Veterans Benefits

Veterans, spouses, and dependents of veterans may be eligible for education benefits through numerous GI Bill® programs. Contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) directly at 1-888-442-4551 or visit the GI Bill® site to determine if you are eligible for a benefit. The GI Bill®  Comparison Tool provides information about college affordability and brings together information from multiple online sources and federal agencies, including the number of students receiving VA education benefits at each institution.

Students eligible for VA education benefits should request the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), also called an award letter, from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in the spring, prior to their enrollment at Grinnell College. Once received, submit to Grinnell’s Office of Financial Aid. This document is required before any VA educational benefits can be disbursed. The Certificate of Eligibility is typically only requested before the initial VA payments. However, an updated letter documenting months of remaining eligibility will be requested if additional benefit time is transferred to the student or if the student is in the final academic year of VA benefit eligibility. In addition to VA funding, Grinnell College encourages veterans and their families to explore the resources on our website detailing institutional, state, and federal financial aid programs for which you may be eligible. A complete breakdown of the cost of attendance is on our website.

The most commonly used VA education benefits programs are outlined below. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33 Benefits)

Veterans and service members who served on or after Sept. 11, 2001, may receive up to 36 months of education benefits. The education benefits may be transferred to eligible family members. Benefits include:

  • payment for tuition and fees up to an annual maximum
  • a monthly housing allowance
  • a stipend for books and supplies

Funds for tuition and fees are paid directly to the school. Payments may be prorated if the service member is vested at less than 100% with the VA or if the student does not have enough months of eligibility to last the entire semester. The housing allowance and book stipend are paid directly to the student.

Yellow Ribbon Program

Grinnell College proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program of the Post-9/11 GI Bill® . Yellow Ribbon provides additional funding for tuition and fees above the Post-9/11 GI Bill® maximum at participating institutions. Post-9/11 benefit recipients must be 100% vested to be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. For students who become eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program, non-need-based scholarships will be considered part of Grinnell’s Yellow Ribbon matching grant. The student’s non-need-based scholarship may be renamed as a Yellow Ribbon Matching Grant. The current Yellow Ribbon Program at Grinnell College provides recipients up to $14,000 from the VA and up to $14,000 from Grinnell College. These funds are tuition and fee restricted, so total funding may be reduced if a student receives other tuition-restricted funding. VA benefits are frontloaded, so fall semester tuition and fees are typically covered between the Post-9/11 GI Bill®  and Yellow Ribbon. The spring semester tuition and fees are not fully covered, but a large percentage is covered through the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Grinnell College will fund up to 25 Yellow Ribbon recipients per year. Returning, previous Yellow Ribbon recipients receive priority. New students should indicate on their CSS Profile if they plan to use VA benefits. If a student is not applying for need-based financial aid, they should contact Revae Nelson, associate director and VA point of contact, in the Office of Financial Aid.

VA Education Benefits for Survivors and Dependents (Chapter 35 Benefits)

Children and spouses of veterans and service members who have service-connected disabilities or died in the line of active duty, may be eligible for education benefits either through the Fry Scholarship or Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program.

Certifying Official

The certifying official on campus is Vickie Rutherford, associate registrar. Contact the Registrar’s Office at 641-269-3450 with questions. The responsibilities of the certifying official include certifying paperwork from the VA for Veterans Assistance Benefit payments.

Point of Contact

The designated point of contact on campus is Revae Nelson, senior associate director of financial aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at 641-269-3250 with questions. The responsibilities of the point of contact include advising on the availability of campus resources.

*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 website.

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