Veterans’ Educational Assistance Programs and Benefits: A Primer




Veterans’ Educational Assistance Programs
and Benefits: A Primer

Updated October 27, 2020
Congressional Research Service
https://crsreports.congress.gov
R42785




link to page 24 Veterans’ Educational Assistance Programs and Benefits: A Primer

Summary
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), previously named the Veterans Administration,
has been providing veterans educational assistance benefits through the GI Bil s and other
programs since 1944. The benefits have been intended, at various times, to compensate for
compulsory service, encourage voluntary service, avoid unemployment, provide equitable
benefits to al who served, and promote military retention. In general, the GI Bil s provide grant
aid to eligible individuals enrolled in approved educational and training programs; while the other
educational assistance programs either provide grant aid or help eligible individuals take
advantage of the GI Bil s.
This report provides a brief description of the veterans educational assistance programs currently
providing benefits and, in the Appendices, describes the inactive GI Bil s and their evolution.
Eligibility requirements, eligible programs of education, benefit availability, and benefits are
explained. The report also provides some summary statistics and comparisons between the GI
Bil s (see Appendix A). Individuals currently train under five GI Bil s:
 The Post-9/11 GI Bil is the most popular and generous program, providing
tuition and fees payments, a monthly housing al owance, and a books and
supplies stipend to most individuals with qualifying service on or after
September 11, 2001.
 The Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program
provides benefits to the spouse and children of servicemembers who, as a result
of service, are seriously disabled, die, or are detained.
 The Montgomery GI Bil -Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) provides a lower
monthly al owance than the MGIB-AD to reservists who enlist, re-enlist, or
extend an enlistment after June 30, 1985.
 The Montgomery GI Bil -Active Duty (MGIB-AD) provides a monthly
al owance primarily to veterans and servicemembers who enter active duty after
June 30, 1985.
 The Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP),
which has the fewest individuals receiving benefits, provides a monthly
al owance to veterans who first entered active duty service on or after January 1,
1977, and before July 1, 1985.
Other types of educational support are available to veterans using the GI Bil s, including the
following:
 VetSuccess on Campus provides on-campus counseling and referral services to
GI Bil and VA Veteran Readiness and Employment eligible individuals.
 The Work Study Program al ows some veterans to receive additional financial
assistance in exchange for work while attending school.
 Veterans counseling provides, upon request, academic and vocational
counseling before and while using GI Bil benefits.
 The High Technology Pilot Program (VET TEC) provides a housing al owance
to GI Bil -eligible individuals pursuing information technology (IT) training that
is free of cost to the individuals.
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Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1
GI Bills ......................................................................................................................... 4
Common Concepts and Terminology ............................................................................ 4
Approved Programs of Education ........................................................................... 4
Entitlement.......................................................................................................... 5
Delimiting Date ................................................................................................... 5
Tutorial Assistance ............................................................................................... 5

Qualified Test Fee Payments .................................................................................. 5
Tuition Assistance “Top-Up” Program ..................................................................... 5
Subsistence Al owance .......................................................................................... 6
Supplemental Assistance ....................................................................................... 6
Buy-Up Program .................................................................................................. 6

Post-9/11 GI Bill ....................................................................................................... 6
Eligible Individuals .............................................................................................. 7
Benefit Payments ................................................................................................. 7
Entitlement and Eligibility Period ........................................................................... 8
Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) ................................. 9
Eligible Individuals .............................................................................................. 9
Benefit Payments ................................................................................................. 9
Entitlement and Eligibility Period ........................................................................... 9

Montgomery GI Bill—Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) .................................................... 10
Eligible Individuals ............................................................................................ 10
Benefit Payments ............................................................................................... 10

Entitlement and Eligibility Period ......................................................................... 10
Montgomery GI Bill—Active Duty (MGIB-AD) .......................................................... 11
Eligible Individuals ............................................................................................ 11
Benefit Payments ............................................................................................... 12
Entitlement and Eligibility Period ......................................................................... 13
Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) .............................. 13
Eligible Individuals ............................................................................................ 13
Benefit Payments ............................................................................................... 14
Entitlement and Eligibility Period ......................................................................... 14

Combination and Comparison of GI Bill Programs ....................................................... 14
Other Veterans Educational Assistance Programs ............................................................... 15
VetSuccess on Campus ............................................................................................. 15
Veterans Work Study Program ................................................................................... 15

Veterans Counseling................................................................................................. 16
High Technology Pilot Program (VET TEC) ................................................................ 16

Eligible Individuals ............................................................................................ 16
VET TEC Qualified Training ............................................................................... 16
Benefit Payments ............................................................................................... 17
Entitlement and Eligibility Period ......................................................................... 17

