For CSU officials, veterans initiatives like the Yellow Ribbon program will help provide veterans with increased resources and students with a more diverse campus but, for senior psychology major Ryan Foster, it means a lot more than that.
â€œI have over $40,000 in loans,â€ Foster said. â€œJust to have one year (on the Yellow Ribbon program), itâ€™s amazing to say the least.â€
Foster is one of many CSU students who qualified to receive free tuition, fees and housing and book stipends through the initiative, a comprehensive plan that provides these awards to military veterans and their designated dependents.
With a father in the Air Force, this is Fosterâ€™s first and last year to benefit from the program â€” a provision of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which pays public, in-state tuition for returning veterans or their transferees.
CSU, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, will be offering these full awards for qualifying veterans and their dependents starting this upcoming fall semester.
So far, 50 out-of-state veterans â€” who are expected to experience the majority of these benefits â€” will be taking part in the program for this school year, said CSU spokesman Brad Bohlander.
â€œWe are very excited,â€ Bohlander said. â€œCSU is committed to the educational success of our veterans and having programs to ensure affordable access to an outstanding education as well as programs to ensure success while theyâ€™re students at CSU.â€
â€œIt (the Yellow Ribbon program) is also expected to be cost neutral,â€ Bohlander added. â€œSo this wonâ€™t cost students anything.â€
According to Bohlander, the initiative will not only provide veterans and their dependants with full awards, but will also allow CSU to become more diverse, with an increase in non-traditional students.
â€œMost veterans are older, or single parents,â€ said Jenny Pickett, the assistant director of the Adult Learner and Veteran Services office. â€œWe strive to help those veterans be successful and participate with other students as well as become better citizens.â€
â€œThe more diverse a group, the more we can learn from each other,â€ Pickett added.
In order to learn more about the Yellow Ribbon program, or to see if you qualify, visit the CSU Registrarâ€™s Office at www.registrar.colostate.edu.
News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.