When I first enlisted in the Army, one of the many reasons I did so included the opportunity to receive money to continue my education through the GI Bill. At the time that I enlisted, the Chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill was still the standard, and I, like many soldiers, paid in my one-hundred dollars a month that first year, in the hopes that at the end of our service, whenever that might be, we would receive some financial assistance to help soften the blow of the high costs of pursuing a higher education. The thought of being able to attend a prestigious university tuition free, never once entered my mind.
Then along came the Post 9/11 GI Bill and the advent of the Yellow Ribbon Program and everything changed.
Last month, The George Washington University announced their continued commitment to Veterans through the new Yellow Ribbon Program agreement. Through the new agreement, undergraduate Veteran students will be able to attend school year-round, tuition free and most graduate Veteran students will be able to do the same. As a Veteran student at GW and as president of GW Veterans, the student Veteran organization on campus, I’m extremely proud in this renewed commitment by GW to Veterans of our armed forces and their pursuits in higher education.
I enrolled as a student at GW last year knowing that quite frankly, the ability to attend a school of GW’s caliber tuition free was too good an opportunity to pass up. I, like many of my fellow Veterans who are enrolled here, would not have been able to afford the cost of attendance at GW, were it not for their participation and commitment to the Yellow Ribbon Program. Many colleges and universities across the country participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program to varying degrees, but GW continues to lead the way in their level of commitment to the Yellow Ribbon Program and Veteran students.
Thanks to GW’s renewed to commitment to the Yellow Ribbon Program, the over 500 student Veterans of the armed forces enrolled at GW will continue have the opportunity to pursue a first-rate education, in the heart of our nation’s capital, at little to no cost to the Veteran student. It’s only appropriate that a school bearing the name of the first Veteran continue its outstanding commitment to the Veterans of today and those of the future.
Scott Disney is an Army and Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran, having served as a Human Intelligence Collector with the 66th MI BDE, USAG Grafenwoehr, Germany , the 513th MI BDE, Fort Gordon, GA and the 525th BFSB Fort Fort Bragg, NC. He’s a senior student at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at George Washington University, majoring in Political Science. He’s also the president of GW Veterans, the student Veterans organization on campus.