The Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the Yellow Ribbon Program

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.

Benefits Provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill

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

  • Eligible veterans will receive up to $24,476.79 applicable toward tuition and fees paid directly to their Columbia student account.
  • An annual books and supplies stipend of $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment.
  • A monthly housing allowance based on the Basic Allowance for Housing for an E-5 with dependents at the location of the school, which is approximately $3,669 per month.
  • Students who are enrolled at least part time may receive funding for tutoring. The amount payable cannot exceed $100/month and there is a $1,200 lifetime maximum.
  • Students enrolled in 9 points or more are eligible for VA work study and can consult with a VA rep for job postings. To apply, eligible students must complete form 22-8691 and submit it to the Buffalo Regional Processing Office.
  • Many tests and test prep courses are eligible for reimbursement.

Apply for Benefits

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

  1. Complete the Veterans Online Application (VONAPP) and submit a copy of your DD-214.
    • Once completed, VA will mail you a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) which will outline your 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 tuition and fees VA payment as soon as enrollment to VA has been certified, rather than waiting for the VA to actually 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.

Transferring Post-9/11 Benefits to a Dependent

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 servicemember 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 section).

Students can learn more about transferability and apply for transfer of benefits on the DOD website.

Transferring Benefits from Another School

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.

The Yellow Ribbon Program

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. This 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

Eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program

You may be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill if:

  • You served an aggregate period of active duty of at least 90 days after September 10, 2001
  • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability and you served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001
  • You 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.

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

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

Individuals serving an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001 of:

Includes entry level and skill training?

Percentage of maximum benefit

At least 36 months



At least 30 continuous days on active duty (Discharged due to service-connected disability)



At least 30 months, but less than 36 months



At least 24 months, but less than 30 months



At least 18 months, but less than 24 months



At least 12 months, but less than 18 months



At least 6 months, but less than 12 months



At least 90 days, but less than 6 months



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