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

new york state

As one of the nation’s original colonies, dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War, New York’s military history is as storied and colorful as you’d imagine. But on September 11, 2001, the New York Air National Guard led what would become the most historically significant military effort in the state’s history.

By dusk on this fateful day, more than 8,000 members of the New York Army National Guard were mobilized—National Guard jets were performing combat air patrols over NYC and surrounding cities, and Army Guard soldiers were at Ground Zero working alongside first responders. The mission of the New York National Guard extended for many more weeks, and their duties slowly transitioned from search and rescue to security augmentation duties that still continue today.

These tireless efforts and unwavering dedication to the people of NYC are a testament to the bravery of those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. New York’s response to the events of 9/11 remain one of the key reasons American men and women continue to be inspired to serve our nation today.

As a service member or veteran, your devotion to our nation is met with gratitude and outstanding benefits that help make the transition to civilian life a little easier. Chief among these are benefits designed to make a college degree more accessible.

Whether you’re new to the service, have been serving in an active duty or reservist capacity for some time, or have retired from your time in the U.S. military and hold veteran status, you probably know that being able to access a college education is one of the biggest perks of serving.

You’ve made a commitment to our nation and worked hard for the benefits you’ve earned. Now it’s time to put those benefits to work by pursuing a degree through a military friendly college that will prepare you for a new civilian career, or advancement in your military career if you choose to reenlist.

From the GI Bill® to the Yellow Ribbon Program and beyond, our nation’s gratitude for your service is met with a host of programs that allow you to earn your college degree either free of charge or at a steeply discounted rate. And in addition to federal benefits, you may also be eligible for state-level education benefits, programs, and resources that can help make your academic journey even more successful.

With so many state and federal programs to consider, the task of identifying them all and then finding a military friendly college that recognizes those programs can be daunting. So, we’ve simplified the process and gathered the information and resources you need to kickstart your mission.

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs (NYDMNA) Military Education Benefits

The New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs (NYDMNA) manages the state’s military forces, which includes about 20,000 members of the New York Army National Guard, the New York Air National Guard, the New York Naval Militia, and the New York Guard.

The NYDMNA maintains and secures the more than 50 military installations located across the state, including air bases, armories, Armed Forces Readiness Centers, and other logistical and training sites. The NYDMNA has also operated the Joint Task Force Empire Shield since 2001 – a partnership between Army and Air National Guard and Naval Militia members who conduct operations related to the Homeland Security Operations in NYC related to deterring and preventing terrorist acts.

In-state tuition is one of the perks of being a service member (or spouse or dependent of one) who is on full-time active duty and stationed in New York State. New York also offers its share of tuition assistance/scholarship/grant programs for its service members, vets, and their dependents.

Recruitment Incentive & Retention Program (RIRP)

The Recruitment Incentive & Retention Program (RIRP) is a major state-level tuition benefits program that’s been in existence since 1997 and is open to members of the New York Army National Guard, New York Air National Guard, and the New York Naval Militia. The RIRP pays eligible service members a set rate for in-state undergraduate tuition per semester at any NY college, university, or technical college that’s approved by the NYS Board of Regents or State University of New York. The current rate is $3,535.

New York Veteran Grant Programs

The Veterans Tuition Awards, which are managed by the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation, are awarded to eligible veterans who are working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree or completing a vocational training program in the state on a part- or full-time basis. Eligible students are honorably discharged vets who meet one of the following:

Recipients studying full-time receive an award that covers the undergraduate tuition for NYS residents equal to SUNY tuition rates, and recipients studying part-time receive an award that’s prorated by credit hour.

Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute – MERIT Scholarship

The MERIT Scholarship provides financial aid to children, spouses, and other dependents of members of the U.S. armed forces or state-organized militia who were NY state residents when they became severely and permanently disabled while performing their military duties.

Regent Awards for Children of Deceased & Disabled Veterans

The Regent Awards for Children of Deceased & Disabled Veterans provides children up to $450 per year if their parent served in the U.S. armed forces during a specific time or war or national emergency and died, suffered a service-connected disability of 40 percent or greater, or was classified as MIA or POW as a result of their service. The parent must have been a NYS resident at the time of death or is currently a NYS resident.

Veterans Support Programs

Educational support for New York’s military doesn’t end with financial awards. Instead, you’ll enjoy a host of benefits that include career assistance and hiring benefits.

The New York State Department of Labor’s Employment Assistance for Veterans

The New York State Career Center, part of the New York State Department of Labor, is home to Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPS) and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERS) who are specially trained to help vets and their spouses during their job search.

DVOPS also provide a full range of employment services that include comprehensive assessments, individual employment plans, resume and interview preparation, and referrals to training and support services.

