The Forever GI Bill® and the Yellow Ribbon Program
The Columbia University School of General Studies is a proud participant in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Yellow Ribbon Program. The scope of benefits provided by the Forever GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program make a Columbia education accessible to eligible veterans, regardless of socioeconomic status. Both GS undergraduates and Postbac Premed students are eligible to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
The Forever GI Bill®
Each student has unique circumstances and may be eligible for different levels of the Forever GI Bill. To find out more about eligibility, and to utilize the benefit, students must apply directly through the VA.
- Complete the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) and submit a copy of the DD-214.
- Once completed, VA will mail a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) which will outline the student's benefits and eligibility.
- It may take VA up to 6 weeks to mail this document. Students should ensure that their address on file with VA is correct. Note: Students may begin the semester before the COE arrives.
- Forever GI Bill students are also required to submit a copy of their most recent Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on file with the GS Office of Educational Financing. This will allow the Office of Educational Financing to credit the student's account for the expected VA payment as soon as enrollment to VA has been certified, rather than waiting for the VA to send the payment, which can take up to six weeks. Late fees on a student account related to your VA eligible tuition and fees are forgiven once the VA tuition and fees payment is credited to the account.
- Complete the Veterans Request for Certification form. Students must complete the form each semester in order to receive VA benefits for that semester.
- If 100% eligible for the Forever GI Bill, complete the GS Yellow Ribbon Application.
- If less than 100% eligible for the Forever GI Bill, complete the GS Scholarship Application.
The Yellow Ribbon Program is an initiative authorized by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act that allows educational institutions to provide eligible student veterans a grant that is matched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Program supplements the base tuition benefits provided by the Forever GI Bill.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, GS will grant an award through the Yellow Ribbon Program that is the equivalent to funding of up to $10,000 per year to all eligible students. This $10,000 will then be matched by the Department of Veterans Affairs for a total of $20,000 per academic year.
Students who have utilized the Forever GI Bill at another institution must complete VA form 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training). Once submitted and processed, VA will issue a new Certificate of Eligibility, which will have been generated out of the Buffalo Regional Office.
The transferability option under the Forever GI Bill allows service members to transfer all or some unused benefits to their spouse or dependent children. The Department of Defense (DOD) determines whether or not a service member can transfer benefits to his or her family. Once the DOD approves benefits for transfer, the new beneficiaries apply for them at VA (see Apply for Benefits).
Students may learn more about transferability and apply for transfer of benefits on the DOD website.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.