GW Supports Education for Veterans

May 25, 2012

Almost all student vets in GW’s Yellow Ribbon Program will be able to earn a degree at little or no cost.

The George Washington University has increased its financial assistance for both undergraduate and graduate student-veterans for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Through the federally-sponsored Yellow Ribbon Program, U.S. colleges and universities have the opportunity to fund tuition expenses that exceed a base amount paid by the government, which is set at a national cap for private colleges and universities of $17,500 per student. GW contributes up to 50 percent of the student-veterans’ additional expenses, an amount that is matched by Veterans Affairs.

For the 2012-2013 school year, the university will provide up to $15,000 for GW Law School students, $5,500 for all other graduate students and $18,000 for undergraduates.

“We are pleased to build upon GW’s leadership in providing education benefits for individuals with military experience,” said Andrew Sonn, Ed.D.’09, assistant vice president for GW’s Student and Academic Support Services Division. “In particular, it is great to offer an expanded package for law students and to increase the number of undergraduate slots for 2012-13. This also carries on the GW tradition of GI Bill participation that began with the first 1944 GI Bill recipient Don A. Balfour (A.A. ’44, B.A. ’45) and continues to the present day.”

Between the federal government’s base rate of $17,500 and the up to $15,000 per student per year that GW will contribute and the VA will match, law students will be able to receive a total of up to $47,500 in tuition support. Law school tuition is set at $47,535 for full-time students. All other graduate student-veterans will be able to receive a total of up to $28,600 in tuition support. The average Columbian College of Arts and Sciences graduate program tuition is $24,120.

Tuition has been covered fully for undergraduate student-veterans in the Yellow Ribbon Program at GW since 2009. This year, undergraduate student-veterans will be able to receive a total of up to $53,500 in tuition support.

This year, more than 900 student-veterans are enrolled at GW, including more than 400 who have applied to the Yellow Ribbon Program. About 70 percent of those students are enrolled in graduate programs.

There will be no cap on the number of law or any other graduate Yellow Ribbon students that the university will support. There will be a cap of 200 undergraduate Yellow Ribbon students, a number that is well above the projected undergraduate enrollment.

The university has also reallocated its funding to enable student-veterans to receive Yellow Ribbon tuition benefits during the summer semester. This year-round allocation is particularly important because it enables student-veterans to maintain their VA housing benefit, which depends on their status as a full-time student.

GW has earned accolades for its commitment to veterans, including being named a top “military friendly” school by GI Jobs magazine and ranked 16 out of 100 colleges – and second for private schools – in the Military Times’ “best for vets” college ranking.

“GW's commitment to veterans is apparent by its commitment to the Yellow Ribbon Program. Participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program at GW opens doors for so many veterans who are leaving the service and want to continue their education at one of the top institutions in the country,” said Tommy Davis, president of GW Veterans. “GW was the first university to accept the original GI Bill for veterans, and it is continuing the legacy of support for veterans in the Yellow Ribbon Program.”