Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the Yellow Ribbon Program

The Columbia University School of General Studies is a proud participant in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Yellow Ribbon Program. The scope of benefits provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the Yellow Ribbon Program make a Columbia education accessible to eligible veterans, regardless of socioeconomic status. Both GS undergraduates and Postbac Premed students are eligible to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act ("Forever GI Bill")

The Post-9/11 GI Bill

As of the Spring 2022 semester, students using their Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefits and receiving a Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) and/or kicker payment will be required to verify their enrollment by the end of each month to continue receiving their payments.

To streamline the enrollment verification process, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing students with text message verification, an easy and secure method for verifying enrollment each month via text and the best way to ensure they receive their MHA/kicker payments uninterrupted. Students also have the option to verify enrollment via email.

Learn More About Enrollment Verification Options

Note: Any student who fails to submit enrollment verification for two consecutive months will have their MHA/kicker payments held until verification of enrollment. 

Please also review the Monthly Enrollment Verification FAQs and follow-up with the VA Education Call Center at 1-888-442-4551.

Each student has unique circumstances and may be eligible for different levels of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. To find out more about eligibility, and to utilize the benefit, students must apply directly through the VA.

  1. Apply Online
    • Once completed, VA will mail a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) which will outline the student's benefits and eligibility.
    • It may take VA up to 6 weeks to mail this document. Students should ensure that their address on file with VA is correct. Note: Students may begin the semester before the COE arrives.
    • Post-9/11 GI Bill students are also required to submit a copy of their most recent Certificate of Eligibility (COE) on file with the GS Office of Educational Financing. This will allow the Office of Educational Financing to credit the student's account for the expected VA payment as soon as enrollment to VA has been certified, rather than waiting for the VA to send the payment, which can take up to six weeks. Late fees on a student account related to your VA eligible tuition and fees are forgiven once the VA tuition and fees payment is credited to the account.
  2. Complete the Veterans Request for Certification form. Students must complete the form each semester in order to receive VA benefits for that semester.
  3. If less than 100% eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill, you may be considered for GS scholarship aid.

The Yellow Ribbon Program is an initiative authorized by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act that allows educational institutions to provide eligible student veterans a grant that is matched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Program supplements the base tuition benefits provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

For the 2023-2024 academic year, GS has increased its commitment to the Yellow Ribbon Program to ensure that tuition and fees are 100% covered for eligible student veterans by utilizing the Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill through a combination of the Post 9/11 GI Bill payment, GS's Yellow Ribbon commitment, and VA's Yellow Ribbon Program match.

Only student veterans who are 100% eligible for the Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GI Bill will be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. No additional application is required other than the Veterans Request for Certification form which must be completed each semester.

Students who have utilized the Post-9/11 GI Bill at another institution must complete VA form 22-1995 (Request for Change of Program or Place of Training). Once submitted and processed, VA will issue a new Certificate of Eligibility, which will have been generated out of the Buffalo Regional Office.

The transferability option under the Post-9/11 GI Bill allows service members to transfer all or some unused benefits to their spouse or dependent children. The Department of Defense (DOD) determines whether or not a service member can transfer benefits to their family. Once the DOD approves benefits for transfer, the new beneficiaries apply for them at VA (see Apply for Benefits).

Students may learn more about transferability and apply for transfer of benefits on the DOD website.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at