Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Okay sports fans, your precious darling just began his senior year and you are just happy to get junior out the door this morning. Hopefully you have already started the college search process and have a plan in place for paying for what could amount to another mortgage. No!?! Let's see if we can get you up to speed.
First, there are many great websites regarding military education benefits and a great place to starts is military.com. We'll review many of them in the next few weeks, but today we start with the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
Most of you are familiar with the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which will cover 4 years (8 semesters) of in-state college tuition, room and board (equal to E-5 with dependents OHA) and a book stipend. It is a phenomenal benefit and has eased the college burden for many military families. But I am always amazed when talking with parents, how little they know about it's "cousin" the Yellow Ribbon Program.
If junior wants to attend a private school the GI Bill is not enough. The current benefit covers about $23,000 in tuition at a private school, but that could be half of what some schools charge. Now what? Enter the Yellow Ribbon Program.
The Yellow Ribbon Program can bridge the gap between GI Bill benefits and actual costs to the family. Some schools (in partnership with the VA) cover the entire difference for every eligible student in attendance, others may make up only a portion of the difference to only a few students (first come first served). As benefits range greatly from school to school and even major to major, it's important to know what your possible schools offer. See all schools listed state by state here. Once you've narrowed things down, contact the Veteran's Coordinator at each institution. They will be your lifeline in coordinating GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon benefits. Every schools has one - whether its a large office of several counselors or one lone counselor with collateral duties, there is an expert on your campus.These two military benefits working together can make attending a private college just as affordable as attending a public university.
Stay tuned for next week, when we talk about college/university funded scholarships.