Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon GI 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 in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the tuition cap for private institutions in an academic year ($25,162.14 for 2020-2021). The institution can contribute up to 50% of those expenses and VA will match the same amount as the institution. Please note all scholarships, other federal, state, institutional, or employer-based aid or assistance (excluding loans and Title IV funds) will be deducted from the student’s tuition/fees in order to determine the amount submitted to VA for certification purposes.

SMU supports our valued Armed Services members and veterans. We are participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program for the 2020-2021 academic year. Academic schools that have a limit to the number of students who can participate in the program are accepted into the Yellow Ribbon Program on a first-come, first-served basis. First-come, first-served is measured from the date all required forms are submitted to the SMU Veterans Services Office. Any tuition remaining after the Post-9/11 tuition benefit and the Yellow Ribbon Program benefits have been met for the academic year is the student's responsibility.

The VA specifies that Yellow Ribbon Program participants must:

  • Be 100% eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill® Benefits
  • Not be on active duty
  • Be enrolled in a degree-seeking program
  • Maintain satisfactory progress, conduct, and attendance.
    • After nonattendance for two regular (fall, spring) terms, a student does not qualify for Yellow Ribbon. At this point, students wishing to re-enroll at SMU and receive VA benefits are required to submit an application for reinstatement or reactivation through the Admissions Office and contact a VA Certifying Official. 

Click here to read more about the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Undergraduate SMU Yellow Ribbon Scholarships are offered in lieu of other SMU funded aid, including previously offered academic scholarships. If VA benefits exhaust prior to graduation, academic scholarships may be reinstated as long as academic renewal requirements have been met. Academic scholarships cannot be reinstated if your benefits exhaust midway through a term and you received any amount of Yellow Ribbon during that term.

Note: SMU's Yellow Ribbon participation (amount available and number of students) can change each academic year. It is the student's responsibility to understand this and be aware that changes may occur.

The following colleges/professional schools will participate for the 2020-2021 academic year, as indicated below:

Academic School

Maximum Amount Per Academic Year

Number of Students

Cox School of Business (Graduate) $7,500 Unlimited
Dedman College (Graduate) Up to 50% 5
Dedman School of Law $7,700 10
The Guildhall $7,500 8
Meadows School of the Arts (Graduate) Up to 50% Unlimited
Perkins School of Theology Up to 50%
Research and Graduate Studies $7,500
Simmons School of Ed. & HD (Graduate) $7,500
Undergraduate - All
Up to 50% 100

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