The Post-9/11 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 Post-9/11 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.

Amounts listed below are for the 2019-2020 academic year. Benefits are awarded proportionally, based on eligibility, as determined by VA.

Veterans eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program will receive up to $24,476.79 applicable toward tuition and fees paid directly to their Columbia student account.

Students who do not qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program may still be eligible for some benefits through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Consult the eligibility requirements below to determine the level of benefits for which you may qualify.

Students who were grandfathered into the previous, state-based tuition model as part of the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 should contact gsveterans@columbia.edu or 212-854-2772 with any questions.

Books and Supplies

For each eligible student, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will provide an annual books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment and eligibility level. Payments are made directly to students and generally arrive a few weeks before the start of the semester.

Housing

Depending on the eligibility level of each student, the Post-9/11 GI Bill will provide a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school (this is the rate for all recipients, even those not at the E-5 level or those without dependents).

The amount awarded will decline proportionately based on eligibility level, and is also affected by the date a student first began receiving MHA payments while enrolled at Columbia. Payments are made at the end of the month to cover the previous month. For example, September's payment generally arrives around October 1.

Students are advised to check the VA Benefits page for information about their specific benefits.

Military personnel currently on active duty are not eligible for the housing allowance. Students with an enrollment of half time (6 points per semester) or less are also not eligible for the housing allowance.

Note: Payments are made directly to the student from the VA. Students should be sure to sign up for Direct Deposit as that is the easiest method to receive payment. Alternatively, VA will mail a check. Students can update direct deposit information as well as mailing address on the VA Benefits page or by calling (888) 442-4551.

Spring 2019 Monthly Housing Allowance Payments

*Estimated at 100% Eligibility

Students Who Began Receiving MHA Payments for enrollment at Columbia before August 1, 2019

Students Who Began Receiving MHA Payments for enrollment at Columbia after August 1, 2019

Spring 2019 Monthly Housing Allowance

*Estimated Entitlement Percentage Breakdown

Students Who Began Receiving MHA Payments for enrollment at Columbia before August 1, 2019

Students Who Began Receiving MHA Payments for enrollment at Columbia after August 1, 2019

Each student has unique circumstances and may be eligible for different levels of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. To find out more about eligibility, and to utilize the benefit, students must apply directly through the VA.

  1. 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.
    • Post-9/11 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.
  2. Complete the Veterans Request for Certification form. Students must complete the form each semester in order to receive VA benefits for that semester.
  3. If 100% eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, complete the GS Yellow Ribbon Application.
  4. If less than 100% eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, complete the GS Scholarship Application.

The transferability option under the Post-9/11 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.

Students who have utilized the Post-9/11 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.

A student may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill if they:

  • Served an aggregate period of active duty of at least 90 days after September 10, 2001
  • Were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001
  • Are a dependent (child) eligible for transfer of entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above

Note: Active duty personnel, spouses utilizing transferred benefits, and Fry Scholarship recipients are not eligible.

Students who are eligible for 100 percent of the maximum benefit from the Post-9/11 GI Bill (see chart below) are eligible to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

For more information on eligibility, please consult the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.

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 Post-9/11 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.

Apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program