Beneficiaries and Cost ................................................................................................... 17

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Figures
Figure 1. Total Veterans, Active-Duty Servicemembers, Reservists, and Dependents
Receiving VEAP, MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR, REAP, DEA, and Post-9/11 GI Bil Education
Benefits each Year (1978-2019) .................................................................................... 18


Tables
Table 1. Chronology of Educational Assistance Programs Administered by the VA.................... 2
Table 2. Obligations and Benefit Recipients of Selected Programs
Administered by the VA: FY2019 ................................................................................. 19

Table A-1. Selected Characteristics of the Active GI Bil s .................................................... 20
Table B-1. Original GI Bill Benefit Recipients ................................................................... 27
Table C-1. Korean Conflict GI Bill Benefit Recipients ........................................................ 32
Table D-1. Post-Korea and Vietnam Era GI Bil Benefit Recipients....................................... 38

Appendixes
Appendix A. Comparison of Selected Characteristics of the Active GI Bil s ........................... 20
Appendix B. Educational Assistance Under the Original GI Bill of Rights ............................. 24
Appendix C. Korean Conflict GI Bill ............................................................................... 29
Appendix D. Post-Korea Conflict and Vietnam Era GI Bil .................................................. 33
Appendix E. Veterans and Dependents Education Loan Program .......................................... 39
Appendix F. Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) ............................................ 40

Contacts
Author Information ....................................................................................................... 42

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Introduction
This report provides brief descriptions of the various veterans educational assistance programs,
including the GI Bil s®1, that are currently available to veterans or other eligible individuals
through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The appendices provide a comparison of
the GI Bil s under which individuals are currently receiving benefits and provide brief
descriptions of the GI Bil s offered since World War II that no longer have active beneficiaries.
Veterans educational assistance programs provide benefits or services to eligible servicemembers
and veterans and their family members, as applicable, to help such individuals pursue education
or training. The GI Bil s provide financial assistance while recipients are enrolled in approved
programs of education or training programs to individuals whose eligibility is based on a
qualifying individual’s service in the uniformed services. A detailed exposition of the most
popular program, the Post-9/11 GI Bil (Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 33) is available in CRS Report
R42755, The Post-9/11 GI Bill: A Primer. Congress regularly considers potential operational and
benefit improvements for these programs and enacts legislation accordingly.
Over the decades since 1944, Congresses and Administrations have repeatedly enacted
legislation, most prominently the GI Bil s, to facilitate the readjustment of veterans to the civilian
workforce, to reward and repay individuals for their service to the country, and to encourage
recruitment into and retention in the uniformed services. A timeline of programs enacted is shown
in Table 1.2 Al of the educational assistance programs administered by the VA require some
period of military service before benefits can be received. In return, the GI Bil s provide eligible
persons a promised entitlement to educational assistance, an appropriated entitlement. Al of the
veterans educational assistance benefits are paid by mandatory spending, but the programs that
are not GI Bil s have spending limitations. The most salient ongoing Congressional discussions
have been related to how much eligible individuals should contribute to their education in terms
of time in service and money, which types of service warrant a benefit, and how valuable the
benefit should be.


