Mason Commits to Yellow Ribbon Program for Veterans

Posted: July 21, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: July 21, 2009 at 8:15 am

By Catherine Ferraro

yellowribbonMason will soon join more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country by committing to the Yellow Ribbon Education Enhancement Program.

The new initiative, which Mason is offering in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), expands higher education funding for servicemen and women who served after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It is an example of how Mason continues to assist U.S. military personnel who have served the nation.

The Yellow Ribbon Education Enhancement Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Beginning August 1, the legislation allows college and universities in the United States to partner with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution can contribute up to 50 percent of those expenses; the VA will match the amount.

“George Mason University is honored to offer this educational incentive to those men and women who have served their country through military service,” says Michael Johnson, director of the Military and Veterans Office at Mason. “We continually do what we can to support their educational aspirations and professional goals.”

As a partner in the Yellow Ribbon Program, Mason’s Military and Veterans Office will provide tuition assistance to help up to 25 qualifying veterans who enroll at Mason as graduate students. These students will receive a $500 tuition discount from the university that will be matched by $500 from the VA.

To qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, veterans must meet several service requirements determined by the VA. These include serving 36 months of active duty after Sept. 10, 2001, or being honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability after serving 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001. Acceptance into the Yellow Ribbon Program for eligible students will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mason’s Military and Veterans Office serves about 1,000 active duty, reserve, National Guard and veteran students. The office provides assistance and information regarding issues such as veteran services and academic counseling, as well as information about the many benefits veterans are entitled to through state and federal government programs. The office also assists veterans in adapting from military life to collegiate life, connects veterans with each other and supports them as they pursue their studies at Mason.

“As we work to provide the best possible learning environment for our students, we also appreciate that veterans bring leadership skills, maturity and a broad world perspective to the educational exchange in our classrooms,” says Johnson.

For more information on the Yellow Ribbon program, see the VA web site.

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