VA Yellow Ribbon Program

CSU is proud to partner with the Veterans Administration to provide VA Yellow Ribbon benefits to qualified students.

Who is considered a “qualified student”?

  • Individuals with 100% entitlement to Post 9-11 GI Bill® benefits
  • Undergraduate students (e.g., BA, BS)
  • Child dependent of active duty service member or veteran who has transferred entitlement and who will not otherwise qualify for Colorado residency
  • Honorably discharged veterans (unless GI Promise eligible)
  • Fry Scholars are also qualified for Yellow Ribbon
  • Active-duty members and spouses will be qualified for Yellow Ribbon starting 8/1/22

Who is not eligible?

  • Active duty personnel and their spouses
  • Honorably discharged veterans who are GI Promise eligible
  • Graduate/professional level students (e.g., MA, MS, PhD, DVM); GI Promise may be possible
  • Child dependents of individuals with less than 100% Post 9-11 GI Bill® entitlement or GI Bill® benefits other than Post 9-11; other benefits may apply
  • Students who can qualify for Colorado residency

What’s covered?

  • Effective August 2011, the VA pays the equivalent of resident tuition plus 50% of the difference between resident tuition and non-resident tuition and CSU partners to cover the remaining 50% of the difference between resident tuition and non-resident.
  • The VA also pays all mandatory fees, a monthly housing allowance & a book stipend
  • Students/families must fund all non-mandatory fees, such as room & board and parking.
  • Students who wish to be considered for need-based financial aid (grants, work-study, student/parent loans) to help with their share of the cost of attendance should complete the FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible (March 1 is the priority date for fall semester financial aid awards to begin). Federal financial aid guidelines allow need-based aid to be awarded even when VA benefits are in place.

What must I submit to be eligible for VA Yellow Ribbon benefits?

  • CSU VEBO must evaluate potential YR students for Section 702 eligibility
  • For child dependents who do not otherwise qualify for Colorado residency: Either proof of transfer of entitlement and a copy of VA Application 22-1990E OR student’s “Certificate of Eligibility” (once student is age 18 and has graduated from high school). There is no deadline to apply for VA Yellow Ribbon benefits, but students/families are encouraged to provide documentation to the CSU Benefits Certification Official as soon as possible after the student is admitted.
  • For honorably discharged veterans: Colorado GI Promise Bill benefits are recommended; contact the CSU Benefits Official to assess whether there are unique circumstances that recommend VA Yellow Ribbon over GI Promise benefits. Note that GI Promise Bill benefits must be in place by the first day of the semester, so students are advised to work with the Tuition Classification office to provide the necessary documentation as soon as possible after admission.

What are the differences between the VA Yellow Ribbon program and the Colorado GI Promise Bill?

  • The VA Yellow Ribbon program targets traditional aged students who, as dependents of active duty/veteran personnel outside of Colorado, cannot qualify for Colorado residency on their own and thus are assessed non-resident tuition. It is exclusively for undergraduates and applies only to individuals with 100% entitlement in the Post 9-11 GI Bill® benefit program, so it is a more focused population.
  • The Colorado GI Promise Bill applies to any honorably discharged veteran or spouse/dependent with any level of entitlement and at any level of academic study (undergraduate, graduate, and professional); it specifically “waives” the 12-month domicile requirement for Colorado tuition assessment, so that individuals with all other legal ties established with Colorado (e.g., driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration, payment of state income tax) can be assessed in-state tuition during their first semester at Colorado State University, living in Colorado.
  • Neither the VA Yellow Ribbon program nor the GI Promise Bill is necessary for or applicable to individuals who can qualify for Colorado residency.
  • Active duty personnel and their spouses are not eligible for the VA Yellow Ribbon program or for the GI Promise Bill but can qualify for in-state tuition if stationed in Colorado and may be eligible for GI Bill® benefits.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at