1 GI Bill is a registered trademark of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) .
2 T his table includes legislation enacted through September 2020.
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Table 1. Chronology of Educational Assistance Programs Administered by the VA
Year
Currently Paying
Enacted
Common Name
U.S. Code
Benefits
1944
Original (WWII) GI Bil a
Title 38, Chapter 12
No
1952
Korean Conflict GI Bil b
Title 38, Chapter 33 (repealed in 1966)
No
1956
DEA (Survivors’ and Dependents Educational Assistance)c
Title 38, Chapter 35
Yes
1966
Post-Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era GI Bil d
Title 38, Chapter 34
No
1974
Veterans and Dependents Education Loan Programe
Title 38, Chapter 36 (repealed in 1981)
No
1976
VEAP (Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance)c
Title 38, Chapter 32
Yes
1981
Educational Assistance Test Program (§901)f
Title 10, Chapter 106A
No
1981
Educational Assistance Pilot Program (§903)g
Title 10 U.S.C. §2141 note
No
1983
Veterans’ Job Training Acth
Title 29 U.S.C. §1721 note (repealed in 2000)
No
1985
MGIB-AD (Montgomery GI Bil -Active Duty)c
Title 38, Chapter 30
Yes
1985
MGIB-SR (Montgomery GI Bil -Selected Reserve)c
Title 10, Chapter 1606
Yes
1990
Refunds for Certain Service Academy Graduatesi
Title 38 U.S.C. §1622 note
No
1992
Service Members Occupational Conversion and Training Act of 1992 (SMOCTA)j
Title 10 U.S.C. §1143 note
No
2005
REAP (Reserves Educational Assistance Program)k
Title 10, Chapter 1607
No
2008
Post-9/11 GI Bil c
Title 38, Chapter 33
Yes
2011
VRAP (Veterans Retraining Assistance Program)l
Title 38 U.S.C. §4100 note
No
2017
VET TEC (Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses)c
Title 38 U.S.C. §3001 note
Yes
Source: Prepared by CRS based on a review of the legislation enacted through June 2020.
a. See Appendix A for a ful program description.
b. See Appendix B for a ful program description.
c. For a program description, see the entitled report section.
d. See Appendix C for a ful program description.
e. See Appendix D for a ful program description.
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f.
Section 901 of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1981 (P.L. 96-342) authorized the Department of Defense to test the feasibility and effectiveness to
recruitment and retention of a noncontributory educational assistance program, the Educational Assistance Test Program. The p rogram was only eligible to
individuals who enlisted or reenlisted for service on active duty after September 30, 1980, and before October 1, 1981. Certain individuals were permitted to
transfer their entitlement to their spouses or children. The program is funded by DOD, but paid through the VA.
g. Section 903 of the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1981 (P.L. 96-342) authorized the Educational Assistance Pilot Program - Noncontributory VEAP to
test the feasibility and effectiveness to recruitment and retention of offering the VEAP program without requiring a monetary contribution from servicemembers.
The program was only eligible to individuals who enlisted or reenlisted in the Armed Forces after September 30, 1980 , and before October 1, 1981. Certain
individuals were permitted to transfer their entitlement to their spouses or children. The program is funded by DOD, but paid through the VA.
h. The Emergency Veterans’ Job Training Act of 1983 (P.L. 98-77) was enacted “to address the problem of severe and continuing unemployment among veterans.”
Unemployed Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era veterans were eligible for up to 15 months of assistance while training for high growth, high demand, or high
technology occupations on or after October 1, 1983, and for programs beginning before April 1, 1990. The program paid to employers offering job training
programs 50% of the veterans’ wages, up to $10,000.
i.
Section 207 of the Department of Veterans Affairs Nurse Pay Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-366) provided a one-year period during which eligible pre-1979 service academy
graduates and Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps completers could make an irrevocable election to disenrol from VEAP and receive the amount of
educational assistance benefits the individual would have received under the Post-Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era GI Bil .
j.
SMOCTA was enacted to facilitate the drawdown of the Armed Forces by providing eligible individuals not less than 6 months or more than 18 months of job
training in a field of employment providing a reasonable probability of stable, long-term employment. Eligible individuals were discharged on or after August 2, 1990,
and were unemployed, had an occupational specialty that did not readily transfer to the civilian workforce, or were entitled to veterans’ disability compensation. The
program paid to employers offering job training programs 50% of the veterans’ wages, up to $12,000, and up to $500 for tools and other work-related materials.
Assistance was available beginning in December 1992, and for programs beginning before October 1, 1995.
k. See Appendix E for a ful program description.
l.
VRAP was created to provide employment-related training for older unemployed veterans who were no longer eligible for the GI Bil . It provided up to 12 months
of training benefits to unemployed veterans who were not eligible for other VA education programs and were between the ages of 35 and 60. VRAP benefits were
limited to training at community col eges or technical schools in occupations that the Department of Labor (DOL) had identified as “high demand.” Monthly benefit
levels were limited to the maximum amounts under the MGIB-AD program. VRAP was limited to 45,000 beneficiaries from July 1, 2012, to September 30, 2012, and
54,000 beneficiaries from October 1, 2012, to March 31, 2014.

CRS-3

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The following sections of this report describe the active GI Bil s and other veterans educational
assistance programs, in descending order based on the number of current beneficiaries. The final
section provides information on benefit recipients and expenditures for the programs. A summary
of selected characteristics of the various active GI Bil s is presented in Appendix A. A description
of the GI Bil s that are no longer paying benefits and some lessons learned when they were in
operation is provided in the subsequent appendices.
GI Bills
After a brief discussion of common GI Bil concepts and terminology, the following sections
provide short descriptions of eligibility and benefits under each of the active GI Bil s.
Common Concepts and Terminology
Some of the underlying concepts and terminology associated with the GI Bil s are discussed
below.
Approved Programs of Education
GI Bil benefits may be paid to individuals who are pursuing GI Bil -approved programs of
education. Programs of education are approved for GI Bil purposes by a state approving agency
(SAA) or the VA.3 The programs of education include a wide variety of education and training.
The programs include, but are not limited to,
 programs at non-accredited and accredited educational institutions that lead to a
certificate, a degree, or an educational, vocational, or professional objective;
 licensing or certification tests for a predetermined vocation or profession;
 national tests for admission to (e.g., the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)) or
course credit at institutions of higher learning (IHLs);4 and
 apprenticeships or other on-the-job training programs.5

