Tuesday, July 29, 2014

GI gap bridged

Liberty University recently signed an agreement with the Yellow Ribbon Program, giving military students and recipients the chance to attend college on
a scholarship.

The program, which offers scholarships to military personnel who want to earn a college degree, was introduced at Liberty in
Fall 2009.

“It covers the gap between what a veteran or eligible dependent receives from the GI Bill and what the cost of tuition is,” Stephanie Hughes, senior assistant director for Liberty University’s Office of Military Affairs, said.

According to the GI Bill, veterans or eligible dependents receive a cap on how much aid they can receive. Now, after Liberty recently signed a new agreement with the program, eligible recipients have no cap on tuition or expenses. Liberty’s program also does not limit the amount of students who can be part of the program.

For students like Joy Teague, that new agreement was a
great blessing.

“I separated active duty and joined the reserves in 2010 because I had wanted to attend a Christian university as a full-time student,” Teague said. “But the costs of tuition at a private Christian college are above the cap the GI Bill pays.”

According to Teague, she joined the Air Force in 2006 after she was inspired by her brother who had already enlisted.

“He would brag about all the benefits, traveling and experience,” Teague said. “It sounded so much better than what I was doing at the time.”

Teague said that eventually God led her to Liberty where she is a psychology major with a concentration in counseling and human development.

“I’m so grateful,” Teague said. “At Liberty, the student slots for the program are unlimited. I didn’t have to pay out of pocket for my tuition costs, and it has been such a blessing.”

The Yellow Ribbon Program is not the only military assistance program that Liberty offers.

“The Heroes Fund Scholarship is offered to Purple Heart recipients, disabled veterans and spouses of service members killed in action during one of the Gulf Wars,” Hughes said.

“We also offer to those who qualify tuition discounts, book voucher credit and technology fee waivers to our online military student and spouse population.”

Hughes also explained that there is no application process for the program. A student only has to be eligible based on the standards for the GI Bill.

For more information, visit yellowribboneducationdecisions.com.

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