The GI Bill, formally known as the Servicemans Readjustment Act of 1944, was enacted by the US Government prior to the end of World War II. The bill was designed to help soldiers returning from the war transition back into the civilian population. Since the bill was signed into law, it has undergone many changes. The basic premise of the bill is still the same, but has increased benefits to keep up with an evolving economy.

History

With the end of World War I, the US Government faced many problems with veterans returning from the war in Europe. These problems led to widespread protests and even military action against returning veterans. Prior to the end of World War II, the government recognized that these same issues would exist with veterans returning from war and did not want to repeat their mistakes. The largest of these problems was the rapid reintroduction of these veterans into the workforce. The original GI Bill was signed into law on June 22, 1944.

The GI Bill was administered by the Veterans Administration and assisted returning veterans by providing educational funding, government backed home loans and unemployment compensation. By the end of 1952, the VA had backed some 2.4 million home loans. Because of the large amount of veterans attending college, only about 20 percent of the funds set aside for unemployment were ever used. At its peak in 1947, veterans accounted for nearly 50 percent of college admissions. The original GI Bill ran from June 1944 to July 1956. By the time it expired, nearly 8 million veterans had participated in some sort of educational training.

Benefits

The GI Bill provides benefits to veterans who have served their country honorably. One of the most important benefits has been educational funding. The current bill provides full tuition, expenses for books and a living expense so the student may attend school full time. An additional feature of the new GI Bill allows a veteran to transfer the benefit to a spouse or other dependent. The bill still provides low-interest, government-backed home loans for those veterans that qualify.

Functions

The GI Bill provides military veterans the funding needed to go to college in exchange for serving their country. The original intent of the bill was to assist war veterans in transitioning back into the civilian world and making up for opportunities that they may have missed out on while serving. Over time, the bill has become an effective tool for military recruiters in an overall incentive package for prospective members.

Effects

The introduction of the GI Bill has had a major impact on both the military services and the economy of the United States. The armed forces have used this bill as a primary recruiting tool since the early 1980's. This GI Bill has provided military veterans with the opportunity to acquire critically needed job skills and to make themselves competitive in a challenging job market.

Significance

The GI Bill has had an economic impact by providing both educational funding and low interest home loans to military veterans. Because of the education and experience that military veterans possess, many employers actively seek out and hire military veterans to become a part of their organizations.