3 For information on state approving agencies, see CRS Report R44728, The Role of State Approving Agencies in the
Adm inistration of GI Bill Benefits
.
4 An institution of higher learning (IHL) is an institution offering postsecondary level academic instruction that leads to
an associate’s or higher degree if the school is empowered by the appropriate state education authority under state law
to grant an associate’s or higher degree, or in the absence of a state education authority, if the school is accredited for
degree programs by a recognized accrediting agency. Institutions of higher learning are also hospitals offering
educational programs at the postsecondary level and foreign educational institutions that offer courses leading to a
standard college degree, or the equivalent, and that are recognized as such by the secretary of education (or a
comparable official) of the country or other jurisdiction in which the institution is located. A standard college degree is
an associate’s or higher degree awarded by (1) an IHL that is accredited as a collegiate institution by a recognized
regional or national accrediting agency; (2) an IHL that is a “ candidate” for accreditation as that term is used by the
regional or national accrediting agencies; or (3) an IHL upon completion of a course that is accredited by an agency
recognized to accredit specialized degree-level programs.
5 Section 541 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 ( P.L. 113-66), effective August 1, 2014,
limited the Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve programs of education to those at T itle IV-participating institutions
of higher education, as defined in the Higher Education Act; licensure or certification programs that meet state
requirements; and state approved or licensed programs leading to state licensure or certification. More recent DOD and
VA publications do not suggest that the programs of education have been so limited.
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Veterans’ Educational Assistance Programs and Benefits: A Primer

Entitlement
Al of the GI Bil s provide eligible persons an entitlement to educational assistance. This
entitlement, usual y 36 months (or its equivalent in part-time educational assistance), is measured
in months and days. A dollar value is also associated with each month and day of entitlement.
Most educational assistance payments reduce the entitlement period based on the training period
for which the payment was made or in proportion to the dollar value associated with each month
and day of entitlement. Used entitlement may be restored in the event of school closures,
disapproved programs of education, and cal s to active duty.6 In general, and unless excepted,
once the entitlement is exhausted, eligible persons are no longer eligible for assistance under that
GI Bil .7
Delimiting Date
The delimiting date is the date after which no GI Bil benefits may be earned or paid. It general y
occurs after a specified number of years following an individual’s last discharge or release from
active duty. Dependent children are general y limited to using GI Bil benefits before a specified
age. In addition, dependent children may not begin using entitlement until age 18 or the
completion of a secondary school diploma (or equivalent). The delimiting date may, in limited
circumstances, be extended if the individual is prevented from pursuing a program of education
for involuntary reasons.
Tutorial Assistance
Under al of the active GI Bil s, eligible persons may receive payments for tutorial assistance, not
to exceed $100 monthly and up to a maximum of $1,200 over the course of the entitlement
period. The individual must be enrolled at least half-time, and the educational institution must
certify as to the necessity and customary nature of the cost.
Qualified Test Fee Payments
Under al of the active GI Bil s, eligible persons may receive reimbursements for the cost of
approved licensing, certification, and national (e.g., SAT®) tests. A fee of up to $2,000 may be
reimbursed for each approved licensing or certification test as long as the payment does not
exceed the individual’s remaining entitlement. Reimbursement for each national test may not
exceed the individual’s remaining entitlement. The reimbursement is available regardless of
whether the individual passes the test.
Tuition Assistance “Top-Up” Program
Through Tuition Assistance (TA) programs, military service branches may pay a certain amount
of tuition and expenses for the off-duty education and training of active duty and reserve
personnel.8 Under Tuition Assistance Top-Up, servicemembers may elect to receive GI Bil

