Student/Alumni Services | Faculty/Staff Resources

Veterans at Penn
Important Notice

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently sent a notice to Post-9/11 GI Bill ® students with a status update on 2019 Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) and Tuition & Fees cap. Please click here for a copy of this notice.


This section was created for you as a resource to inform you of the benefits available to you as a veteran while attending the University of Pennsylvania. Below you will see information regarding the procedures required for receiving your benefits, the benefits you are eligible to receive, a frequently asked questions page and a list of links and other resources to help you get started and or find additional information.

  • Yellow Ribbon Program
  • Federal Tuition Assistance
  • How Do I Apply?
  • FAQs

Penn honors the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. The program allows Penn to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses for eligible veterans.

  • Schools and programs at Penn have committed funds to the Yellow Ribbon Program

  • There are limited openings in each school for Yellow Ribbon awards

  • The VA will match your school’s commitment.  The combined school award and VA match may not exceed the difference between the recipient’s actual tuition charges and the recipient’s basic Post-9/11 tuition benefit

  • Federal law states that Yellow Ribbon awards must be made on a first-come, first-serve basis

  • Each school will have its own queue

  • Applicants will be placed in the queue based on the date they present the VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE), indicating Yellow Ribbon eligibility, to Penn’s Office of the University Registrar. (Phone calls or email inquiries will not hold a place in the queue.)
VA Education and Training
VA Handouts and Forms
VA contact information
Ebenefits website

Federal Tuition Assistance

The Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) program provides financial assistance to students currently serving in the National Guard, reserves, or on Active Duty. FTA can be used for voluntary education programs that support professional and personal self-development goals. FTA is available for courses that are offered in the classroom or by distance learning and is part of an approved academic degree or certificate program.
For additional information, follow the links below for your service branch's website:

Prior to your course enrollment, you may be required to develop an education plan or complete TA orientation. Your service's education center must approve your military tuition assistance before you enroll in a course.

To apply for Chapter 31, Vocational Rehabilitation please contact the following office.

Department of Veteran Affairs
Regional Office
5000 Wissahickon Ave
Philadelphia PA 19144

  1. Request a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA
  2. Submit the COE to the School Certifying Official:

Office of the University Registrar
Room 150 Franklin Building
3451 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6291

  1. Contact the Registrar’s Office once you register for classes
  2. The Registrar’s Office will certify your enrollment with the VA

For all other Chapters, please submit a copy of your DD 214 to the Office of the University Registrar.

How do I apply for Yellow Ribbon?

  1. To be eligible you must meet the following criteria
    1. 100% eligibility for Chapter 33
    2. AND cannot be currently on active duty status
  2. Submit  the COE to the School Certifying Official in the Registrar’s Office
  3. Your COE will be placed in a queue based on a first-come first-served basis.  This is determined by the date you present the VA COE to the Certifying Official.
  4. Your individual school must participate
  5. There are remaining spots in the queue for your school

VA education benefit-eligible students who would like to enroll in one or more courses at Penn as a non-degree student are considered visiting students by the VA and are subject to different restrictions when using their VA education benefits.

Visiting students are advised to speak with a School Certifying Official in the Office of the University Registrar prior to registering for classes and incurring charges as eligibility to use benefits varies on a case-by-case basis.

Visiting students who are degree-seeking at another institution are required to submit an approved parent letter from the home institution which guarantees that the courses can be transferred back to the original program.

Visiting students who are not degree-seeking and are seeking to enroll in courses to gain admission to a degree program can be certified for up to two terms as a non-matric student.  


This represents Penn’s Yellow Ribbon participation for academic year 2018-2019

School Level
No. of Students
Per Year
Amount Per Student
Annenberg School for Communications Doctoral 5 $4,000
School of Arts and Sciences Graduate
School of Dental Medicine Doctoral 4 $10,000
School of Design Graduate
Graduate School of Education Graduate
School of Engineering & Applied Science Graduate


Law School Graduate unlimited $23,082
Perelman School of Medicine Graduate
School of Nursing Graduate
School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) Graduate
Wharton School Graduate unlimited $12,500
Liberal & Professional Studies Undergraduate 50 $10,000
College of Arts & Sciences
School of Nursing
Wharton School
Undergraduate 0  

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at

Q. How many spots are remaining in a particular schools queue?
A.Please contact the University’s School Certifying Official at 215.898.6636 for information regarding Yellow Ribbon availability.

