Beginning with the fall 2013 semester, Central Texas College (CTC) will be able to further assist student veterans as a Yellow Ribbon School. CTC recently entered an agreement with the Veterans Administration (VA) to become an approved institution of the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program which provides funding of the enrollment cost for courses not fully funded by VA Chapter 33 Post 9/11 benefits.
The program, a provision of the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, is designed to help students avoid paying out-of-pocket for tuition and fees associated with education programs by allowing approved institutions of higher learning and the VA to partially or fully fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the established thresholds under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
“We applied to be a Yellow Ribbon institution because it is the right thing to do for our veterans,” said Dr. Thomas Klincar, CTC chancellor. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to further assist them and it will have a huge positive impact to our students across the world as they seek to continue their educational pursuits and can now do so in a more efficient and affordable manner.”
The program is significantly beneficial to out-of-state students. “Students outside Texas often want to continue with CTC after separating from the military,” said Annabelle Smith, CTC director of the Office of Student Financial Aid and Veterans Services. “The Yellow Ribbon program will allow them to do so without financial hardship.”
The Yellow Ribbon program allows institutions of higher learning such as colleges, universities and other degree-granting schools in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the tuition and fee amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The institution can contribute a specified dollar amount of those expenses, and VA will match the contribution, not to exceed 50 percent of the difference.
To receive the Yellow Ribbon Program benefits, a veteran student must be enrolled in an approved program offered by an institution of higher learning that participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Only veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive Yellow Ribbon funding. Active duty service members and their spouses are not eligible for this program. Child transferees of active duty service members may be eligible if the service member is qualified at the 100 percent rate.
Veteran students can qualify for Yellow Ribbon funding if: they served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001, of at least 36 months; were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001; are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria.
CTC already has student taking advantage of the Yellow Ribbon program as distance learning students stationed in Mississippi have qualified for the funding and will receive the benefit beginning in August.