GI Bill Tuition Assistance
Why do we need tuition assistance?
A college degree is a necessary prerequisite for most of the lucrative jobs available in the US. However, many students are unable to pursue college education because of high tuition costs. The government has set up a number of education grants for people associated with the armed forces. Among these is the GI Bill for Tuition Assistance which has allowed thousands of enlisted personnel to obtain college degrees.
What is the GI Bill?
The GI Bill, previously known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act was introduced by Senator Harry Colmery in 1944 to provide educational assistance to World War II veterans. It also included plans to provide up to one year of compensation to unemployed GI’s and several programs that allowed soldiers to set up their businesses and purchase property. The bill also included numerous other benefits, including healthcare for veterans. Due to the economic depression following the Second World War, funding to the GI bill was dramatically reduced, leaving thousands of veterans in dire need of assistance. In 1973, the Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) was combined with the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act by Congressman Gillespie Montgomery, and became known as the ‘Montgomery GI Bill’ (MGIB). For over 24 years, this bill has helped millions of war veterans around the country, by providing educational assistance and unemployment benefits. Under the MGIB, veterans could enroll in any educational institution and receive financial support for a number of various degrees and courses.
What are the new features introduced under the ‘post 9/11 GI bill”?
For enlisted personnel who served the United States Armed Forces after 9/11, the Montgomery GI Bill was revamped and expanded to include additional benefits. The ‘Post 9/11 GI Bill’ as it is known has played a major role in helping veterans lead better lives especially in the face of the economic recession. The new GI bill includes 100% financial support for full time students, as compared to the MGIB, which offered educational support for three years of college. A new program introduced under the GI Bill is the ‘Yellow Ribbon’ program where participating educational institutions waive off half of the tuition fees, or whatever amount the new GI bill does not cover. However, this program only applies to a number of specific accredited universities, community colleges, and vocational training institutions. Veterans can also avail ‘additional expenses’ which cover their living expenses and the costs of books and other supplies when they are enrolled in an educational program. The health benefits for soldiers have also been expanded to cover treatment for all major ailments and injuries. Veterans can also avail home and business loans in order to better establish themselves in a community.