Military-Supportive GI Bill® Approved and Yellow Ribbon Program Colleges Online and in Minnesota

minnesota stateMinnesota has a pronounced place in our nation’s military history. Old Fort Ripley set the stage for westward expansion during the 19th century. In the Civil War, the state offered a militia of 1,000 volunteers in April of 1861. That group ballooned to 22,000 militiamen for the duration of the war. But the state’s contribution to the nation didn’t end there.

During the Cold War, the 47th “Viking” Infantry Division of the National Guard maintained the country’s readiness against the threat of communism. Its training and aptitude changed as national security issues evolved throughout the last half of the 20th century.

Minnesota’s defensive presence hasn’t waned. Furthermore, the state rewards vets and active duty members for their service. If you find yourself in the state, you and your loved ones can take advantage of a range of tuition assistance programs. Here’s an overview of the programs available.

State College Education Benefits Through the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) runs the Higher Education Veterans Program. This program connects veterans and eligible family members to scholarships, tuition assistance, and other such resources.

Anyone currently or formerly stationed in Minnesota as well as veterans who reside here with station assignments somewhere else can access the Higher Education Veterans Program through MDVA. The whole purpose behind the program is to give service members, veterans, and military families the guidance they need to understand all the benefits available to them and how to put them to work toward job training or a college degree.

The department will put you in touch with a Regional Coordinator, who will help you find the right educational programs and connect you with the right military-friendly colleges in Minnesota. Your Regional Coordinator will discuss the federal GI Bill®, as well as programs sponsored by the state – including the Minnesota GI Bill®.

Minnesota GI Bill®

On top of the federal GI Bill®, Yellow Ribbon Program and other federal education benefits, if you call Minnesota home, you have additional money that could be coming your way to help cover education expenses: The Minnesota GI Bill®. This unique state program provides financial assistance above and beyond the federal benefits programs to veterans, active duty, National Guard, reservists, and select family members pursuing:

If you, your children, or your spouse qualifies for the Minnesota GI Bill®, you’ll receive up to $10,000 in financial aid. Anyone who is a permanent resident in Minnesota can apply to the program.

Qualifying for the Minnesota GI Bill®

Veterans who served in any U.S. military branch at any time are eligible for the Minnesota GI Bill®. Non-veterans, including active-duty members, who served at least five years in the Minnesota National Guard or another service branch on or after September 11, 2001, qualify for the program as well.

If you’re the spouse of a veteran who either died in service to our country or sustained a 100 percent permanent disability as a result of that service, you’re eligible for the Minnesota GI Bill®. The same applies to any children of that veteran. How much financial assistance you’ll receive depends on what type of education you’re pursuing.

Using the Minnesota GI Bill® to Pay for Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates

You may receive up to $3,000 per academic year if you’re enrolled in an eligible certificate, diploma, undergraduate or graduate program. You can also use the Minnesota GI Bill® to pay for courses preparing you for admission tests such as SAT, GRE, and LSAT prep courses.

In addition to the requirements listed earlier (veteran, active duty, or eligible family member), you must have filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, be enrolled at a Minnesota institution and under the age of 62.

Using the Minnesota GI Bill® to Pay for On-the-Job Training or Apprenticeships

Many apprenticeships require you to take courses as a part of your on-the-job training. For example, if you want to work as a licensed plumber in Minnesota, you must take a licensing exam administered by the state. Night classes will help you prepare for the exam, and the Minnesota GI Bill® will help you pay for them.

Applicants in on-the-job (OTJ) training or apprenticeships can receive up to $2,000 per fiscal year while training in a program approved by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. To receive this financial assistance, your OTJ training or apprenticeship must:

Using the Minnesota GI Bill® to Pay for Licenses and Certifications

The Minnesota GI Bill® also reimburses you for any fees you had to pay to receive or renew a license or certificate. These include any certifications that help you advance your career, whether it’s for an IT certification, massage therapy license – or any other certification program approved by the MDVA Commissioner.

This is where there’s some overlap between the benefits for those seeking higher education. As stated earlier, you can receive up to $3,000 per academic year to pay for any admission tests fees and preparatory programs. This includes:

You can apply for the Minnesota GI Bill® by creating an account on the program’s website. If you have any questions regarding the application, call (888) 547-5838.

Minnesota Veteran Education Assistance Program

What if you’ve used up all the financial assistance you’ve received through the federal GI Bill®? The state has a Veteran Education assistance program that grants a one-time $750 payment to veterans pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Note that this program does not apply to active duty service members or a veteran’s family members. In addition, you must meet the following requirements:

You can use the $750 grant to pay for bachelor’s degrees at any of the following Minnesotan institutions:

If you’re interested in the Veteran’s Education assistance program, you can submit this application form to the MDVA. The mailing address is 20 West 12 Street, St. Paul, MN 55155.

Minnesota’s Surviving Spouse & Dependent Education Benefit

This benefit applies to all spouses and dependents of veterans who either died in the line of duty or sustained a disability. It also applies to a veteran’s adopted children or step-children. Relatives who qualify for the benefit will receive $750 per fiscal year to pay for books, supplies, and/or room and board at the following institutions:

To be eligible, your veteran parent or spouse must have either:

To apply for the Surviving Spouse & Dependent Education Benefit, you can fill out and submit this application to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. The address is 2nd Floor, 20 West 12th Street, St. Paul, MN 55155.

