Griffin Ell / Arts Director

Did you know that 13 students are participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program at Keene State College during the Fall 2020 semester?

The Yellow Ribbon Program helps United States veterans receive funds to help pay for the extra costs of tuition at out of state colleges. For someone to be able to qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, they must first be 100 percent eligible for Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits and they must be an out of state resident. If someone is an in-state student, then their tuition is fully covered by their VA educational benefits. If someone is an out of state student, then the instate costs are covered by their VA educational benefits and the rest is covered by the Yellow Ribbon Program. Keene State College has participated in the Yellow Ribbon Program since the Fall 2018 semester.

The current chair of Keene State College’s Veterans Support Group on campus is Kent Drake-Deese. Mr. Drake-Deese is a United States veteran in addition to being an Associate Dean of Students, the chair of Keene State College’s Veterans Support Group, and the Director of Residential Life. He started the charge to get KSC to be a part of the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The Yellow Ribbon Program only covers the cost of the extra tuition costs and mandatory fees that comes along with this education. Although, the Yellow Ribbon Program only pays for the remaining costs of being an out of state resident.

“through the the Post 911 GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon program can help a veteran pay for higher out of state private school or even Graduate School tuition that the post 911 GI Bill doesn’t cover,” said Kent Drake-Deese. So this means that if you’re a New Hampshire resident, then your tuition and mandatory fees are 100 percent covered by the VA educational benefits but if you’re an out of state resident, then the Yellow Ribbon Program will cover the rest of the associated costs.

Through the Yellow Ribbon Program, a veteran is able to receive the extra funds that come with being an out of state resident.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website, “Yellow Ribbon funds may cover any mandatory (required) fees for your education program”. Kent said that the benefits of being a part of the Yellow Ribbon Program do not affect the college student experience. The main benefit of participating in the program is that a veteran gets financial support to help ease the costs associated with college.

Although the Yellow Ribbon Program covers tuition costs and mandatory fees that go along with it, the Yellow Ribbon Program does not cover room and board costs or penalty fees.

At Keene State College, there are different programs and resources that help United States military veterans have access to higher education learning. One of these programs is the Veterans Support Services or VSS for short. According to the Keene State College website, “VSS helps veterans navigate the academic and social support paperwork and programs that help you get the most from your educational experience. VSS works with a number of campus departments and offices to coordinate recruitment, orientation, retention, and graduation. VSS works especially closely with academic and student support services to ensure that your specific needs are addressed.”

The Veterans Support Services provides assistance to veterans who are looking for help getting through the numerous academic and social programs throughout the college.

Keene State College’s Veterans Student Support Services mission statement states that “The mission of Keene State College’s Veterans Support Services is to implement and coordinate academic and social support programs that enable KSC veteran students to gain the greatest benefit from their educational experience.”

In all pursuits, Veterans Student Support Services (VSS) strives to: Enhance students’ opportunities for active involvement in the College and the Keene community. Support individual and student group initiatives that address military to civilian transition issues. Assure that student veterans have equal access to all academic, social and recreational programs, groups and activities. Promote and incorporate into every aspect of campus life an appreciation for veteran’s issues.”


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