These VA programs are helpful but may not cover all of your school expenses. So you may need to look for other programs that can help you to make up the difference.
Yellow Ribbon Program
The Yellow Ribbon Program is designed fill the gap between total tuition costs and the amount you are getting under the G.I. Bill. This program can be a great help if you are going to an out-of-state public school, private school, or foreign school. This program is available only if your school has voluntarily decided to participate. Participating schools must agree to contribute a certain amount through scholarships or grants. The VA then agrees to match that amount of money.
For example, if your tuition expenses are $10,000 a semester. The G.I. Bill is providing you with $6,000 a semester. Your school could elect to give you a $2,000 scholarship for the Yellow Ribbon Program and the VA would provide you with an additional $2,000 to match that.
To qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program you must:
- have served at least 36 months on Active Duty after September 10, 2011; OR
- have been honorably discharged for a service-connected disability after having served at least 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001; OR
- be a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, based an individual’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.
If you think you may qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, check to see if your school participates in the program. Or speak to your school VA representative to discuss the possibility of your school becoming involved with the program.
Or call the VA for more information: 1-888-442-4551
Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)
The VOW to Hire Heros Act was passed in 2011 and included the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans.
Participants must enroll in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.
The VRAP offers training assistance to Veterans who:
- Are at least 35 but not more than 60 years old
- Are unemployed
- Received an other than dishonorable discharge
- Are not eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
- Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
- Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
The VA is now accepting applications for this program. Click here for more information on how to apply for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program.
Army/Navy College Funds
Go here for more information about the Army College Fund (AFC)
Go here for more information about the Navy College Fund
You could be eligible to get even more help through state and federal funded college aid programs. There are also thousands of locally-run programs, as well as private donor programs. Here are links to a few sites to get you started.