Veteran Services

Yellow Ribbon Program at PUC

Please note that Yellow Ribbon is a new program, and requires much more complex calculation than standard VA chapters.  There will be an adjustment period as systems are put in place to help certification proceed smoothly, and errors may occur.  We appreciate your patience as PUC adapts to this new program.

Please address any questions or concerns you have regarding Yellow Ribbon program to the VA Certifying Official in the Records Office.

What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for Yellow Ribbon?
To be eligible, a student must be eligible for Chapter 33 benefits at the 100% level.

How does Yellow Ribbon work?
Yellow Ribbon is an addition to the Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill® which can help make up the difference if Chapter 33 does not cover all of your tuition and fees.

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.

Chapter 33 is limited by a state cap, which is typically lower than the per-credit cost of tuition at PUC.  Yellow Ribbon is calculated after your standard Chapter 33 payments are applied.

The remaining balance you owe PUC is divided in half, with PUC paying one half and the VA paying the other, matching PUC’s payment up to PUC’s maximum contribution.  For instance, if you owed $2,000 after receiving your Chapter 33 benefits, PUC would pay $1,000 of that, and the VA would pay the other $1,000.

For students at Travis Air Force Base, it is possible that the state cap may be greater than the tuition charged, in which case Chapter 33 would cover all tuition and fees, and Yellow Ribbon would not be necessary.  To determine whether Yellow Ribbon might be useful to you, you can speak with your academic advisor, or with Laurie Wheeler in the Student Finance office.

What is the state cap right now?
Up-to-date information on the current state cap can be found online.

What are the limitations to the Yellow Ribbon program?
The limitation to this is that PUC will currently pay a maximum of $6,000 per school year, distributed evenly among the terms you request to receive Yellow Ribbon during the year.  With the VA matching, this means a maximum of $12,000 additional assistance is available to Yellow Ribbon participants during a school year.

PUC also supports a maximum of 25 active Yellow Ribbon participants.  If this cap is met, further Yellow Ribbon applicants are placed on a waiting list.  This is on a first-come, first-served basis.

What responsibilities does the student have?
Once a student is enrolled in the Yellow Ribbon program, they DO NOT need to re-apply yearly.  A student maintains their place on the active Yellow Ribbon list as long as they are actively enrolled at PUC and maintain good academic standing.  However, a student cannot “reserve” a place in the Yellow Ribbon program for a future time.  They must be currently enrolled at PUC to be eligible.

Students in the Yellow Ribbon program must complete a Distribution Contract annually with the Student Finance office.  This contract outlines which terms the student will attend and receive Yellow Ribbon benefits.  Certification cannot be submitted for a student under Yellow Ribbon for any given academic year until the contract for that year has been completed.

Sample Yellow Ribbon Payment

CA State Cap: $391.75 per credit $2264.75 fees per quarter

  Fall Winter Spring
Credits 12 9 14
Tuition $8332 $6525 $8332
Fees $75 $130 $75

Based on the state cap, Chapter 33 will pay:

Tuition $4701 $3535.75 $5484.50
Fees $75 $130 $75
Total unmet combined $3631 $2999.25 $2847.50

Since PUC pays a maximum of $6,000 per year, this is distributed evenly between the three quarters attended, for a maximum of $2,000 per quarter.

The VA matches what PUC pays, so the unmet need is divided in half:

PUC Pays $1815.50 $1499.63 $1423.75
VA Pays $1815.50 $1499.63 $1423.75

In this example, if the total unmet need exceeded $4,000 in any term, PUC and the VA would contribute a maximum of $2,000 each, for a total of $4,000 in Yellow Ribbon payments for the term.

How Do I Apply for Yellow Ribbon?

  • Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA indicating you are eligible for 100% benefits under Chapter 33.
  • Complete a Request for Certification through PUC, indicating Chapter 33Y.
  • Provide your completed request form along with a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility to the VA Certifying Official in the Records office.
  • Once the Certifying Official has confirmed your placement on the Yellow Ribbon list, contact Laurie Wheeler at Student Finance to complete a Yellow Ribbon Distribution Contract.  This details how your total Yellow Ribbon award will be divided among the terms you will attend.
  • Register for classes as early as possible.  You cannot be certified until you are registered, so do this early.