Facebook pixel Yellow Ribbon Program | Student Veterans | Pepperdine University Skip to main content
Pepperdine University

Yellow Ribbon Program at Pepperdine

The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, also known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill® or Chapter 33. The Yellow Ribbon Program allows institutions of higher learning to enter into a voluntary agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to contribute funds to a veteran's unmet tuition and certifiable fee charges (student health insurance fees) when those charges exceed the amount payable under Chapter 33 (fees not certifiable include workshop fees, deposits, and Global Program Fees).  Through the Yellow Ribbon Program, Pepperdine and the VA match contribution so that eligible students have 100% of their tuition covered. The Yellow Ribbon Program recently expanded to include eligible active service members and spouses of active service members.

See all covered student veteran programs at Pepperdine


Frequently Asked Questions

How is the award posted on student accounts?

Once you have submitted your VA's Certificate of Eligibility to the Registrar's office, Student Accounts will pre-post either the VA Post 9/11 or Pepperdine Yellow Ribbon scholarship on your student account at the beginning of each term. Other financial aid awards will be adjusted accordingly.

How do I start my VA/YRP to Pepperdine?

  1. Go to the Veterans Benefits Administration and apply for your benefits.
  2. If you are no longer active duty you will also need to submit your DD-214 to the VA.
  3. In approximately six weeks you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility in the mail from VA. The Certificate will inform you of your benefits, your percentage of entitlement, and the time at which your benefits will expire.
  4. Please submit both your Certificate of Eligibility and DD-214 to Pepperdine by one of the following methods:

Mail: Pepperdine University Office of the Registrar 24255 Pacific Coast Highway Malibu, CA 90263, attention Eric Leshinsky.

How do I apply to Pepperdine University?

Please visit our admissions site if you are interested in applying to Pepperdine University.

How do I apply for my VA benefits?

Please visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs Benefits Application page to apply for your benefits.

How do I transfer my benefit to my spouse or children?

Please visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs Education and Training page to learn about transferring your benefits to your spouse or children.

How do I determine my eligibility for the Yellow Ribbon Program?

To be eligible, you must qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill® at the 100% benefit level. You verify eligibility level through the VA and by receiving a copy of your Certificate of Eligibility. Visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program page to learn more about your eligibility.

Does Pepperdine limit the number of students that can utilize the Yellow Ribbon Program?


Are all Pepperdine degrees approved by the VA for use with the GI Bill®?

While most degrees offered by Pepperdine have been approved by the VA in our catalog, some newer degree offerings may not be approved yet. You can verify approved degree programs here. If you have specific questions, feel free to reach out to our School Certifying Official.

Do I have enough Post-9/11 GI Bill® eligibility to complete my degree at Pepperdine?

Your VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) will not only tell you the benefit level, it will also tell you how many months/days of eligibility you have remaining. To ensure your program is fully covered, it's important to consider how long it will take you to complete and compare it with your eligibility window. Your academic advisor and School Certifying Official (SCO) can help build and verify your education plan. The VA mails each student an updated COE every semester. Students are required to provide the SCO with a current COE before each semester begins.

What amount of Military Housing Allowance (MHA) will I get?

Certification is based on the student's respective class instruction schedule. The VA requires that Pepperdine certifies enrollment for the respective session dates a student is enrolled. In order to receive 100% of MHA, students must be enrolled at full-time residence status, for a standard term. This means your classes must begin and end on the same dates of instruction. Hybrid courses are considered in-person classes for MHA purposes. Full-time students attending on-line typically receive 50% of the national average set by the VA. If a student is enrolled in multiple sessions, MHA payments are prorated and processed according to the dates of enrollment. For specific questions, contact your SCO.

When will I get my MHA payment?

Housing payments run one month in arrears. The SCO typically certifies enrollment electronically a week before through the first week of each respective term.  Once recieved and processed by the VA (which takes apporximately 3-5 days), the VA will begin to disburse housing allowance payments directly to the student one month in arrears meaning it is paid for the prior month's enrollment.

Am I required to live on campus as an incoming transfer student to SeaverCollege?

Yes; however, student veterans can request a waiver to this policy.

Do I need to verify my enrollment monthly with the VA using their text or email verification tool?

Yes (this is a new requirement and helps ensure your VA benefits are not being used by someone else)

What is considered full-time?

12 units (undergrad) and 6 units (graduate)

How and when does my school tuition get paid by the VA?

Once registered for all classes, the School Certifying Official (SCO) will verify your enrollment with the VA. Tuition is certified by the SCO after all add/drop periods end. The school's Student Accounts office will typically place your tuition fees in a special billing status until the payment is received from the VA. Any interest that is incurred is not applicable. The VA takes approximately 30 days to process new student enrollments and 15-30 days to process continuing student enrollments. Contact the school's Student Accounts Office should you have any concerns regarding late payment or registration hold.

Once the term starts, what do I need to do if I have changes to my course enrollment?

Notify the SCO immediately so the proper changes are updated accordingly in the VA system.

Will I be penalized if I withdraw from a course after the add/drop period?

Yes. If you withdraw after the add/drop period you will be penalized. The VA will only pay up until the date the respective class is withdrawn. Any outstanding tuition charges for the remainder of the term will be the student's obligation/responsibility.

Does Pepperdine participate in the California College Fee Waiver for disabled veterans?

No (only applicable at CA public schools)

Does Pepperdine participate in the Military Tuition Assistance (TA) Program?


What about other government resources?

Please explore these other government resources as well:

Whom should I contact if I still have questions?

  • VA benefits questions and issues, please contact the VA School Certifying Officials in the Registrar's office at vabenefits@pepperdine.edu
  • General questions or inquires, please contact Eric Leshinsky, Director of Student Veteran Affairs, at veteranaffairs@pepperdine.edu


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.