New York Civil Service, Veterans Hiring Preference

New York offers veterans’ preference when hiring for state employment and promotions. Through this process, veterans receive additional credits when taking competitive state exams. Disabled vets receive an additional 10 points on open-competitive exams and five points on promotion exams, while non-disabled vets receive an additional five points on open-competitive exams and 2.5 points on promotion exams.

VITAL Initiative

The VITAL (Veterans Integration To Academic Leadership) Initiative is partnership between local colleges and universities and the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System (with three locations in NYC) that offers a wide range of services and resources such as:

Possible Station Assignments and Military Bases in New York

You may not have much say when it comes to choosing where you’ll be stationed, but if you do end up in New York, you’ll be able to enjoy most of the military programs offered to state residents. And if you settle in the Empire State as a vet, you’ll automatically be eligible for the many vet-dedicated benefits available here.

New York is unique in that it is just one of few states to house every branch of the U.S. military, with about 23 installations calling it home here.

Home to the 10th Mountain Division, which provides installation support, United States Army Garrison (USAG) Fort Drum has been in existence since 1908, with a major overhaul during WWII. In 1974, it was assigned a permanent garrison and today, it’s home to about 20,000 soldiers, making it the largest employer in the region. Soldiers lucky enough to be stationed here get to enjoy picturesque surroundings courtesy of the beautiful Thousands Islands Region where it’s located. Fort Drum is just 30 miles from Canada!

Fort Hamilton is the fourth oldest U.S. Army installation in the country and is situated in the southern part of Brooklyn. A number of major units call Fort Hamilton home, most notably:

  • North Atlantic Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Joint Task Force Empire Shield – New York National Guard (activated during the September 11 attacks)
  • 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction, Civil Support Team – New York National Guard (activated in support of FEMA and emergency operations during the COVID-19 pandemic)

Fort Hamilton is also home to the second largest Military Entrance Processing Station in the U.S. and is the second largest Army Recruiting Battalion in the U.S.

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point trains a corps of cadets to become commissioned officers in the U.S. Army. It was established in 1802 and became General George Washington’s headquarters during the Revolutionary War. Today, West Point serves as the oldest continuously occupied regular Army post in the U.S.

Academy graduates have gone on to excel not only in the military but also in business, academia, government, and science. Its graduates include 77 who have received the Medal of Honor and two presidents of the U.S. – Grant and Eisenhower.

Watervliet Arsenal serves as an Army-owned and operated facility for the manufacturing of high-tech, advanced weaponry. Operations started here during the War of 1812, making it the oldest, continuously active arsenal in the U.S.

The U.S. Army’s Combat and Capabilities Development Command Benet Laboratories – the Army’s premier research and design facility for large caliber weapons – also calls Watervliet Arsenal home.

Military Friendly Colleges in New York 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 New York:

Alfred University

Alfred, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • School of Art and Design
  • Inamori School of Engineering
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • College of Business
  • Performing Arts Division
  • School of Graduate & Continuing Studies
  • NYS College of Ceramics
  • AUNY

Bank Street College of Education

New York, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Child life
  • Curriculum development
  • Dual language/bilingual
  • General education
  • Infancy and early education
  • Leadership
  • Math
  • Museum
  • Reading and literacy
  • Special education

Berkeley College

Brooklyn / New York / White Plains, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Larry L. Luing School of Business
  • School of Health Studies
  • School of Professional Studies
  • School of Professional Studies
  • MBA
  • MSN

Bryant and Stratton College

Getzville / Buffalo / Rochester / Orchard Park / Syracuse / Liverpool, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Legal services
  • Design
  • Healthcare
  • Business
  • Technology
  • Education

Clarkson University

Potsdam, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering
  • David D. Reh School of Business
  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • The Graduate School
  • The Clarkson School Early College
  • Institute for a Sustainable Environment
  • Institute for STEM Education
  • Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • University Studies

College of Saint Rose

Albany, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Huether School of Business
  • School of Math and Sciences
  • School of Arts and Humanities
  • Thelma P. Lally School of Education

Columbia College

Fort Drum / Syracuse, NY

Accreditation: HLC

  • Business Administration
  • Computer & Mathematical Sciences
  • Education
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Language & Communication Studies
  • Nursing
  • Physical and Biological Sciences
  • Psychology, Sociology & Human Services
  • Visual Arts & Music

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • College of Architecture Art and Planning
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Cornell Sc Johnson College Of Business
  • The Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science
  • Continuing Education and Summer Sessions
  • Cornell Tech
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Ecology
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR)
  • Cornell Institute For Public Affairs
  • Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy
  • Cornell Law School
  • Department of Military Science
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Weill Cornell Medical College (New York City)
  • Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar

Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Culinary Arts
  • Baking and Pastry Arts
  • Food Business, Wine and Beverage Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Food Studies and Sustainability
  • Culinary Science

