For more information contact: Michelle Key, Public Relations Specialist
Work: 816-501-2434  
Email: Michelle Key  

  Avila Increases Its Commitment To Veterans    
  Kansas City, MO    
July 31, 2009

Avila University will increase its commitment to supporting America’s veterans by providing tuition-free educational opportunities to qualified veterans through the Yellow Ribbon Program. According to Dr. Ned Harris, vice president for enrollment and student development, “Avila is thrilled to be able to serve more of our nation’s veterans through this joint venture with the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

This fall, military veterans who served after Sept. 10, 2001 are eligible to attend Avila University tuition-free through the new Yellow Ribbon Program. This program allows the University to supplement existing Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to make up the difference between public and private university tuition rates.

In its original form, the bill provided full government-paid tuition only to veterans attending public universities. The Yellow Ribbon Program was added to the bill to accommodate veterans who wished to pursue degrees at private institutions like Avila. This program allows institutions of higher learning to enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state tuition rate. Avila University has agreed to cover 50 percent of the difference, with the VA picking up the rest—meaning eligible students can attend Avila tuition-free. Standard student fees are also covered by these benefits.

Avila has set no limit on the number of students admitted under the Yellow Ribbon Program and will contribute up to $5,571 per student/per year based on the student’s program of study. The VA also provides a housing and book stipend. Admitted students will have equal access to all programs and courses.

Only individuals entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) may receive this funding. Therefore, they may be eligible if:

  • they served an aggregate period of active duty after September 10, 2001 of at least 36 months,
  • they were honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and served 30 continuous days after September 10, 2001, or,
  • they are a dependent eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.

“Avila is proud of the service and sacrifice of our men and women in the U.S. Military,” said Avila’s director of financial aid, Nancy Merz. “As the mother of an active duty Air Force Captain, I am privileged to welcome veteran students to Avila University and offer them all the assistance and guidance they need through our office.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ultimately determines the eligibility of educational benefits for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and/or their dependents (see When veterans or their family members are determined to be eligible for veteran educational benefits, Avila’s Registrar will certify enrollment in order for them or their family members to receive these benefits.

For more information about enrolling at Avila using Yellow Ribbon Program benefits, call 816.501.3737 or visit


Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.