Universities across the nation participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, allowing Navy veterans to obtain a college degree for free in many instances.

“The Navy really encourages its members to get an education,” says Diane Johnson, education analyst at ClassesandCareers.com, a free college information service. “Enlisted members of the Navy can receive financial aid that pays all of their tuition for online classes.”

In addition, Johnson says the GI Bill can cover most of their education when they leave the military.

Navy soldiers who take advantage of educational opportunities are allotted $250 per credit hour of higher education. They are allotted up to $4,500 each year to pay for tuition.

The Yellow Ribbon Program then allows colleges and universities to give additional funds to enrolling veterans on top of GI Bill benefits. The institution chooses the amount of tuition and fees they will offer, and the Veterans Association matches that amount. With the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program combined, many Navy vets are able to get the entire education for free.

“The heroic men and women of the United States armed forces deserve educational opportunities to enhance their future,” says Johnson. “Many universities and colleges feel it is their privilege to serve the individuals who serve our country and help them reach their academic goals without the burden of student loans.”

ClassesandCareers.com offers a free service that connects soldiers with the degree programs that best suit them. They can also find information on courses they can take while deployed and programs they can get into after.

Are you a Navy veteran or currently on active duty? Visit our form to enter your information and get in touch with a counselor who will answer your questions about the GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program.

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