College Offers Veterans Free Tuition through Yellow Ribbon Program
July 21, 2009
Dickinson College, in keeping with its historic and unwavering support of veterans, is participating in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program.
Eligible students admitted to the program can receive Dickinson grants and scholarships which, when coupled with educational grants from the VA and other sources, means veterans can attend Dickinson tuition-free.
“We are indebted to the exemplary service veterans provide our country and are honored to participate in this program in recognition of that service,” said Dickinson College President William G. Durden.
While the VA will fund educational costs for veterans eligible under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, the Yellow Ribbon program expands those benefits for students attending participating private colleges, including Dickinson.
Dickinson College will meet 50 percent of the remaining tuition and fee charges with scholarships and grants, and the VA will fund the remaining 50 percent, thereby covering all tuition charges for Yellow Ribbon Scholarship recipients.
In addition, the VA will provide an annual stipend of up to $1,000 to cover the cost of books and supplies. In some cases, veterans may transfer their eligibility to their dependents. Dickinson has committed to fund up to five students through the Yellow Ribbon program for the 2009-10 academic year, but may increase the number of students in subsequent years, depending on demand. Applicants accepted for admission will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Active engagement with the community was an important component of the vision of Dickinson founder Benjamin Rush, who signed the Declaration of Independence and served as surgeon general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution.
Dickinson’s role in the Yellow Ribbon program is in keeping with Rush’s conception of a distinctly American education. Dickinson has maintained an abiding commitment to Army ROTC for more than 50 years. Its graduates are serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world.
“For Rush, community service was a measure of one’s patriotism and one’s commitment to the democracy,” said Durden, who graduated from Dickinson College and its ROTC program in 1971. “Serving in the military is one of the greatest commitments we as Americans can make to our communities, our nation and, ultimately, democracy. We challenge our students to lead useful, engaged lives. Our veterans are already meeting those challenges, and we are privileged to assist them as they strive to achieve additional goals.”