Members of the Monmouth College admissions staff stand ready to assist veterans in securing federal and local funding for college tuition.
Up to 25 military veterans or their dependents could attend Monmouth College tuition-free during the upcoming academic year through a federally-funded “Yellow Ribbon” program.
“As we observe our nation’s birthday this week, we acknowledge the hard-fought freedoms won by the brave men and women of our country,” said President Mauri Ditzler. “Great American institutions like the private liberal arts college could not exist without their contributions and Monmouth College honors their service.”
Ditzler said that Monmouth College is committed to helping members of military families enjoy the benefits of a private college education through its maximum-level participation in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program, which enables veterans and qualifying dependents to attend Monmouth tuition-free. A Monmouth-funded “Plaid Ribbon” program will allow even more vets to participate.
“The residential liberal arts experience at colleges like Monmouth has been described as uniquely American,” said Ditzler. “We are pleased that the Yellow Ribbon program enables our veterans to experience this special approach to learning and living.”
A provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, the Yellow Ribbon program covers the cost of tuition beyond the cost of the most expensive public undergraduate tuition and fee rate in the state. Qualifying veterans enrolling at Monmouth for the 2012-13 academic year will have 100 percent of their tuition cost covered.
“There is absolutely no doubt that I would not have had the opportunity to return to school full-time and earn a bachelor’s degree without all the incredible help I received from financial aid,” said May graduate Ryan Bronaugh of Galesburg, an Iraq war veteran and father of three, who served more than seven years as a Navy corpsman. “The Yellow Ribbon program was a major contributor to the help I needed in order to achieve my goals.”
Prospective students must meet all requirements for admission to Monmouth College and must submit an application for admission. An application may be completed online at www.monmouthcollege.edu/admission. Information on financial aid is also available at that site or by calling 309-457-2129. The most current information about the Yellow Ribbon program is available at the Veterans Administration’s website: www.va.gov.
In response to restrictions and minimum length of service requirements to qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program, Monmouth College recently created its Plaid Ribbon Program.
“Through this program, we want to help even more Post-9/11 individuals who served our country,” said Ditzler. “The Plaid Ribbon program is a commitment from Monmouth College to provide assistance to help cover tuition expenses not already covered through the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits.”
Retired Col. Stephen Bloomer, who is now a senior development officer at his alma mater of Monmouth, is a strong believer in the mix between military service and a liberal arts education.
“The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 10 of the top job opportunities this year did not even exist in 2005,” said Bloomer, who served 28 years in the U.S. Army National Guard. "Liberal arts graduates have learned how to embrace uncertainty, which gives them a distinct advantage in an uncertain job market."
Bloomer said such an education inspires initiative, promotes creative thinking, facilitates innovation and encourages complex problem solving “from all members of the team.”
“During my military service, I learned to appreciate the value of my broad-based liberal arts education,” he added. “The complexities of today’s ever-shrinking world demand the flexibility that a college like Monmouth provides tomorrow’s leaders.”