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Why are your GI Bill results different from what the college advertises?

When we calculate your GI Bill benefits we present the clear worst case scenario and include additional costs such as living expenses and books. Typically colleges will present the best-case scenario in their marketing materials, and sometimes will only advertise tuition and fees.

I can see why they might do this as some costs might be considered out of
their control, such as the cost of off campus housing.

The 2015 maximum tuition and fees paid to a private college for someone who
"fully qualifies" for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits is $21,084.89 and we
rounded this number up to $21,085 under "Benefits Paid To The College".

You can verify this at:

Some schools participate in the "Yellow Ribbon" matching program which may cover any costs that the college does not cover. However, veterans must meet certain criteria to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program thus it is not a guarantee for every veteran student.

For undergraduate veterans, the number of undergraduate participants is
capped (by the VA) at 110 and the total award capped at $25,000.

Since we don't know for certain that you will be covered by the Yellow
Ribbon program or even having been covered, that the program will pick up
the entire outstanding amount (as the policies change from college to
college). But we will give you the average amount the college offers to each student via the program. 

A final discrepancy is that VA benefits such as the Post-9/11 GI BIll and
Yellow Ribbon are paid as a "last resort". Other forms of grant /
scholarships are applied first to reduce your tuition before VA benefits
kick in (not including Pell Grants so be sure to apply for yours). Prior
veterans getting state grants or institutional scholarships reduce the
average need for Yellow Ribbon assistance. 

At one time we presented the results more in line with how colleges typically report benefits. The overwhelming feedback we got was that veterans
wanted to more explicitly see the benefits paid directly to them (namely
the MHA) and were less interested in benefits paid to the college or even
what their hypothetical out of pocket might be.

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