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N.C. colleges partner with VA to improve GI Bill benefits

WASHINGTON ó Thirty-eight colleges, universities and schools across North Carolina ó including Livingstone College and Pfeiffer University ó have entered into Yellow Ribbon Program agreements with the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve financial aid for veterans.
More than 3,400 agreements were received from the 1,100 schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program.
“This is a strong response to a new benefit,” said Keith Wilson, director of the VA’s Education Service. “We are pleased so many institutions are supporting our veterans.”
The Yellow Ribbon Program, a provision of the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, funds tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.
Institutions can contribute up to 50 percent of those expenses, and the VA will match this additional funding for eligible students.
“The Post-9/11 GI Bill is an important part of fulfilling our promise to the men and women who have served our country so honorably,” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said.
“Implementing this landmark legislation and providing even more veterans with a quality education is a top priority for the VA, and we are grateful so many schools are joining us as partners in this unprecedented effort.”
Livingstone College will contribute $3,934 per student for 25 undergraduates in the program.
Pfeiffer University will have 20 students and contribute $2,000 per undergraduate and $4,000 for each veteran in the School of Adult Studies.
The Yellow Ribbon Program is reserved for those veterans eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill at the 100 percent benefit level. This includes those who served at least 36 months on active duty or served at least 30 continuous days and were discharged due to a service-related injury.
The Post-9/11 GI Bill, passed by Congress last year, is the most extensive educational assistance program authorized since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944.
The maximum benefit allows every eligible veteran, service member, reservist and National Guard member an opportunity to receive an in-state, undergraduate education at a public institution at no cost.
Provisions of the program include payments for tuition and fees, housing, and a books and supplies stipend. Benefits are payable for training pursued on or after Aug. 1. The tuition and fee benefit is paid directly to the school.
Additional information about the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program, as well as VA’s other educational benefit programs, can be obtained by visiting the VA’s Web site at www.gibill.va.gov or by calling 1-888-442-4551.

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