Q. Will Penn be participating in the program during the next (2019-2020) academic year?
A. Yes, Penn will submit the annual Yellow Ribbon commitment to the VA. Once we receive confirmation of acceptance from the VA, our website will be updated to reflect the participation levels for the upcoming academic year. 

Q. I am 100% eligible but will still be active duty when I begin the program.  At some point during the program I will be discharged.  Am I still eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program?
A. You won’t be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program until you are discharged. In addition to the Certificate of Eligibility (COE), you will need to submit a DD 214 to the Registrar’s Office.  At that time you will be placed in the program if there are spots remaining in your school.  Your Yellow Ribbon status will not take effect until the following semester.

Q. Which undergraduate programs participate in the Yellow Ribbon program?
A. The College of Liberal and Professional Studies participates in the Yellow Ribbon program at the undergraduate level.  For traditional, first degree undergraduates enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, Wharton, or the Schools of Engineering or Nursing, the University Director of Financial Aid determines the participation annually. Penn has a robust financial aid program that meets 100% of the need for these students. The Yellow Ribbon program would not be an added benefit for traditional, first degree undergraduate students.

Q. Who determines the number of Yellow Ribbon slots for each program?
A. Each of Penn’s 12 Graduate and Professional schools and the College of Liberal and Professional Studies (nontraditional undergraduates) annually determine participation.

Q. How do I receive my tuition and fee benefits?
A. Once you submit the COE and indicate you are enrolled for the semester, the Registrar’s Office will certify your enrollment with the VA. This triggers payment for tuition and fees, basic allowance for housing (BAH) payments, and book stipend. 

Q. How do I receive the BAH and book stipend?
A. The BAH and book stipend will be disbursed to your personal bank account once your enrollment is certified for the semester. The full book stipend is disbursed with your first month BAH payment. 

Q. How much of my tuition and fee benefits will be credited to the billing statement?

  1. If your tuition and fees exceed your eligibility, the full amount of your benefit will pay in one semester.  You will not have any eligibility for tuition and fee benefits again until after August 1st.
  2. If your tuition and fees are less than your eligibility, you will receive the appropriate payment for your first semester and then any remaining eligibility in subsequent semesters until they are exhausted.  After they are exhausted, your benefits won’t begin again until after August 1st.

Q. How is the Yellow Ribbon distributed?
A. The Yellow Ribbon benefits is normally disbursed equally between the fall and spring semesters.  It will depend on your registration and charges for a given semester.

Q. I received the full tuition and fee benefit in the first semester.  Do I need to do anything for the subsequent semester?
A. Even though you won’t receive the tuition and fee benefits, you are still eligible for the BAH and book stipend.  Once you register, please contact the Registrar’s Office and your enrollment will be certified to trigger these benefits.

Q. When do my tuition and fee benefits begin again?
A. The VA’s definition of an academic year is August 1st through July 31st.  Once you exhaust your tuition and fee benefits during that time frame, you won’t be eligible again until the following fall semester.

Q.  I am not sure when my benefits end. How do I find out?
A.  You can check your status on the ebenefits website.

Q. I currently receive need based aid.  How does the Post 9/11 benefits, BAH and book stipends affect it?
A. The benefits will reduce your financial aid package dollar for dollar.  First it will reduce your self-help component of your package.  This includes expected summer savings from summer earnings and work study.  University grant will be reduced after all self-help has been eliminated.  The benefits will not replace your parent contribution. 

Contact Information

School Certifying Official

Submit Certificate of Eligibility to:
The Office of the University Registrar
University of Pennsylvania
Room 150 Franklin Building
3451 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6273



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