Beginning Fall 2012, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) will be participating in the Yellow Ribbon program. The program will ensure full educational benefits to qualifying veterans and military family members.
"SAGU will be the only university in the South Dallas/ Fort Worth area to be a participant in this program," says SAGU's Veteran Affairs Coordinator Shaun Eide. "This fall, at least 50 percent of our current student-veterans are eligible to take part in the program."
The Yellow Ribbon program is a fund-matching grant that will cover the cost of the remaining tuition that military families will have to pay out-of-pocket. The government will pay half of the remaining balance while SAGU pays the other half, up to $22,500 in addition to the monies awarded for the housing allowance and books.
For veterans and current service men and women, SAGU offers free counseling, academic assistance and accommodations at the learning center, free gym membership and will also waive the application fee. Additionally, SAGU encourages student and staff veteran networking.
"While the registrar does an annual fellowship to introduce new vets to current student and staff veterans, we hope to see a veterans' student organization started in the near future," says Eide.
Since 2008, SAGU's student-veteran population has doubled. In the past six years, The US Department of Veteran Affairs has commended SAGU for its accuracy in reporting VA benefits. The university also has a full-time VA liaison to manage their educational benefits throughout their enrollment.
Eide continues, "Our veterans are some of our most elite students. We appreciate their leadership and influence on our campus. And, I hope this program will encourage more to enroll at SAGU in the coming years."
SAGU certifies enrolled students the following benefits: Chapter 33 (Post 9/11 G.I. Bill-Active Duty and Yellow Ribbon), Chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill Active Duty), Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation), Chapter 35 (Veteran's Spouses or Dependents), Chapter 1606 (Selected Reserve), and Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)). Eligibility and chapter is determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs (888.442.4551).