Possible Station Assignments and Military Bases in Minnesota

If you’re active duty, the chances of you being stationed in Minnesota isn’t too high. While a large percentage of our Armed Forces are stationed in the U.S., most of them are fulfilling duty assignments in California, Virginia, and Texas, to name a few.

What’s the reason? Minnesota doesn’t have too many military bases compared to other states across the country. With that said, if you do find yourself stationed in Minnesota, where would you be carrying out your duty orders?


Located on 53,000 acres, Camp Ripley is the primary training site for the Minnesota Army National Guard. Established in 1929, the base supported the Army’s efforts during World War II. Today, the base contains facilities training soldiers for close-quarter and urban combat as well as federal, state, and local civilian emergency operations.

There’s quite a bit to do around Little Falls. The Pine Grove Zoo has a range of North American and Asian animals, from Siberian Tigers to Bison. If you’re into aviation, the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum offer some cool insights into how the man lived.

Air Force

Home of the 834th Airlift Wing, or the “Flying Vikings” the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Joint Air Reserve Station is a combat-ready installation at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The base’s mission is to provide airdropping and transportation of personnel and cargo. It operates the C-130 H cargo aircraft, and provides aeromedical evacuation of patients serving in our theater of operations.

The Twin Cities offer a lot to airmen and airwomen stationed at MSP Joint Air Reserve. The Mall of America is one of the largest shopping centers in the country, and sports enthusiasts will find plenty of entertainment as well. The area’s known as a hub for hockey enthusiasts, so there’s ample opportunity to join a rec league if you have the time.

Military Friendly Colleges in Minnesota that Accept GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program Benefits

Of the more-than 2,000 colleges and universities that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, only around 500 provide full funding and place no limits on the number of eligible students who can take advantage of it. These schools ensure that every eligible veteran who enrolls can count on full coverage of all tuition costs that exceed GI Bill® limits.

You’ll be glad to know that a number of those military friendly colleges and universities are located right here in Minnesota:

Augsburg University

Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • Fine Arts and Humanities
  • Natural and Social Sciences
  • Professional Studies

Bethany Lutheran College

Mankato, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • American studies department
  • Biology department
  • Broad Field social studies department
  • Business administration department
  • Chemistry department
  • Communication department
  • Computer science department
  • Education department
  • Engineering sciences department
  • English department
  • Exercise science department
  • Graphic design department
  • History department
  • Languages department
  • Legal studies department
  • Liberal arts department
  • Mathematics department
  • Media arts department
  • Music department
  • Nursing department
  • Physics department
  • Psychology department
  • Religion department
  • Special education department
  • Studio art department
  • Theatre department

Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • Business
  • Counseling & Therapy
  • Education
  • Health Sciences
  • Human Services
  • Information Technology
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Social Work

Carleton College

Northfield, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • Africana Studies
  • American Music
  • American Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Art and Art History
  • Asian Languages and Literatures
  • Asian Studies
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Cinema and Media Studies
  • Classics
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computer Science
  • Cross-Cultural Studies
  • Digital Arts and Humanities
  • Economics
  • Educational Studies
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • European Studies
  • French and Francophone Studies
  • Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies
  • Geology
  • German and Russian
  • History
  • Judaic Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • Middle Eastern Languages
  • Music
  • Neuroscience
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy
  • Religion
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Spanish
  • Theater and Dance

Concordia University St Paul

St Paul, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • business and technology
  • education
  • social science
  • healthcare and exercise science
  • language and communication
  • visual and performing arts
  • pre-professional healthcare
  • theology and ministry
  • science and mathematics
  • pre-engineering

Dunwoody College of Technology

Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • automotive
  • business
  • computer technology
  • construction sciences and building technology
  • radiologic technology
  • robotics and manufacturing
  • school of design
  • school of engineering

Gustavus Adolphus College

St Peter, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • African Studies
  • Art and Art History
  • Arts Administration
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Communication Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Computer Science
  • Economics and Management
  • Elementary and Secondary Education
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • French
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Gender, Women, and Sexuality
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • German
  • Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies
  • Health and Exercise Science
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Japanese
  • Japanese Studies
  • Latin American, Latinx, and Caribbean Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • Music
  • Nursing
  • Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychological Science
  • Public Health
  • Religion
  • Russian
  • Russian and Eastern European Studies
  • Scandinavian Studies and Swedish
  • Social Studies Teaching
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Theatre and Dance

Hamline University

St Paul, MN

Accreditation: HLC


  • School of Business
  • School of Education


  • School of Education


  • College of Liberal Arts
  • School of Business


  • School of Education and Leadership
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Institute of Production and Recording

Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: ACCSC

  • audio production and live sound
  • film and sound design
  • video editing and motion graphics

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

St Paul, MN

Accreditation: ABA

  • JD
  • LLM

Northwestern Health Sciences University

Bloomington, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • College of Chiropractic (grad)
  • College of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (grad)
  • College of Health and Wellness (undergrad, grad)

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: HLC

Carlson School of Management

University of St Thomas

Saint Paul / Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: HLC

Saint Paul:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Divinity


  • School of Engineering
  • Morrison Family College of Health/School of Social Work


  • School of Law
  • Opus College of Business


  • Morrison Family College of Health/School of Psychology
  • School of Education

Walden University

Minneapolis, MN

Accreditation: HLC

  • business and management
  • communication
  • counseling
  • criminal justice
  • education
  • health and health sciences
  • nursing
  • psychology
  • public policy and administration
  • social work and human services