I know that I promised this post would focus on my efforts to better understand the financial world by reading business-centric periodicals, but something urgent has come up.
Just a heads up… this post will be Wharton veteran specific. Nevertheless, aspects may be useful and important to readers headed to other schools.
IF YOU ARE A VETERAN ABOUT TO MATRICULATE AT WHARTON, ARE EXPECTING YELLOW RIBBON BENEFITS, BUT HAVE NOT YET SUBMITTED YOUR CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY (COE) AND HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED POSITIVE CONFIRMATION THAT YOU ARE 1 OF THE 30 TO RECEIVE WHARTON YELLOW RIBBON… PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY THROUGH AND TAKE THE REQUESTED ACTION.
Bear with me while I tell the whole story…
On May 28, 2012 I became 100% Post-9/11 GI Bill eligible (and thus entitled to Yellow Ribbon benefits subject to the rules of my school – Wharton).
Wharton policy is to provide very generous Yellow Ribbon benefits ($10K per year, which is matched by Veterans Affairs, for an annual total of $20K) to 30 eligible veteran on a first-come, first-served basis. First-come, first-served status is based on when Wharton receives your COE. The COE is just the letter you receive from Veterans Affairs (VA) stating your level (percentage) of Post-9/11 GI Bill entitlement.
This being the case I immediately worked towards receiving a COE stating my 100% status from the VA. I was able to obtain a draft of my DD 214 from my separation clerk, which I immediately faxed to a number provided by the VA (716-857-3296). I included a cover letter stating my situation, requesting a new COE, and provided certain required information (Attention line: Education, my full name, and full social security number).
Though receipt of my fax was never confirmed, last Saturday (July 14, 2012) I received my new COE. I immediately drove into the Pentagon, scanned my COE, and emailed it to Wharton Student Financial Services (SFS). That Monday, I received an email from SFS informing me that they had forwarded my information to Wanda Roth Miller (the woman who processes such paperwork).
When I spoke with Wanda on the phone, I got some devastating news. Apparently Wharton is out of Yellow Ribbon spots. She has put me on a waitlist of sorts. What number am I on the waitlist? Number 1. That’s luck so good, it’ll make you want to vomit. I, however, refrained as such an exhibition is frowned upon in a military setting.
I informed the Wharton Veterans Club co-presidents (Jamie Peace and Ben Revello) of the situation. Jamie was kind enough to make the administration aware of the problem and he tells me that the powers-that-be are considering alternatives. He, however, does not want to get my (or your) hopes up. He feels that turning good intention into “money in the bank” may take some time.
If you think that you are going to find yourself in my position with respect to Yellow Ribbon, I recommend that you send me the following information:
Full Name, Email Address, Phone Number, Date You Became 100% Post-9/11 GI Bill Eligible, Date Listed On Your COE (if received)
I will compile this information in a database and keep Jamie and Ben informed regarding those negatively affected. Please send me this information to my personal email account or via a Facebook message.
Here’s to hoping for a lucrative resolution.