Is It Time For A GI Bill Overhaul?

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Bradley

Following the second world war, congressional legislation ensured that returning military veterans received the funds that they needed to pay for higher education. What eventually became known as the G.I. Bill, paved the way for millions of former servicemen to receive a college education, a bill that many credit with fueling America’s post-war economic expansion that lasted well into the 1960s.

The College Funding Squeeze Is On

Inasmuch as the G.I. Bill helped veterans who were returning from the Pacific and European theaters, the current bill is also helping service men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, countries that are considered to be two important fronts in the war on terror.

Unfortunately, the current G.I. Bill isn’t keeping up with the rising cost of college education, putting added pressure on veterans financially, physically, and emotionally. Today’s benefits only cover about half of the costs incurred by veterans, falling short of what the bill originally offered.

Veteran organizations and some U.S. legislators want to overhaul the current G.I. Bill and have proposed legislation known as the Post 9-11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act to increase government support.

A New G.I. Bill

In effect, the proposed legislation would create a new G.I. Bill, one that would offer the following benefits:

  • Full tuition covering a four-year education at the highest-priced public institution in a given state.
  • Provide a monthly living stipend of up to $1,000.
  • Give veterans 15 years, instead of 10, to use their benefits.

The cost of implementing the new bill would add two billion dollars annually to the G.I. program. In my opinion, this is a small amount of money to pay in thanks for all that our servicemen and women do to protect our country. This bill, or something similar to it, should be passed and our president needs to sign it into law.

Further Reading:

Benefit Changes For Reservists

GI Bill May Be Updated To Help Veterans Meet Rising College Costs

College Planning and Financial Aid Tools

Career Planning Center

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