6 See 38 U.S.C. §§3013(f), 3231(a)(5), 3312(c), 3511(a)(2), and 3699(c).
7 For exceptions, see 38 U.S.C. §§3031(f) and 3512(a)(7).
8 T he T uition Assistance “T op-Up” program was established under the Floyd D. Spence National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (P.L. 106-398) to promote retention.
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Veterans’ Educational Assistance Programs and Benefits: A Primer

benefits to pay for tuition or related charges above the amount paid through Tuition Assistance by
their military service branch. Top-Up is limited to 36 months of payments.9
Subsistence Allowance
Most of the GI Bil s provide a monthly subsistence al owance to beneficiaries. The monthly
al owance is a single amount intended to provide for subsistence, tuition and fees, supplies,
books, and/or equipment. The Post-9/11 GI Bil provides multiple payments in lieu of a
subsistence al owance.
Supplemental Assistance
Military service branches may use the promise of supplemental assistance for additional years of
service
and supplemental assistance for critical skills (Kickers) to recruit and retain highly
capable individuals in the Armed Forces. The promised and expected benefit amount is deposited
into the DOD Educational Benefits Trust Fund until the individuals take advantage of the benefit,
at which time the benefit amount is transferred to the VA for payment.10 The supplemental
assistance, up to $950, is added to the individuals’ monthly GI Bil housing or subsistence
al owance. The amount may be reduced in proportion to the enrollment rate and the type of
training.
Supplemental assistance for additional years of service may be offered to either an individual in
the active component who agrees to remain on active duty for at least five additional continuous
years, or to an individual in the Selected Reserve who agrees to serve at least two additional
consecutive years on active duty and at least four additional consecutive years in the Selected
Reserve.11 Supplemental assistance for critical skil s may be offered either to recruit an enlistee
with critical skil s into the regular Armed Forces or to gain agreement from an individual with
critical skil s to serve in the Selected Reserve after separating honorably from the regular Armed
Forces. A critical skil is a skil or specialty in which there is a critical shortage or for which it is
difficult to recruit or, in the case of critical units, retain personnel.
Buy-Up Program
Servicemembers may contribute up to an additional $600 while on active duty in $20 monthly
increments and receive up to an additional $5 monthly for each $20 contributed over the life of
their GI Bil entitlement period under what is known as the $600 Buy-Up Program. In other
words, each dollar contributed by an individual is matched by the federal government with an
additional $9 in benefits. This benefit could equal up to $5,400 over 36 months for a $600
investment.
Post-9/11 GI Bill
The Post-9/11 GI Bil was enacted by the Post-9/11 Veterans’ Educational Assistance Act of 2008
(Post-9/11 GI Bil ) in Title V of the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (P.L. 110-252). The
Post-9/11 GI Bil is codified under Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 33. It was intended to fully cover the

9 T he Army and Air Force permit concurrent use but not for the same courses (Source: Department of Veterans Affairs,
“AVECO 2017 New SCO Basic T raining,” presentation, June 2017).
10 Funding may also be paid from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations.
11 Upon completing the additional years of active duty service and Selected Reserve service, if applicable, the
individual must remain on active duty, be discharged honorably, be placed on the retired or temporary disability retired
list, or be transferred t o the Reserves.
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average cost of higher education in exchange for extended and difficult deployments in Iraq and
Afghanistan following September 11, 2001. For a detailed description of the Post-9/11 GI Bil ,
see CRS Report R42755, The Post-9/11 GI Bill: A Primer.
Eligible Individuals
Veterans and servicemembers and their family members may be eligible. Veterans and
servicemembers include those who are serving in or served in the active or reserve components
and who are serving as or served as commissioned officers of the Public Health Service (PHS) or
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In general to be eligible,
veterans and servicemembers must after September 10, 2001,
 serve at least 30 continuous days on qualifying active duty before being
discharged from such duty for a service-connected disability;
 serve at least 90 aggregate days on qualifying active duty and either continue on
active duty or meet honorable discharge or release requirements; or
 be awarded a Purple Heart for service after September 10, 2001, and either
continue on active duty or meet honorable discharge or release requirements.12
For family members to be eligible, they must meet at least one of the following criteria:
 A spouse and children may be eligible under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John
David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) Program if a servicemember dies in the
line of duty while serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001.
 A spouse and children may receive entitlement transferred from a
servicemember who is eligible to transfer entitlement.13
Benefit Payments
Under the Post-9/11 GI Bil , several types of benefit payments are available, including payments
for tuition and fees, the Yel ow Ribbon program,14 housing, books and supplies, tutorial
assistance, test fees, relocation and travel assistance, Tuition Assistance Top-Up, and
supplemental assistance (Table A-1).
Most beneficiaries are enrolled in educational institutions, receiving a monthly housing al owance
and a books and supplies stipend; while the educational institution receives a tuition and fees
payment. The maximum housing al owance is the Department of Defense (DOD)-determined
monthly basic al owance for housing (BAH) for a member of the Armed Forces with dependents
in pay grade E-5 in the area where the majority of education is provided.15 The books and
supplies stipend may not exceed $1,000 per academic year. Maximum tuition and fee payments
are in-state tuition and fees at a public IHL and $25,162.14 at a private IHL for the academic year
beginning August 1, 2020. Some individuals wil receive payments that are lower than the
maximum amounts as a result of the length of their qualifying active duty service or other

