Outside Awards

VA Benefits and the Yellow Ribbon Program

If you are a qualifying veteran, you may be eligible for educational benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through one of several VA programs. Children of veterans may also be eligible. For all VA programs, Stanford’s Office for Military-Affiliated Communities (OMAC) serves as liaison between the University, its students and the VA. Instructions for activating VA educational benefits for enrollment at Stanford are on the OMAC web page for Activating VA Educational Benefits. Students may also speak directly with Dustin Noll, OMAC Specialist, by scheduling an appointment

The Post-9/11 GI Bill, also known as Chapter 33, is the most commonly used VA educational benefits program at Stanford. This program provides funding for tuition, required fees, books and housing. The level of an individual student’s Chapter 33 benefits is determined by the qualifying veteran’s length of military service since 9/11/2001. For the 2015-16 academic year, the base benefit for tuition and fees is capped at $21,084.89.

If you qualify for Chapter 33 benefits at the 100% level, you may be eligible for additional funding through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Under this program, Stanford provides an annual contribution to supplement the Chapter 33 base tuition benefit. The VA matches Stanford's Yellow Ribbon contribution. For the 2015-2016 academic year, Stanford's maximum annual Yellow Ribbon contribution for undergraduate students will be $3,000, with the VA providing a matching amount of up to $3,000. For graduate and professional students, the amount of Stanford's Yellow Ribbon contribution varies by school and program; please consult the Yellow Ribbon chart on the Office for Military-Affiliated Communities website.

Most of the VA educational benefit programs pay benefits directly to students on a monthly basis. However, under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33), the VA sends tuition and fees benefits to Stanford, where the Financial Aid Office is responsible for applying the funds to the student account (university bill). Chapter 33 books and housing benefits are sent directly to students monthly. You may need to apply the housing benefits to the university bill to pay for on-campus room and board.


You may apply for need-based financial aid from Stanford to supplement your VA educational benefits. If your aid application demonstrates financial need beyond the amount of your expected VA benefits, you will be awarded institutional aid to meet the additional need.

If you will be receiving VA educational benefits transferred from a parent, you will be treated as a dependent student for financial aid purposes. Your parents’ income and asset information will be considered in determining eligibility for need-based aid from Stanford. If you (the student) are a veteran, you will most likely be treated as an independent student and will not need to provide parent information.

VA educational benefits are treated like other outside awards in that they can reduce or replace the Student Responsibility portion of the aid package. VA benefits do not reduce or replace the Parent Contribution in the determination of eligibility for need-based Stanford aid.

Graduate Students

Schools and departments are responsible for providing the Yellow Ribbon contribution for eligible graduate students. The Financial Aid Office will coordinate receipt of funds with responsible individuals in each school. Receipt of VA educational benefits does not impact your eligibility for federal student loan programs.

Updated on February 2, 2016 2:28 PM