Vanderbilt University boosts commitment to veterans, increases investments for Yellow Ribbon program

Eligible veterans can attend Vanderbilt University at a significantly reduced cost, thanks to the school’s continued participation in the Yellow Ribbon GI Educational Enhancement Program. 

photo of yellow ribbon

Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, a part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, colleges and universities can work with the federal government to offer reduced tuition and fees to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Vanderbilt, which has participated in the Yellow Ribbon Program since its inception, is renewing its commitment to veterans by increasing the institution’s Yellow Ribbon financial aid packages this year. 

Starting in July, all eligible undergraduate and professional students will receive $16,000 in Yellow Ribbon financial aid, a $10,000 increase per student from previous funding levels. Contributions for veterans enrolled in the Law School and Owen School of Management will continue at their existing maximum level. 

Broadening the financial aid packages offered to veterans in more undergraduate and professional disciplines will ensure that Vanderbilt remains an affordable and competitive option for veterans and military-connected communities, said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs C. Cybele Raver.

“We take great pride in our active participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program,” Raver said. “Through this ongoing partnership with the VA, we can reduce financial barriers to entry and continue to attract the highest-caliber students to Vanderbilt.” 

Vanderbilt typically has about 30 undergraduate and professional students who are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program each year.  

The Yellow Ribbon Program allows for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and a participating institution to match each other’s contributions if the tuition at that school exceeds the Post-9/11 GI Bill cap for the state.  

At Vanderbilt, eligible veterans who enroll either as undergraduates or graduate students (master’s and doctoral level) can now receive a $16,000 tuition discount from the university that will be matched by another $16,000 from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  

Douglas Christiansen, vice provost for enrollment affairs and dean of admissions and financial aid, said that Vanderbilt will not limit the number of students who can participate. The institution wants to open its doors to as many veterans as possible, he said. 

When the Yellow Ribbon Program was introduced 15 years ago, Vanderbilt signed on immediately as part of our commitment to bring students who have served in the military into our classrooms,” Christiansen said. “Our veterans bring an incredible depth of life experience to campus, enriching the already diverse backgrounds and experiences represented at Vanderbilt. These varied perspectives give all students new opportunities to grow and develop, both academically and personally.” 

To be eligible, veterans must have served three years on active duty or at least 30 continuous days before being discharged for service-related injuries since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

More than 500 colleges and universities have participated in the Yellow Ribbon Program since its launch. More information about the program is available online.