12 T he Purple Heart is one of the oldest and most recognized American military medals, awarded to servicemembers
who were killed or wounded by enemy action . For more information, see CRS Report R42704, The Purple Heart:
Background and Issues for Congress
.
13 For exceptions to the transfer of entitlement, see 38 U.S.C. §3319(k) and (l).
14 Yellow Ribbon payments cover a portion of the tuition and fees that exceed the Post-9/11 GI Bill payment for tuition
and fees. Each Yellow Ribbon payment from the VA is matched by a payment from the institution of higher learning.
15 For BAH rates, see https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/bah.cfm.
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Veterans’ Educational Assistance Programs and Benefits: A Primer

eligibility characteristics, their rate of pursuit,16 actual charges, active duty status, amounts of
other student aid received to offset tuition and fees, or being enrolled exclusively through
distance learning. For example, individuals on active duty receive no housing al owance.
In addition, public institutions must charge no more than in-state tuition and fees of Post-9/11 GI
Bil beneficiaries who are17
 members of the Armed Forces on active duty for a period of more than 30 days
in the state in which the public institution of higher education is located,18 and
such members’ spouses and dependent children;19
 veterans who were discharged or released from an active duty service period of
not fewer than 90 days within three years of the date of enrollment and who are
living in the state in which the IHL is located, and the recipients of such
veterans’ transferred entitlement;
 Fry Scholarship recipients living in the state in which the IHL is located; or
 recipients who are living in the state in which the IHL is located and who are
using entitlement transferred from a uniformed servicemember who is serving
on active duty.20
Entitlement and Eligibility Period
Most eligible persons start with an entitlement of 36 months (or its equivalent in part-time
educational assistance). Individuals receiving transferred benefits have only as much entitlement
as is transferred to them, which reduces the entitlement available to the transferor.
Some Post-9/11 GI Bil eligible persons are not subject to a delimiting date.21 Servicemembers
discharged or released from active duty on or after January 1, 2013, and their spouses, for
example, have no delimiting date. A child who first becomes entitled to the Fry Scholarship on or
after January 1, 2013, has no delimiting date. On the other hand, servicemembers discharged or
released from active duty before January 1, 2013, and their spouses have a 15-year delimiting
date.22 A child who first becomes entitled to the Fry Scholarship before January 1, 2013, is
delimited at age 33. After the servicemember completes ten years of service, dependent children

16 Rate of pursuit is a percentage calculated by dividing the number of credits in which the student is enrolled by the
number of credits considered to be full time.
17 As long as a covered participant remains continuously enrolled at the institution, the participant remains eligible for
in-state tuition and fee charges.
18 T he term institution of higher education (IHE) means either: (1) An educational institution located in a state that
admits as regular students only persons who have a high school diploma, or its recognized equivalent, or persons who
are beyond the age of compulsory school attendance in the state in which the educational institution is located; offers
postsecondary level academic instruction that leads to an associate or baccalaureate degr ee; and is empowered by the
appropriate state to grant such degrees, or in the absence of state law is accredited for such degree programs by a
recognized accrediting agency; or (2) an educational institution, not located in a state, that offers a course l eading to an
undergraduate standard college degree or the equivalent and is recognized as an institution of higher education by the
secretary of education (or comparable official) of the country or other jurisdiction in which the educational institution is
located.
19 Section 135 of the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended.
20 T he public IHL may require the covered participant to demonstrate intent to establish residency, by a means other
than physical presence, in order to qualify for in -state tuition. 38 U.S.C. §3679.
21 38 U.S.C. §§3319 and 3321.
22 T he 15-year period for a spouse receiving the Fry Scholarship generally begins on the date of the servicemember’s
death.
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using transferred benefits may be paid after achieving a high school diploma (or equivalent), or
after reaching 18 years of age, but before reaching 26 years of age.
Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA)
In 1956, the War Orphans’ Educational Assistance Act of 1956 (P.L. 84-634) was the GI Bil
passed to provide educational assistance to the children of servicemembers who died as a result of
injury or disability incurred in the line of duty. This program was later renamed the Survivors’
and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA) and expanded to include spouses and
children of servicemembers who may not be able to provide financial support or education as a
result of service. The DEA program is codified under Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 35.
Eligible Individuals
Educational assistance benefits are available to the children and spouse of
 a veteran or servicemember who died of a service-connected disability;
 a veteran or servicemember who died while having a disability evaluated as a
total permanent disability resulting from a service-connected disability;23
 a veteran or servicemember who has a total permanent disability resulting from
a service-connected disability;24 or
 an active duty servicemember who is, and has been for more than 90 days, listed
as missing in action, captured in the line of duty by a hostile force, or forcibly
detained or interned in the line of duty by a foreign government or power.
The military service of the veteran or servicemember must not have terminated under
dishonorable conditions.
Benefit Payments
Most DEA beneficiaries receive a monthly subsistence al owance, and additional payments are
available for tutorial assistance and qualified test fees (Table A-1). Maximum monthly benefit
amounts are adjusted annual y. An individual’s al owance may be reduced for less than full-time
enrollment and depending on the type of program of education pursued.
Entitlement and Eligibility Period
Entitlement is general y limited to
 45 months (or its equivalent in part-time educational assistance) if the individual
first enrolls using DEA before August 1, 2018; and
 36 months (or its equivalent in part-time educational assistance) if the individual
first enrolls using DEA on or after August 1, 2018.

