University of Denver Makes MBA Tuition Free to Eligible Veterans

The University of Denver has taken today’s version of the GI Bill to a whole new level.

The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program—an iteration of the original GI Bill of Rights passed in 1944—was developed to make private colleges and universities, and their graduate programs, more accessible and affordable to veterans. Now DU has gone a step further: The university’s Daniels College of Business recently announced it will offer its full-time MBA program (“The Denver MBA”) entirely tuition free to eligible veterans.

“We want veterans in our programs,” said Brad Rosenwinkel, executive director of Daniels’ Graduate Admissions and Academic Services. “Veterans make great students. They have a great skillset. They offer a diverse and global perspective in the classroom. They are great leaders, team members and they represent our brand very well.”

When it was passed, the GI Bill applied to the roughly 16 million American men and women who fought in World War II. It was, perhaps, the most important component of “The American Dream:” Instead of receiving monthly checks, veterans received low-cost loans to buy homes and free college education.

“The GIs were appreciated, and more than that, the country realized that education was important to the country,” said Jerome Kohlberg, a Navy veteran who used the GI Bill to get his education and went on to become a billionaire businessman. “And that education paid for itself tenfold, if not more.”

Cost is frequently cited as the number one barrier to entry for MBA programs, and graduate business schools in general. By removing this barrier, Daniels is signaling a deep, broad commitment to veterans, and to its surrounding communities. Colorado is home to a relatively large population of veterans, as well as the United States Air Force Academy. By providing veterans with access to the skills and training they need to excel in the civilian business world and increase their earning potential at no cost to themselves, the University has managed to do something special, and veterans are taking note:

“Veterans are motivated and mobile,” said Matt Frost, an MBA candidate at Daniels and former Artillery Officer in the United States Army. “They want to get the best education possible, but private universities seem out of reach. What Daniels is doing with the Yellow Ribbon Program makes getting a high-quality education attainable.”

This sentiment was echoed by Robert Roybal, another MBA candidate at Daniels and a U.S. Navy veteran. “The University of Denver has been the ideal fit for me as a student-veteran due to their practices and policies,” he said. “In fact, these practices directly address student-veteran challenges. In both personal and professional matters, Daniels has made the transition for me as seamless and productive as can be.”

Roybal discussed some distinguishing elements of his experience at Daniels. “Our current military certifying official, Michelle Hanson, has made this endeavor a pleasure. The students utilizing G.I. bill benefits (Montgomery, Post-9/11, Yellow Ribbon) have one, single, short and straight-forward form to fill out,” he said. “[Michelle] takes care of certifying course credit, tuition payments and verifying your status to receive your monthly allotment (BAH). Having the ability to let veteran students focus on the mental shift to schoolwork, and not have to constantly be concerned with tuition, payments and certifications is amazing.

“I’m not only happy with my decision to pursue my education here at Daniels, I am proud of it,” he continued. “I have made it a point to share this with as many prospective military/veteran students as possible for all the reasons I have discussed. I cherish my time in the military and am proud of all that I accomplished there. Now, I feel similarly about Daniels.”

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