The Four Major Education GI Bills: A Historical Study of the Shifting National Purposes and Accompanying Changes in Economic Value to Veterans
Description: Benefits for soldiers follow the formation of ancient and present day armies raised for the purpose of extending the national or state will. Veterans' benefits for defenders of the U.S. emerged during the American colonial period. College benefits began after WWII with the GI Bill of Rights. This study examines the variations in purpose for nationally established educational benefits for veterans and the singular value to the veterans of these 5educational benefits. The study begins with an overview of the history of veterans' benefits. Primary emphasis is then placed on the educational portion of the World War II Servicemen's Readjustment Act and the current educational benefit, the Montgomery GI Bill. As the purpose of awarding educational benefits changed from World War II to the latest U.S. war, the Gulf War of 1990-1991, the economic value to the individual veteran also changed. The WWII GI Bill featured an educational provision intended to keep returning veterans out of the changing economy whereas current GI Bills is intended as a recruiting incentive for an all-volunteer force. Correspondingly, the economic value to the individual veteran has changed. Data supporting this study were extracted from historical documents in primary and secondary scholarly studies and writings, government documents, national newspapers and periodicals, Veterans Administration publications, service newspapers, and anecdotal writings. The study offers conclusions regarding the shifting purposes and economic value and recommends changes to current and future GI Bills. The conclusions of this study are: (a) the purpose of the Montgomery GI Bill is to serve as a recruitment tool for the armed force, whereas the WWII GI Bill emphasized concern over the return of millions of veterans to a changing wartime economy unable to offer full employment and, (b) the present GI Bill funds less than 50% of the costs for a 4-year degree ...
Date: December 2000
Creator: Spaulding, Donald James