23 A total permanent disability is any disability rated total for the purposes of disability compensation, which is based
on an impairment reasonably certain to continue throughout the life of the disabled person. For the spouse, the
veteran’s disability must also be a result of active service.
24 Children of Commonwealth Army veterans and New Philippine Scouts who meet the requirements of service-
connected disability or death are also eligible.
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The time period during which individuals may use their entitlement differs depending on their
eligibility.25 Eligible persons may not receive DEA benefits while in the Armed Forces or if
released under dishonorable conditions. The delimiting date for a spouse is general y 10 years
from the date of eligibility or from the date of VA notification of eligibility. The spouse has up to
20 years to use the benefit if the servicemember dies on active duty, or has a total permanent
disability as a result of a service-connected disability determined within three years of discharge.
General y, educational benefits may be paid to children after they achieve a high school diploma
(or equivalent), or after they reach 18 years of age, but before they reach 26 years of age.
Montgomery GI Bill—Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
The Montgomery GI Bil -Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), passed under Section 705 of the
Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1985 (P.L. 98-525), is codified in Title 10 U.S.C.,
Chapter 1606. It is a DOD program administered by the VA. Although many states offer
educational assistance to reservists, the benefit is intended as a federal incentive promoting
membership and retention in the Selected Reserves.26
Eligible Individuals
Educational assistance benefits are available to Selected Reservists, including National Guard
members, who enlist, re-enlist, or extend an enlistment for six years after June 30, 1985, and
reserve officers who agree to serve an additional six years above any existing obligation.27 The
reservists also have to complete the initial active duty training period, have a high school diploma
or its equivalent, and satisfactorily meet the necessary training requirements of the Selected
Reserve.28
Benefit Payments
Most MGIB-SR beneficiaries receive a monthly subsistence al owance, but additional payments
are available for tutorial assistance, qualified test fees, supplemental assistance, and the Buy-Up
program (Table A-1). Maximum monthly benefit amounts are adjusted annual y. An individual’s
al owance may be reduced for less than full-time enrollment or pursuit and depending on the type
of program of education pursued.
Entitlement and Eligibility Period
Eligible individuals receive 36 months (or the equivalent for part-time educational assistance) of
entitlement.
In general, no educational benefits can be paid after the earlier of
 an individual’s separation from the Selected Reserves;

