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VA Benefits

Post 9/11 GI Bill®

The Post 9/11 GI Bill is an education benefit program specifically for military members who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001. Depending on an individual's situation, provisions of the program may include coverage of tuition and fees, a monthly housing allowance, a book and supplies stipend, Yellow Ribbon payments, and transferability to eligible immediate Family members (Spouse and Children).


To be eligible, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You served at least 90 days on active duty (either all at once or with breaks in service) on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • You received a Purple Heart on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged after any amount of service, or
  • You served for at least 30 continuous days (all at once, without a break in service) on or after September 11, 2001, and were honorably discharged with a service-connected disability, or
  • You’re a dependent child using benefits transferred by a qualifying Veteran or service member.

If you served on active duty for less than 1,095 days (36 months), you’re eligible for only part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit. We base the percentage you’re eligible for on the total amount of time you served on active duty (with or without breaks in service). We call this your “eligibility tier.”

Benefit percentage levels:

  • 910 to 1,094 days (30 to 35 months): 90% of the full benefit
  • 730 to 909 days (24 to 29 months): 80% of the full benefit
  • 545 to 729 days (18 to 23 months): 70% of the full benefit
  • 180 to 544 days (6 to 17 months): 60% of the full benefit
  • 90 to 179 days (90 days to 5 months): 50% of the full benefit


  • Tuition and Fees – Sent directly to Dickinson College. For the 23-24 academic year, the VA will pay up to $27,120.05 towards tuition and fees. This amount is prorated based off your percentage level. Since this does not cover the full cost of Dickinson’s tuition, we participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program (see below), which covers the difference between this amount and out tuition.
  • Monthly Housing Allowance – In addition to tuition and fees, you may also be eligible for a monthly housing allowance (MHA). The MHA is paid directly to the recipient at the end of every month they are enrolled in classes at least half time. Eligibility is based off your Post 9/11 percentage, the location of your school, and the number of credits you are taking. To get the most accurate estimate for Dickinson College, we recommend using the GI Bill Comparison Tool.
  • Book Stipend – The VA will also pay a $500 per semester ($1000 for the year) book stipend.
  • Additional Benefits – If you live in a county with fewer than 6 people per square mile, and you are either moving at least 500 miles or flying to school, you may qualify for a one-time $500 rural allowance.

Transfer of Entitlement

Post 9/11 GI Bill® eligible veterans may transfer some or all their 36 months of eligibility to dependents. The Veterans Administration determines eligibility for the program and will provide to the recipient a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the student’s name. The COE must be shared with the Dickinson Financial Aid Office to process the student’s award.

Yellow Ribbon Program

Those who are at the 100% eligibility rate for the Post 9/11 GI Bill are also eligible to receive Yellow Ribbon benefits through a match between Dickinson College and the Veterans Administration. At Dickinson, the full cost of tuition and fees are covered by the combination of the maximum VA tuition benefit for private schools and the Yellow Ribbon benefit. Once the maximum VA benefit (determined each year by the VA) is applied, Dickinson covers half of the remaining tuition and fee amount through our Yellow Ribbon contribution. The VA then provides the remaining half of tuition and fees through their Yellow Ribbon contribution.

Dickinson does not place a limit on the number of Yellow Ribbon recipients; we provide the benefit to all eligible enrolled students.  We also do not place a dollar limit in the value of our Yellow Ribbon match.


Here is an example of how the funding for Yellow Ribbon works for our students this year. In this example, the student did not receive any additional tuition assistance such as a merit scholarship.

  Dickinson Charges (2023-24):    
Tuition and Fees: $63,450
Housing and Food: $16,500
Total $79,950
Financial Aid Award:  
VA maximum tuition and fee benefit for private colleges: $27,120.05
Dickinson Yellow Ribbon (1/2 remaining tuition and fees): $18,164.98
VA Yellow Ribbon (the other half): $18,164.98
Subsistence allowance from the VA (BAH, paid monthly to the student): *$15,504 (est.)
Total Aid $63,450.01

 *The housing allowance is not deducted from the tuition bill. This funding is directly deposited into the student/parent’s bank account listed on the VA application.

For the student’s first semester, the family will have to pay the first semester bill for room and board; if the monthly stipends are saved each month, there should be sufficient funds accumulated to pay most of each subsequent semester bill (this varied depending on the percentage level).

Thirty-six months of eligibility should be sufficient to fund four years of enrollment.  If a student has fewer months available, the student and family will need to discuss how best to use the limited benefit.

Students who have been offered a merit scholarship from Dickinson will retain the scholarship but receive less in Yellow Ribbon benefits, since the scholarship will reduce the tuition and fee charge sent to the VA as part of our enrollment certification.  Yellow Ribbon and VA education benefits will replace any Dickinson need-based grant aid but, according to federal regulation, VA education benefits do not count as estimated financial assistance when determining eligibility for federal Title IV aid.

Chapter 35 – Survivors and Dependents Benefits

If you are a: dependent spouse, dependent child, surviving spouse, or surviving child of a veteran, you may qualify for this benefit. These benefits are paid monthly and sent directly to the recipient.

Chapter 31 – Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E)

If you have a service-connected disability that has limited your ability to work or prevents you from working, VR&E may be the most beneficial benefit. VR&E helps you explore employment options, while addressing any education or training needs that you may need.

Chapter 1606 – Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)

This benefit offers up to 36 months of education and training if you are a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, or Air National Guard. These benefits are paid monthly and sent directly to the recipient.


Study Abroad and VA Benefits 

Due to current federal regulations regarding the use of VA benefits to study abroad; benefits can only be used through Dickinson College at the K. Robert Nilsson Center for European Studies in Bologna Italy for the 23-24 academic year. This means that students planning on using VA benefits to study abroad elsewhere, will need to make sure of the following:

  • The foreign institution is approved to use VA benefits and is in the WEAMS database. 
  • The program/degree you will be studying also needs to be approved in the database. 
  • The foreign school must have a School Certifying Official prepared to certify the student.
  • The class(es) must be transferable back to Dickinson college.

Any student planning to use VA benefits to study abroad, should meet with the Dickinson College SCO before making any final determinations. 


Please contact Dan Guerrisi or Mackenzie Weaver (Dickinson’s VA Enrollment Certifying Officials).

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S.  Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government web site at