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GI Bill Benefits
You have Earned Military Benefits through Your Dedicated Service
GI Bill Benefits: Overview
The GI Bill has been one of the most compelling benefits afforded to service members since its inception. The purpose of the GI Bill is to provide military members with the funds to pay for tuition and other fees incurred when pursuing a formal education. In fact, education benefits provided by the military are usually one of the main reasons why individuals join the military. Kleykamp (2006) pointed out that, “The kinds of educational benefits offered by the military are not available through employers in the civilian labor market. In addition, individuals earn money and develop additional skills during their service and in some cases military training itself can be counted toward a college degree” (p. 278). These are among the many reasons why educational benefits earned through military service are a high priority for enlistees.
The GI Bill started as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed it into law. Regarding the original GI Bill, John Fales (1998) of the Washington Times pointed out that, “The true purpose of the original bill and its successors was to help ease the transition from the military to the civilian work force” (p. A6). There were several provisions to the bill, which included the availability of a zero down payment home loan and the 50-20 clause, which provided $20 per week to WWII veterans for 52 weeks while they looked for employment. For many young men, the most beneficial provision provided them with funds to pursue a higher education.
Over the years since its introduction, the GI Bill has gone through many changes. The Vietnam era brought on the Veterans Education Assistance Program (VEAP), which would match a service member’s contribution to education at a rate of 2 to 1. Following VEAP, the Montgomery GI Bill was introduced. This version of the GI Bill was voluntary, and participating members could forfeit $100 per month for their first year of service in order to receive a substantial tuition allowance and monthly stipend for 36 months of college or technical training. Of course, the Montgomery GI Bill went through many revisions during its lifespan as well, eventually providing participating military members with very generous monthly payments for full-time or part-time education for 10 years following separation from the military. The current version of the GI Bill is the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which has tremendous benefits, including the transferability of the benefits to dependents.
GI Bill Benefits: Section Description
The GI Bill is a tremendous benefit, and it is paramount that military members take advantage of it. The purpose of this section is to bring more awareness to the provisions of GI Bill and to motivate military members to utilize this benefit by pursuing a formal education. Ultimately, most colleges and universities have internal resources to help you complete the process to get your GI Bill benefits started. It is highly recommended that you request information from different colleges to get your college career underway.
GI Bill Benefits: References
Fales, J. (1998, April 6). GIs deserve upgrade in education benefits. Washington Times, p. A6.
Kleykamp, M.A. (2006). College, jobs, or the military? Enlistment during a time of war. Social Science Quarterly, 87(2), 272-290.