GI Bills Enacted Prior to 2008 and Related Veterans' Educational Assistance Programs: A Primer [October 22, 2012]   [open pdf - 551KB]

"The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), previously named the Veterans Administration, has been providing veterans educational assistance (GI Bill) benefits since 1944. 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. Since three of the GI Bills have overlapping eligibility requirements and the United States is expected to wind down involvement in active conflicts, Congress may consider phasing out one or more of the overlapping programs. This report describes the GI Bills enacted prior to 2008. Although participation in the programs has ended or is declining, the programs' evolution and provisions inform current policy. The Post- 9/11 GI Bill (Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 33), enacted in 2008, is described along with potential program issues in CRS Report R42755, The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (Post-9/11 GI Bill): Primer and Issues, by Cassandria Dortch. This report provides a description of the eligibility requirements, eligible programs of education, benefit availability, and benefits. The report also provides some summary statistics, comparisons between the programs […], and brief discussions of related programs."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42785
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