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. Use the VA Education Programs Comparison Chart to determine which benefit you may be eligible to receive.
Veterans can apply for Federal Student Aid and Cornell institutional grant aid in conjunction with VA benefits. Seeing a complete picture of aid options helps students make an informed decision on how to best utilize VA benefits as part of college financing.
Cornell University does not require eligible students to use their Post-9/11 GI Bill® 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 VA benefits.
VA benefits are taken into consideration for institutional aid eligibility but they do not impact a student’s eligibility for Federal Student Aid. Students who choose to utilize their Post-9/11 GI Bill® and/or Yellow Ribbon benefits should still complete the FAFSA application as receiving VA benefits does not impact a student’s eligibility for Federal Student Aid such as Federal Direct Loans and Pell Grants.
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.
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. ($25,162.14 for 2020-21).
- A monthly housing allowance, payable to the student, based on the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for an E-5 with dependents.
- 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:
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. For Undergraduate students, Cornell has no limit on the number of students who can participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. For Graduate students, numbers are limited and participation in this supplementary program is determined by Cornell on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Students must qualify for 100% entitlement according to their VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility to be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. 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.
Current students receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill® 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.
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.
Students need to submit documentation to request in-state tuition by the end of the term for which the tuition rate would apply.
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
- Post-9/11 GI Bill® – Chapter 33
- Yellow Ribbon Program – Supplement to Post-9/11 GI Bill®
- 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
Degree-seeking students enrolling in the Graduate School or one of the eight undergraduate schools and colleges can contact the Financial Aid office for more information. All others should contact their specific program for information on Veteran Education benefit eligibility.
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 www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.