Wayland joins ‘Yellow Ribbon’ program

Kevin Wilson

Wayland Baptist University is one of 1,100 schools that have joined with the Department of Veterans Affairs for the GI Bill’s “Yellow Ribbon” program.

Wayland, based in Plainview, Texas, offers a campus in Clovis and a satellite office at Cannon Air Force Base.

The Yellow Ribbon program, a key provision of the new post-9/11 GI Bill, allows VA and participating educational institutions to share in supporting students attending high-cost schools.

“We are pleased that so many institutions are joining us to support the educational goals of the men and women who served this nation so honorably,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

Previously, the VA-administered post-9/11 GI Bill reimbursed students for tuitions less than the highest in-state undergraduate tuition rate for a public institution.

“Our tuition is slightly above that, so what the Yellow Ribbon does,” said WBU-Clovis Executive Director and Dean Gary Mitchell. “Wayland will pay half and VA will pay half of what’s over that cap.”

Tuition at the Clovis campus ranges from $212 to $285 per credit hour, depending on where and what level of course is taken — the lowest for undergraduate courses taken on campus.

With the addition of the Yellow Ribbon program, and the high military population in the Clovis area, Mitchell felt the program was a good fit.

“We haven’t done a survey in the last year,” Mitchell said, “but the last time we took a survey it ranged between 35 and 40 percent that are either active military or military dependents.”

The Yellow Ribbon program is reserved for veterans eligible for the post-9/11 GI Bill who served at least 36 months on active duty or served at least 30 continuous days before being discharged due to a service-related injury.

The post-9/11 GI Bill, passed by Congress in 2008, allows every eligible veteran, servicemember, reservist and National Guard member an opportunity to receive an in-state, undergraduate education at a public institution at no cost.

The program includes payments for tuition and fees (paid directly to the schools), a housing allowance, and a books and supplies stipend.

Mitchell said all of the school’s programs are available for students taking advantage of VA benefits, including master’s degrees in English, history, education and Christian ministry, and bachelor’s degrees in applied science and interdisciplinary studies.

On the Net

gibill.va.gov