2009
Participation in Yellow Ribbon Program means veterans pay no tuition at Benedictine

Participation in Yellow Ribbon Program means veterans pay no tuition at Benedictine
July 8, 2009

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

More than a year-and-a-half ago, months before the U.S. Congress acted, Benedictine University decided to extend its ground-breaking First Responder Program to Illinois Armed Forces veterans – active and reserve – returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program – which originally provided Illinois police and fire personnel access to affordable and quality higher education – allowed Illinois veterans to pursue an Associate of Arts in Business Administration (A.A.B.A.) or a Bachelor of Arts in Management (B.A.M.) degree at Benedictine without paying tuition. Now, after the University agreed to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program administered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces can pursue any undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree at Benedictine and pay no tuition. “We wanted to ensure that our students who participated in this program did not have to pay anything,” said Diane Battistella, Associate Dean for Financial Aid at Benedictine University. “The cost to the students is zero.” The Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher learning (degree-granting institutions) in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. The institution can contribute up to 50 percent of the remaining expenses, and the VA will match the same amount as the institution. “We agreed to fund the maximum (50 percent),” Battistella said. Benedictine has also agreed to admit an unlimited number of students under the program – many Illinois private colleges and universities have placed limits on the number of students who can take advantage of the program at their institutions – and included its graduate and doctoral programs. “We extended our First Responder Program to veterans so that these brave men and women would have access to an education they might not otherwise be able to afford,” Benedictine University President William J. Carroll said. “We are now pleased to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program so that we can make all our programs available to all qualified veterans. “This program will positively impact the lives of many veterans and their families, and the opportunity for a brighter future not only for them but for the entire community will be greatly increased,” he added. For more information about the Yellow Ribbon Program at Benedictine University, contact the Office of Financial Aid at (630) 829-6100. For more information about Benedictine University, contact the Enrollment Center at (630) 829-6300 or by e-mail at admissions@ben.edu.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.