Yellow Ribbon Program - Veterans

Williams College is pleased to be a participant in the Yellow Ribbon GI Enhancement Program. Qualified veterans or their dependents are eligible for unlimited Yellow Ribbon institutional matching funds from the college without limitation on the number of recipients. Like all students at Williams receiving financial aid, the full demonstrated financial need of veterans will be met for each year of enrollment. Veterans will be considered independent students for college and federal financial aid.

Williams expects all veterans to use all of their GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon benefits for their undergraduate costs. Further, most if not all veterans can graduate from Williams debt free.

While the majority of educational benefits to these students comes from the core Post 9/11 GI Bill (covering up to $23,671.94 of private college tuition and fee costs for 2018-2019), the Yellow Ribbon program supplements these benefits by providing the remainder of tuition and fee expenses, half covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and half covered by Williams.

Who’s eligible? The maximum benefits (100% eligibility) are service-related. Students should speak with a VA counselor or visit the VA website to review this information.

How to apply? Please complete and submit to our office the Yellow Ribbon Application Form. In addition, the student must apply to the VA for an eligibility certificate which is submitted to the Office of the Registrar at Williams. That office reports student enrollment and tuition and fee information to the VA to determine the amount of the Yellow Ribbon benefit coming from the VA. Williams then matches the VA determined Yellow Ribbon benefit.

Will 100% of tuition be covered? Yes, for students with maximum benefits, the combination of GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon benefits will cover the full amount of tuition and fees. If students have a lower percentage of eligibility based on the length of military service, that proportion is applied to the GI Bill benefit. They are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon supplement. Tuition and fee benefits are paid directly to Williams.

Are other billed expenses covered? The Yellow Ribbon program only covers tuition and fees. However, the GI Bill benefit may provide a monthly housing allowance and an annual book and supply stipend (paid proportionately based on enrollment status). Contact a VA Counselor for your specific eligibility. Any housing or book benefit is paid monthly directly to the student.

What is the refund policy for a student receiving Tuition Assistance (TA) funds who must stop attending due to a military service obligation? Unearned TA funds will be returned to the government using the same formula as Title IV (federal) funds. For withdrawal on or before the first day of classes, 100% of the TA funds will be returned. Up to the 60% point in time, the percentage of TA funds earned is equal to the percentage of the period of enrollment for which it was awarded that was completed as of the day of withdrawal. In calculating the percentage, the calendar days completed is divided by the total number of calendar days in the period. If the student must withdraw after the 60% point then the percentage earned is 100%.

If you have additional questions or concerns about the how the Yellow Ribbon program benefits may impact your financial aid eligibility, please contact Ann Lundhild at [email protected] or 413-597-4181.