This new benefit for veterans is authorized under the Post 9-11/Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. Participating institutions agree to fund a portion of tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate for qualifying veterans, which the Veterans Administration will match and then transfer to the university. Beginning Aug. 1, 2009, all four campuses of the University of Nebraska will waive 50 percent of the cost of a qualifying veteran’s tuition that exceeds the highest undergraduate tuition in the state (currently $236.75 per credit hour at UNMC College of Nursing). The waiver is available for all undergraduate students including distance education students.
As an example, a qualifying veteran who is not a resident of Nebraska but wishes to attend NU would currently pay the difference between resident and non-resident tuition rates. The GI Bill already covers the cost of tuition at resident rates, as well as up to $1,574.25 per term of fees for colleges and universities in Nebraska. For a full-time student carrying 15 hours per semester, the difference between one year of resident tuition and one year of non-resident tuition, based on 2009-10 tuition rates at UNL, would be $11,040. Under the Yellow Ribbon program, the VA will pay resident tuition, mandatory fees and 50% of the nonresident tuition differential; the university will waive 50% of the nonresident tuition differential, and the qualifying veteran pays no tuition or mandatory fees. Veterans also receive a living allowance and a stipend for books and supplies. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue qualifying throughout their education.
The program is available on a first-come, first-served basis; however, Milliken said he does not plan to limit the number of veterans who can take advantage of it.
John Hilgert, director of the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs, said, “I am pleased and proud that the University of Nebraska is supporting our troops and veterans through the Yellow Ribbon Program. This partnership between our university and the VA will make a difference to those who have done so much for our nation. The Yellow Ribbon Program not only says "Welcome Home," but says "Welcome to the University of Nebraska."
To qualify, the veteran must meet service requirements as defined by the Veterans Administration. For more information on the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement program, including qualifications, visit the Yellow Ribbon website at http://gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_911_gibill/yellow_ribbon_program.html.Note: The website mentioned in this news release and in national news stories today has not been updated to include the participation of all four campuses of the University of Nebraska. In addition, the site shows that UNK covers graduate and undergraduate students; this is not correct. The University of Nebraska's participation in the program is limited to undergraduate students.