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Breaking Down Financial Aid

Updated: Aug 31, 2021

The most common question that we receive is “How do veterans afford Harvard?” To answer this question, I thought it would help to break down financial aid for the “typical” student veteran at Harvard College. Harvard College is determined to make a Harvard education affordable to all Harvard students. To that end, they have a robust financial aid system that provides need-based aid to all Harvard students, including veterans. All figures are based on current VA funding and may change. Financial aid is heavily dependent on each student’s situation and any specific questions should be directed directly to the financial aid office.

Due to the robust financial aid offerings of Harvard College, student veterans do not have to use their GI Bill. Each student veteran has the option of whether or not to use the GI Bill based on their financial situation. Each veteran should contact the Harvard financial aid office to discuss particular details of their situation.


Post 9/11 GI Bill vs. Montgomery GI Bill

The first decision you have to make when choosing to go to Harvard or any university after serving in the military is deciding which GI Bill works for you. Often this depends on your financial situation but here are the basic details of each to help you understand how each works for student veterans at Harvard College.

Post 9/11 GI Bill

  • $25,162 Tuition (paid to Harvard College)

  • $1,000 Book Stipend (paid to you)

  • $3,075 Monthly Housing Allowance (paid to you)*

* Note: MHA only paid when you are fully enrolled during the academic year. This rate is the current amount for MHA in Cambridge, MA. Harvard College has an academic year that is approximately 7.5 months long. Below you can see the estimated payment per month when looking at the 12 month year.

Montgomery GI Bill

  • $19,098 Total (Paid to you)

  • No Book Stipend

  • No Monthly Housing Allowance


Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program is additional funding given to student veterans that goes towards covering tuition costs that exceed the amount covered by the GI Bill. The Yellow Ribbon Program is a partnership between the university and the VA, where the institution agrees to pay a certain dollar amount and that amount is then matched by the VA. The funding will go directly towards tuition costs.

Paid by Harvard: $6,000/yr

Matched by the VA: $6,000/yr

Note: At Harvard College, there is not a cap on the number of Yellow Ribbon recipients. This means that all student veterans who are eligible will receive this funding. There is no additional paperwork or application required to receive this funding. It will automatically be added to your financial aid offering.


Outside Scholarships & Grants

If you have been awarded any scholarships from private or public institutions, those must be reported to the financial aid office at Harvard College. These will also include Pell Grants and any other federal funding that you may be eligible to receive.


Harvard Faculty Scholarship

The Harvard Faculty Scholarship is the final step of financial aid funding. It is a scholarship that is provided to Harvard students by the Harvard College Griffin Financial Aid Office. This additional funding is used to cover the tuition costs not covered by the funding sources listed above. Eligibility for this funding is entirely dependent on each student’s financial situation. Specific questions regarding your situation should be directed directly to the Financial Aid Office. Below you can see the general guidelines used by the financial aid office to determine the size of the financial aid scholarship each student will receive. They are eager to make Harvard College affordable to all students, including veterans. All financial aid funding at Harvard College is 100% need-based aid.

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