Daemen College

Amherst, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE


  • Accounting
  • Animation
  • Art
  • Athletic Training
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Data Science
  • Education
  • English
  • Health Promotion
  • History & Political Science
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages


  • Natural Sciences
  • Nursing
  • Online Programs
  • Paralegal
  • Physician Assistant
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pre-Professional
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Work
  • Sports Medicine
  • Sustainability


  • Behavioral Science
  • Athletic Training
  • Business Administration
  • Education Leadership and Innovation
  • Nursing
  • Online Programs


  • Paralegal
  • Physician Assistant
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Health
  • Social Work

Devry University

New York, NY

Accreditation: HLC

Associate Degrees

  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • IT and Networking
  • Network Systems Administration
  • Business
  • Healthcare

Bachelor's Degrees

  • Business
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Accounting
  • Liberal Arts
  • Media Arts

Undergrad Certificates

  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Business Essentials
  • Cloud Computing
  • IoT
  • Technology
  • Media Arts

Master's Degrees

  • MBA
  • Accounting
  • Project Management
  • Technology
  • Business
  • Healthcare
  • Public Administration
  • Human Resource Management

Graduate Certificates

  • Human Resources Management
  • Project Management
  • Healthcare
  • CPA Preparation
  • Big Data and Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Supply Chain Management

Dyouville College

Buffalo, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • School of Arts Sciences and Education
  • School of Health Professions
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Pharmacy

Island Drafting and Technical Institute

Amityville, NY

Accreditation: ACCSC

  • Electronic/Computer Technology
  • Computer Aided Drafting

Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Business
  • Communications
  • Health sciences and human performance
  • Humanities and sciences
  • Music

Manhattan College

Riverdale, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • O’Malley School of Business
  • School of Education and Health
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Liberal Arts
  • School of Science
  • School of Continuing & Professional Studies

Medaille College

Buffalo / Rochester / Williamsville, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Business Management & Leadership
  • Counseling & Clinical Psychology
  • Education
  • Inter­disciplinary Studies
  • Science Mathematics & Technology
  • Social Sciences Communication & Sport Studies
  • Veterinary Technology

Mildred Elley School

Albany, NY

Accreditation: ABHE

  • Practical Nursing
  • Accounting Systems
  • Paralegal Studies/CJ
  • Massage Therapy
  • Digital Graphics
  • Office Project Management
  • Business Technologies
  • Informational Technology
  • Medical Assisting
  • Digital Graphics

New York Film Academy

New York, NY

Accreditation: NASAD

  • Film school
  • Acting school
  • Visual arts school
  • Performing arts school
  • Virtual reality
  • Online workshops
  • Teens and kids camps and workshops
  • Study abroad
  • ESL

New York Institute of Technology

New York / Old Westburg, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Architecture & Design
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Engineering & Computing Sciences
  • Health Professions
  • Management
  • Medicine

Niagara County Community College

Sanborn, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Business & STEM
  • Hospitality, Baking & Culinary Arts
  • Nursing, Physical & Allied Health

Pace University

New York / Pleasantville, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • College of Health Professions
  • Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
  • Elisabeth Haub School of Law
  • Lubin School of Business
  • School of Education
  • Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Russell Sage College

Troy, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • School of Management
  • Esteves School of Education
  • School of Health Science

Saint John Fisher

Rochester, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE


  • Natural/social sciences
  • Computer science/math
  • Humanities
  • Education


  • Communication
  • Health care
  • Business/management


  • Business/management
  • Education


  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy

St Thomas Aquinas College

Sparkill, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • School of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Business
  • School of Education
  • School of STEM

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Plattsburgh, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • School of Business & Economics
  • School of Education Health & Human Services

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE


  • School of Architecture
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Education
  • College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics
  • School of Information Studies
  • College of Law


  • Martin J. Whitman School of Management
  • Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
  • S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
  • College of Visual and Performing Arts
  • College of Professional Studies


  • Sport and Human Dynamics
  • Maxwell


  • Management

The King’s College

New York, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Business Management
  • English
  • Finance
  • Humanities
  • Journalism Culture and Society
  • Media Culture and the Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Politics Philosophy and Economics
  • Religious and Theological Studies

University of Maryland Global Campus

Fort Drum, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Business & Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Education & Teaching
  • Healthcare & Science
  • IT & Computer Science
  • Liberal Arts & Communication
  • Public Safety

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • School of Nursing (undergrad)
  • River Campus (undergrad, grad)
  • Eastman School of Music (grad, undergrad)
  • Simon Business School (all)
  • School of Nursing (grad)
  • Warner School of Education (grad)

Yeshiva University

New York, NY

Accreditation: MSCHE


  • Katz School of Science and Health
  • Stern College for Women
  • Sy Syms School of Business


  • Yeshiva College
  • Yeshiva University Summer Classes


  • School of Law
  • School of Jewish Studies


  • School of Psychology
  • School of Social Work