearly 2,000 institutions are participating in the program for the upcoming 2014 – 2015 academic year.

If you’re a student or know a student searching for a school, we encourage you to visit the GI Bill Comparison Tool [ ]_._  The tool will display whether the school participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.  To get specific information on the level of participation by school, please visit the Yellow Ribbon map [ ].  We’ve listed the degree levels, schools, number of students, and maximum contribution for each Yellow Ribbon participating institution in each state.

Hope this clears things up a bit … or perhaps you had never heard of Yellow Ribbon and are now thoroughly confused.  If so, please see above.

VA Core Values: Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, Excellence (“I CARE”)


Curtis L. Coy
Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity
Veterans Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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