Veterans Education Benefits

Many benefits are available to advance the education and skills of veterans and service members. Spouses and family members may also be eligible for education and training assistance.  Some might find they're eligible for more than one benefit or that one program is more suited to certain education and training goals than another.

Cornell University does not require eligible students to use their 9/11 and/or Yellow Ribbon benefits to pay for college. Cornell offers aid based on financial need. Students can first apply for need-based financial aid to determine eligibility for institutional funding prior to utilizing the GI Bill.   

Click the drop down arrow to expand each section.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill®

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (the “GI Bill®”) expands the educational benefits available to many veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001.  This legislation, effective August 1, 2009, provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.

  • To find out if you are eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, please visit Vets.gov for a Certificate of Eligibility.

General Benefits:
Students eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits will receive a percentage of the following benefits based on length of service:

  • Tuition and fees, payable directly to the school, up to the national cap on the benefit. ($23,671.94 for 2018-19).
  • A monthly housing allowance, payable to the student, based on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents. ($1,742 for 2018-19)
  • A yearly books and supplies stipend of up to $1,000 paid proportionately based on enrollment and paid directly to the student.

HOW TO APPLY:

  • Veterans who will be using their own benefits (not benefits transferred from a parent) must submit a copy of their DD214, Member 4.
  • Submit this along with a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to our office via Secure Online Upload or fax to 607-255-6329.

Yellow Ribbon Benefits

The Yellow Ribbon Program supplements the base benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill® by allowing educational institutions to enter into dollar-for-dollar matching agreements with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The undergraduate and graduate degree-granting colleges of Cornell University participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Participation in this supplementary program is determined by Cornell on a first-come, first-serve basis to students who meet the 100% entitlement according to their VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility.  Under the program, Cornell and the VA will combine to provide the difference between the student's Cornell tuition and the national cap on the benefit. To learn more about eligibility for these benefits, please visit the Yellow Ribbon website.

HOW TO APPLY:
To be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program:

  • Complete the Yellow Ribbon Program application.
  • Veterans who will be using their own benefits (not benefits transferred from a parent) must submit a copy of their DD214, Member 4.
  • Submit materials along with a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to our office via Secure Online Upload or fax to 607-255-6329.

Current students receiving 9/11 and Yellow Ribbon benefits do not need to resubmit the Yellow Ribbon application or Certificate of Eligibility to apply for benefits each year. The Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment will contact you via email in early spring to request information regarding your VA benefit eligibility for the following academic year.

9/11 and Yellow Ribbon Example Award

Below is an example of what a financial aid award for a 9/11 and Yellow Ribbon recipient in one of our endowed colleges might look like. The VA provides the 9/11 funding first. Once that has been exhausted, the Yellow Ribbon funding from Cornell and the VA will be applied.

Award Summary Example

The 9/11 and Yellow Ribbon funds are sent directly to the school.  The housing allowance and the book stipend are sent directly to the student.
Important Note: All VA benefits that you are receiving will appear in your financial aid summary. VA benefits paid directly to Cornell will appear as pending credit on the student's bursar bill. VA benefits paid directly to the student will not appear as pending credit, even though they appear in the financial aid summary. Contact Ginger Guidi with any questions.

Veterans Benefits and Contract College Tuition

Effective Fall 2018, any student eligible to receive veteran education benefits who is enrolled in one of the contract colleges or schools at Cornell University (Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Ecology, Industrial and Labor Relations, Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management or Veterinary Medicine) is eligible to receive in-state tuition.
Students must demonstrate their eligibility annually to receive VA benefits but they are not required to utilize them.  This policy applies to veterans who are eligible under their own entitlement for VA benefits and students who are dependents of veterans and have had benefits transferred to their name.

To apply for in-state tuition, without utilizing the VA benefits:

  • Undergraduate students must submit a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA to the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment via Secure Online Upload or fax to 607-255-6329.  The COE must be in the student’s name.
  • Veterinary Medicine students must submit a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA via fax to 607-253-3709.  The COE must be in the student’s name.
  • Include a brief statement requesting a review for in-state tuition assessment.

Application Timeline:
Students need to submit documentation to request in-state tuition by the end of the term for which the tuition rate would apply.  

  • Submit COE for re-application approval – June 29, 2018 for the 2018-19 Academic Year
  • Final Fall 2018 Deadline – December 15, 2018
  • Final Spring 2019 Deadline – May 18, 2019

Annual Re-Application Process:

Students will be contacted annually (each spring) by the Office of the University Registrar to request a current COE.  It is the student's obligation to reapply for the in-state rate.

In-state tuition rates will continue for the current academic year as long as the student remains enrolled in one of the contract colleges or schools.

In-state tuition would be terminated and/or reassessed if:

  • The veteran education benefits are transferred to another student or the benefit expires.
  • The student transfers to an endowed college.
  • The student graduates from an undergraduate college and then matriculates into any graduate or professional program would no longer be eligible.
    • If the student matriculates into the College of Veterinary Medicine, the in-state tuition rate will be re-evaluated based on the student’s veteran education benefit eligibility.

Veterinary Medicine students should contact Kristin Pennock for additional information.

Other Veteran Resources at Cornell

Additional Information on Veterans Benefits

Find detailed information on the following federal veteran programs:

  • Post-9/11 GI Bill – Chapter 33
  • Yellow Ribbon Program – Supplement to Post-9/11 (read the below section)
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Chapter 30
  • Survivors & Dependents Assistance Program – Chapter 35
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Selective Reserves – Chapter 1606
  • Montgomery GI Bill – Reserves Educational Assistance Program – Chapter 1607
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Veteran’s Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP)

New York State offers a variety of scholarships to veterans:

  • Veterans Tuition Awards
  • Military Service Recognition Scholarship
  • NYS Regents Award for Children of Deceased & Disabled Veterans
  • Recruitment Incentive & Retention Program


For further information, please contact Ginger Guidi or Becky Maxson.