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BSC Approved to Continue Offering Yellow Ribbon G.I. Benefits to Military Veterans

  • Created
    Thursday, July 29 2010
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103 jnelson@bluefieldstate.edu

(Bluefield)— Bluefield State College recently received approval from the Department of Veteran Affairs and West Virginia’s Governor, Joe Manchin, to continue its participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2010-11 academic year.  The program was established through a provision of the Post 9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act of 2008. Bluefield State is among selected colleges and universities that are taking part in this enhanced education program.

The College also took part in a Returning Veterans Symposium on July 28 at Concord University.  The initiative was presented by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, and was designed for higher education personnel who work with veterans and vet centers across West Virginia.  Attendees considered strategies for collaborating to increase assistance to returning veterans as they transfer from soldier-to-student or soldier-to-civilian.  “Emphasis was placed on college campuses becoming more ‘veteran friendly’ and  ‘veteran helpful,’” explained Megan Mohn, BSC’s Associate Registrar.

“As educators, we are excited about the new Post 9/11 GI Bill programs and what the programs can mean, not only to the future of our veteran students, but to our communities as well” Mohn added.  The original GI Bill gave millions of veterans the chance to go to school to learn a trade or receive an education. “These veterans were instrumental in the re-shaping of this great country after World War II. It is hoped that this new Post 9/11 Education Assistance program will have the same powerful impact on America’s future” she continued.

“I enjoy developing a working relationship with our veterans on campus,” Mohn said.  “I work with the veteran from start to finish in processing and explaining their educational benefits.  In addition to adjusting to student life, some veterans are juggling jobs and family commitments which, at times, can be overwhelming.  Hopefully, with the schools and the vet centers working together, we will provide information that will help veterans and their family members.”

The Yellow Ribbon Program allows for institutions of higher learning to provide tuition assistance for expenses that exceed the highest public “IN STATE” undergraduate tuition rate.  In addition to the Yellow Ribbon Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs has revamped the old GI BILL. The new Post 9/11 GI Bill, also known as Chapter 33, provides tuition assistance for education, as well as a housing allowance and a book and supplies stipend. There is also an option for the veteran to transfer his educational benefits to family members under certain circumstances. Applications are now being accepted and processed. Veterans are encouraged to apply online through www.GIBILL.VA.gov to expedite processing time. Applications are also available in the Registrar’s Office.

Veterans are cautioned to review all information regarding the new Chapter 33 thoroughly before making the decision to apply. In some cases it may not be the best option for the veteran. The VA has advisors available through the G.I. Bill website (www.GIBILL.VA.gov ) or by calling 877-823-2378 to assist veterans in making their decisions. Once the decision has been made and the application has been processed, it becomes an irrevocable decision. Veterans are encouraged to visit the GI Bill website for more information regarding these new programs.

Bluefield State College’s fall semester begins August 16th.  There are eligibility requirements for both the Post 9/11 Yellow Ribbon and the new Chapter 33 Program.  For more information, contact Megan Mohn, Associate Registrar at Bluefield State College at 304-327-4064 or mmohn@bluefieldstate.edu or Marviene Johnson, Records Officer at 304-327-4063.