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Veteran Benefits and Financial Aid

Benefit Programs

The U.S. government offers a variety of education benefits for veterans and active service members. The most commonly used programs are outlined below.

Post-9/11 GI Bill

The Post-9/11 GI Bill offers higher-education and training benefits to veterans and service members who served after Sept. 10, 2001, as well as to their families. Benefits include:

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

Tuition funds are paid directly to the school, while the housing allowance and book stipend are paid directly to the student. For more information, see the VA’s Education and Training website.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows service members to transfer all or some unused education benefits to their spouse or dependent children. For more information, see the VA’s website on transferability options.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program supplements Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits at participating private colleges, like Vassar. Yellow Ribbon provides additional funding for tuition costs above the 9/11 GI Bill maximum. Students must qualify for 100% of the 9/11 GI benefit to receive the Yellow Ribbon supplement. For more information, see the VA’s Education and Training website.

Montgomery GI Bill

The Montgomery GI Bill offers higher-education and training benefits to veterans and service members who agree to a specified reduction in pay during their first year of active service. For more information, see the VA’s Education and Training website

Vocational Rehabilitation

Veterans and service members who have service-connected disabilities may be eligible for education benefits under the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. For more information, see the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program website.

Applying for VA benefits

Choosing a program

You may qualify for more than one type of VA education benefit. Because applying for a certain education benefit could affect your eligibility for others, you should consider your options before selecting a benefit program. The VA provides resources to help you choose the best benefits for you and your family:

Certificate of Eligibility

The first step for using your educational benefits at Vassar is to provide us with the Certificate of Eligibility you received from your VA benefits administrator. See the VA website for instructions on how to apply for this certificate. For assistance, contact your regional VA office.

Copies of your Certificate of Eligibility should be submitted to Student Financial Services and the Registrar’s Office.


Veterans wishing to use their VA educational benefits at Vassar will need to provide us with a copy of your DD-214.  Please send a copy of this form to Student Financial Services and the Registrar’s Office.

This step is not necessary for any benefits that have been transferred from a service member to a dependent. 

Veterans Posse Program

Over the course of its existence, the Posse Foundation has identified thousands of public high school students with academic and leadership potential and has given those students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams (“posses”) of 10 students each at leading colleges and universities. The Posse Foundation and Vassar College are partners on a similar initiative for veterans, the Veteran Posse Program.

Click here for more information regarding how the VA Benefits and Financial Aid work for this program.

Additional Resources