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Loyola supports military with educational funding

August 21, 2009

Loyola University New Orleans began participating in the Chapter 33 Post-9/11 GIBill in August, which provides financial support for education and housing to individuals who have served or are currently serving in the military.

Students with at least 90 days of combined military service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, or who have been honorably discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days, are eligible to apply. The program also allows the transfer of benefits to family members under certain circumstances.

Students who are eligible for the Chapter 33 Post 9/11 GI Bill may also be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program, in which the Veterans Administration and Loyola fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate. Loyola can contribute up to 50 percent of those expenses, which the VA will match.

“At Loyola, we hold in high regard a commitment to service, and the men and women in our armed forces make tremendous sacrifices in order to serve our country,” says Sal Liberto, vice president for enrollment management and associate provost.

“We are honored to participate in the Yellow Ribbon program and see it as our duty to educate American servicemen and women as they grow in their positions or enter the civilian workforce.”

Chapter 33 recipients receive funding for academic fees and $430 for each credit hour in which they are enrolled. Once this initial amount is removed from their tuition, the Yellow Ribbon Program pays the balance to eligible candidates. Yellow Ribbon also provides students with $1000 per year for books and supplies, and students may be eligible for a housing allowance as well. The books and housing benefit does not apply to online or active-duty students.

Currently, 20 Loyola undergraduates are participating in the Chapter 33 program, five of whom are also taking advantage of the Yellow Ribbon program according to Kathy Gros, director of student records and registration services. Nathan Steckel, a former aviation machinist mate third class in the Navy, is now participating in both programs.

“It’s a huge burden off my shoulders to know that I can concentrate on my studies without having to work at the same time,” says Steckel, who will study business management. “I’m so grateful that Loyola is participating. Graduating from such a high-ranking school without worrying about student loans will help me focus on a great career.”

This year, Loyola will offer the Yellow Ribbon benefits to only 20 undergraduates. The university will evaluate the program and determine the possibility of opening it up to graduate and law students next year.

For information on the program or to apply, visit http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/CH33/Post-911.htm or contact Kathy Gros at 504-865-3237 or kgros@loyno.edu.

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