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Columbia College named top military-friendly school
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On August 17, G.I. Jobs magazine named Columbia College as one of its top schools for educating military learners. The magazine ranked the college in the top 15 percent of all schools nationwide based on the college's military-friendly policies including credit for military experience, stop-and-go flexibility and availability of online courses.

Servicemembers attending Columbia College can take classes anywhere in the world, from a war zone to a living room, with good Internet connectivity.

The Yellow Ribbon Program, a matching servicemembers' tuition program of the new GI Bill, went into effect August 1, 2009, just in time for fall enrollment. Servicemembers with at least 90 aggregate days of service who were on active duty after Sept. 11, 2001 are eligible for the expanded GI Bill, which essentially pays complete tuition. Eligible servicemembers also are eligible for a housing stipend and a $1,000 book stipend.

The Montgomery GI Bill reimbursed veterans for only a portion of tuition costs at private schools. Under the Yellow Ribbon Program of the new bill, tuition at private schools such as Columbia College is covered to a threshold of 50 percent of the highest public in-state tuition. For the state of Missouri, tuition rates are based on those of the University of Missouri. Columbia College has partnered with the VA to split the remaining tuition costs.

Tery Donelson, assistant vice president for enrollment management at Columbia College, called the program the most comprehensive education benefit offered to servicemembers since World War II. "Historically, when a new GI Bill goes into effect, the number of veterans enrolling in college increases," Donelson said, adding that he expects to see an enrollment spike. “The bottom line is, a qualifying veteran is not going to have to pay any tuition or fees to go to Columbia College,” Donelson said.

Columbia College has more than 1,300 veterans enrolled throughout its nationwide system of campuses, which includes facilities on 18 military bases including one in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. First add/Columbia College named top military-friendly school The college gives servicemembers academic credit for military training and education, meaning servicemembers enter Columbia College with a jump start on their degree.

Columbia College, a private, nonprofit institution founded in 1851 in Columbia, Mo., educates 25,000 students each year and has more than 61,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit