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The Impact and Benefits of the GI Bill

GI Bill Education Benefits

When the first GIs landed on British soil in 1942, ordinary Britons knew them only from glossy movie images. But personal contact quickly penetrated the myths.

GI is also the label on military buckets and trash cans that refer to the material they are made from: galvanized iron. There are several theories about the name.

The GI Bill

Upon the conclusion of World War II, millions of returning service members needed a solid plan to transition back to civilian life. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the GI Bill, was just that. The legislation, which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law on June 22, 1944, provided a year of unemployment benefits, low interest home loans, government guaranty for business loans and, most importantly, educational benefits to help veterans pursue their dreams after the war.

The plan was intensely debated in Congress, with some lawmakers concerned that the bill would result in an army of unemployable veterans. But the American Legion lobbied heavily and ultimately won the day.

For many returning servicemen and women, the GI Bill was a life-changing piece of legislation. It gave them the opportunity to continue their education at college or vocation school and helped them achieve long-held professional dreams. Today, the GI Bill is still in effect and continues to give veterans and their families life-changing opportunities.

GI Bill Benefits

The GI Bill is an incredible education program that offers service members and their families the funds needed to cover education costs for many different types of training programs. There are a few versions of the GI Bill to choose from, and payment rates can vary widely depending on the type of school or training you plan to attend. To find out what type of benefits you may be eligible for, use the GI Bill Comparison Tool.

Some service members can also transfer all or part of their GI Bill benefits to spouses and children. This is a great way for families to get some of the financial support they need to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational and technical training, and even housing stipends.

The GI Bill has revolutionized the way that military families get the training and education they need to succeed in civilian life. Learn more about what the GI Bill can do for you, and apply today!

GI Bill Application

The GI Bill Application process begins by gathering basic information about the school or training program you plan on attending. Make sure your chosen institution accepts GI Bill funding, and that it has a certifying official to assist with the VA paperwork. This person can help you decide how much tuition and housing stipend to receive and how other forms of financial aid will affect your award. A good way to get a sense of what your total GI Bill payment will be is by using the VA’s GI Bill Comparison Tool.

Consider how you can maximize your benefits. For example, if you have unused months left from your MGIB you can use them to complete the last two years of a bachelor’s degree. You can also save on tuition costs by reducing the number of credits needed to graduate by taking College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, which are offered by many colleges and allow you to earn course credit for subjects you already know a lot about.

GI Bill Resources

There are a wide range of education benefits available to active duty, reserve and National Guard Armed Forces members and their families. These Department of Veterans Affairs programs cover tuition, housing, and books, and some include a monthly stipend. Service members can also transfer unused GI Bill(r) benefits to their spouses or children.

Besides the traditional college degree, the GI Bill can be used for technical or vocational training, apprenticeships and On-the-Job training. The GI Bill can even reimburse the cost of nationally approved licensing or certification tests.

For those looking to take advantage of their GI Bill benefits, it’s important to plan carefully. For example, if you’re attending a four-year school, it is possible to complete a bachelor’s degree in 36 months by taking 18 credits each semester and four each summer. Use the GI Bill Comparison Tool to determine your rate, and speak with your school’s certifying official to learn more about eligibility requirements, including how much of your housing allowance is paid to your school.

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