WCU becomes Yellow Ribbon Program participating school

WCU’s military students and the staff of the university’s Office of Military Student Services are celebrating the institution’s new status as a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program. WCU’s director of military student services, Briana Ford (left), meets with Taylor Mitchell (center) and Robert Buchmann, leaders from the campus Student Veteran Association.

Western Carolina University is now a Yellow Ribbon Program participating school, which will help eligible military-affiliated students with tuition costs.

The Yellow Ribbon Program was established through the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The program allows institutions of higher learning (such as colleges, universities, and other degree-granting schools) in the U.S. to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Veterans Administration to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the tuition and fee amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“Eligible students can receive funding from a participating university and the VA will match that amount, said Briana Ford, WCU’s director of military student services. “For example, an eligible military student could apply for and receive $1,000 from the WCU Yellow Ribbon Fund, and upon the posting of the $1,000 to the student’s account, the VA will match that $1,000, totaling $2,000 in additional benefits for that student.”

The institution can contribute a specified dollar amount of those expenses, and the VA will match the contribution, not to exceed 50 percent of the difference.

“WCU’s participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program will help us to remain competitive in the military market,” Ford said. “WCU previously participated in this program before budget cuts. The Division of Educational Outreach is committed to bringing this partnership back to WCU.”

For more information about the program, contact Ford at blford@wcu.edu.

For more information about military student services at WCU, visit military.wcu.edu.