GI Bill Overhaul A Boon To Returning Veterans


US Military

American military personnel who have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are getting a heap of thanks from this country due to an important overhaul of the GI Bill signed into law by President Bush late last month. For the first time since the initial bill was enacted in 1944, significant changes have been put into place, updates which will make it easier for returning veterans and their families to benefit from their service to this country.

Key provisions of the Post-9/11 GI Bill include the following important points:

  • All service personnel who have been active since September 10, 2001 and/or who have been honorably discharged are eligible to participate.
  • A housing provision of up to $2600 per month is now included for retired military personnel.
  • An increase in tuition assistance kicks in; a yearly books and supplies stipend payable to the student of $1000 is also included (active duty personnel are not eligible to receive this benefit). A one time payment of $500 is given for people who must relocate from a rural area to attend school.
  • Under certain conditions, benefits can be transferred to spouses and to their dependent children.

Provisions of the new bill do not kick in until August 1, 2009, with various benefit percentages granted depending on their length of service from September 10, 2001 on. Ex-military members are eligible to receive benefits for 15 years from their last period of active duty of at least 90 days.

The changes to the GI Bill have long been in the making, ending several years of frustration on the part of advocates who called for the end of partisan wrangling and for the passage of the bill. Some states and private colleges are already developing plans to offer in-state tuition rates or discounts to eligible students ahead of the August 1, 2009 start date or other incentives to attract new students.


Adv. — Do you need tuition assistance for college? Private student loans and other financing options are available to you. You can borrow as much as $45,000 annually to cover your college costs.


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