RIT Expanding Access for Veterans
Tuition aid available for technical education at a private college
Jan. 13, 2009
by Greg Livadas
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Rochester Institute of Technology plans to make it easier for veterans to continue their educations by offering significant tuition support as a designated “Yellow Ribbon” college.
The federal designation allows veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001 to receive additional financial assistance for tuition, as well as existing veterans’ benefits for housing and textbooks. The amount of assistance will depend on their length of service, but eligible veterans applying to RIT would have most of their tuition provided by the Veterans Administration, the college and the state.
“There is really no higher cause one can have than a commitment to serve one’s country,” said Jim Miller, RIT’s senior vice president for Enrollment Management & Career Services. “Given RIT’s history and the kinds of curricula we offer, it is only fitting that we take this important initiative to participate in providing increased access to RIT for those who have had distinguished service to this country.”
More than 300 RIT students are currently receiving veterans’ benefits. No other four-year institution in the Rochester region has as many students receiving veterans’ benefits, Miller said.
Veterans now receive college assistance from the VA according to their attendance. With a monthly check, the veterans must figure out how to make their education payments. A bill passed last year allowed for benefits to increase to the highest of published state institution rates, but fall far short of private education costs.
Private Yellow Ribbon colleges agree to provide allowances for up to half of that difference between their tuition and the public tuition limit, with the VA paying the other half of the difference. New York State also provides tuition assistance for veterans.
“The fact that we’re signing on as a Yellow Ribbon partner is no surprise,” said Gene Clark, assistant director and coordinator of veterans’ benefits at RIT. “Since its beginning, RIT has been sensitive and immediate in providing programs and support to this nation’s servicemen and women.”
The Yellow Ribbon Program should be in place to accommodate veterans who enroll at RIT this fall and could be applied to undergraduates or students pursuing graduate degrees. Veterans transferring from other colleges to RIT may also qualify, Miller said.
About RIT: Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled access and support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. This year, 16,500 full- and part-time students are enrolled in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs at RIT, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.