Educational Assistance Programs Administered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs [August 17, 2011] [open pdf - 649KB]
"The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), previously named the Veterans Administration, has been providing veterans educational assistance benefits since 1944. Although the programs are administered by the VA, the Department of Defense (DOD) pays for certain benefits and provides additional benefits to certain persons with critical skills or lengthy service. The benefits have been intended, at various times, to compensate for compulsory service, encourage voluntary service, avoid unemployment, provide equitable benefits to all who served, and promote military retention. In general, the benefits provide grant aid to eligible individuals enrolled in approved educational and training programs. The newest program, the Post-9/11 GI Bill, has the largest number of individuals receiving benefits. The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides benefits to veterans and servicemembers who serve on active duty after September 10, 2001. The program is designed to provide individuals who served on active duty for 36 months and who are pursuing undergraduate studies at public colleges and universities with the full cost of attendance: tuition and fees, housing, books and supplies, tutorial and relocation assistance, and fees for testing and certification, as needed. The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-377), enacted on January 4, 2011, makes several amendments to eligibility and benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. […] This report provides a description of the eligibility requirements, benefit availability, and benefit payments of the veterans educational assistance benefit programs."
CRS Report for Congress, R40723