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More Schools Join Veterans Affairs Tuition Assistance Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced on Wednesday that a total of 1,100 public and private universities and colleges confirmed their participation in the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides financial assistance for veterans and their families attending school. Some of the schools that have signed onto the bill include Texas A&M University and even Harvard University.

With the addition of these 1,100 colleges, there are a total of 3,200 schools participating in the program. The amount of subsidies varies greatly from school to school. For example, American University in the District of Columbia is offering a maximum of $13,800 each for 24 undergraduates while Harvard is contributing up to $3,000 each to a maximum of 50 undergraduates.

The program, which began in the fall of 2009, has grown to host nearly 228,994 students in the tuition assistance program. About 22,500 of those students have enrolled via the Yellow Ribbon program, which was activated on August 1, 2009 and covers the cost of tuition for students up to the highest in-state tuition and shares some of the cost of certain private colleges. The government then matches whatever amount a school provides to students as tuition aid, dollar for dollar. The bill also applies to community colleges.

One of the newest additions to the GI Bill is that service members can now choose to transfer their tuition benefits to their spouses or children instead of using them themselves. These benefits can be used within 15 years by a spouse after the service member discontinues active duty.

The original GI Bill, which was activated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after World War II, opened many doors for veterans who would otherwise not have been able to attend school. Unfortunately, the parameters of the original bill did not accommodate for the rising tuitions of most schools. The amount of veterans using the bill has also increased significantly since September 11, 2001, so semi-regular revisions are necessary.

In order to match the growing number of veterans applying and using the bill and the Yellow Ribbon program, the Department of Veterans Affairs has hired a large number of processors and administrators to keep processing times as short as possible.

For more information on eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill or to register for benefits, visit MilitaryConnection.com's GI Bill page.