25 See 38 U.S.C. §3512 for allowable exceptions.
26 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Military Personnel and Compen sation, New
Educational Assistance Program for the Military To Assist Recruiting
, 97th Cong., 1st sess., June 24, 1981, HRG-1981-
ASH-0030, p. 70.
27 Individuals receiving financial assistance under the Senior Reserve Officers’ T raining Corps are not eligible.
28 Individuals who fail to satisfactorily meet the training requirements of the Selected Reserve may be ordered to active
duty or required to repay some or all of the educational assistance including interest.
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 14 years after the individual established MGIB-SR eligibility during the October
1, 1992, to June 29, 2008, period; or
 10 years after the individual established MGIB-SR eligibility during the July 1,
1985, to September 30, 1992, period.29
Montgomery GI Bill—Active Duty (MGIB-AD)
The Montgomery GI Bil -Active Duty (MGIB-AD)—original y cal ed the Al -Volunteer Force
Educational Assistance Program—was initial y enacted as Title VII of the Department of Defense
Authorization Act, 1985 (P.L. 98-525), as a three-year pilot program.30 The program was final y
codified in Title 38, U.S.C., Chapter 30. The bil was designed to help resolve early 1980s
difficulties in recruiting and retaining a highly qualified al -volunteer force—active duty,
Reserves, and National Guard—as these were not being mitigated by the previous GI Bil , the
Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP). To increase the quality of
recruits and likelihood of retention, the MGIB-AD requires that individuals complete a high
school diploma (or an equivalent) in order to be eligible for benefits. To encourage recruitment,
the servicemember’s monetary contribution was reduced in comparison to that under VEAP,
which required contribution levels resulting in only 20%-25% of new recruits contributing.
Al owing the transfer of GI Bil entitlement to spouses and children in an effort to increase
military retention was not included because it was deemed too expensive.31
Eligible Individuals
Educational assistance benefits are available to individuals who entered active duty for the first
time after June 30, 1985,32 as wel as commissioned officers of the Public Health Service (PHS)
and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Individuals must meet one of three
service requirements. The first requires that individuals serve a minimum of three continuous
years on active duty, or two continuous years if the initial obligated period of active duty was less
than three years. The second requires that individuals serve a minimum of 30 months on active
duty, or 20 months if the initial obligated period of active duty was less than three years, before
being discharged with a service-connected disability, hardship, pre-existing condition, certain
reductions-in-force, a physical or mental condition that did not result from the individual’s own
wil ful misconduct, or for the government’s convenience. The third requires that Selected
Reservists and National Guard members serve two continuous years of honorable active duty
service upon first entry into the military after June 30, 1985, and serve a minimum of four

29 For exceptions, see Department of Defense, Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), Instruction 1322.17,
January 15, 2015, pp. 12-16.
30 T he New GI Bill Continuation Act (P.L. 100-48) permanently authorized the All-Volunteer Force Educational
Assistance Program and the Selected Reserve Component. It also changed the name of the program to the Montgomery
GI Bill.
31 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Armed Services, Subcommittee on Military Personnel and Compensation, New
Educational Assistance Program for the Military to Assist Recruiting
, 97th Cong., 1st and 2nd sess., June 24, September
10, 16, 17, 24, 30, October 1, 7, 21, 28, November 17, 1981, and March 11, 1982, HRG-1981-ASH-0030 (Washington:
GPO, 1982). Each DOD service branch is currently authorized to allow eligible individuals to transfer their MGIB-AD
educational assistance benefits to family members. Both the Army and Air Force offered pilot programs to test how
effective transferability could be in increasing the retention of highly qualified, specialized, and experienced
servicemembers. Both branches have discontinued the pilots. T herefore, transferability is not currently available to new
individuals under the MGIB-AD.
32 Select individuals, including individuals who had a remaining period of entitlement under the Post -Korean Conflict
GI Bill or VEAP, may also be eligible.
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continuous years of service in the Reserves beginning within a year of completing the active duty
service. For reservists and National Guard members, the active duty service period includes only
certain duty under Title 10 U.S.C. and certain full-time National Guard duty for the purpose of
organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the National Guard under Title 32
U.S.C. However, individuals who receive an officer’s commission after December 31, 1976,
following graduation from one of the service academies33 or following graduation as a Reserve
Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship recipient are not eligible.34
There are additional eligibility requirements. Individuals must have completed a high school
diploma, its equivalent, or 12 semester hours in a program of education leading to a standard
college degree. Also, individuals must continue on active duty or in the Reserves, as appropriate;
be discharged under fully honorable conditions; be placed on the retired or temporary disability
retired list; or be transferred to certain reserve components. Final y, most individuals must make a
$1,200 contribution, usual y by not declining a $100 pay deduction in the first 12 months of their
active military service.35
Benefit Payments
Most MGIB-AD beneficiaries receive a monthly subsistence al owance, but additional payments
are available for tutorial assistance, qualified test fees, Tuition Assistance Top-Up, supplemental
assistance, and the Buy-Up program (Table A-1).36 Maximum monthly benefit amounts are
adjusted annual y. An individual’s al owance may be reduced for less than full-time enrollment or
pursuit, for less than three continuous years on active duty service, while on active duty,37 and
depending on the type of program of education pursued.
In addition, public IHLs must charge no more than in-state tuition and fees of MGIB-AD
beneficiaries who are38
 members of the Armed Forces on active duty for a period of more than 30 days
in the state in which the public institution of higher education is located,39 and
such members’ spouses and dependent children;40 or
 veterans who were discharged or released from an active duty service period of
not fewer than 90 days within three years of the date of enrollment and who are
living in the state in which the IHL is located, and the recipients of such
veterans’ transferred entitlement.41

33 T he applicable service academies are the United States Military Academy (USMA), the United States Naval
Academy (USNA), the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), or the Coast Guard Academy (USCGA).
34 Reserve Officer T raining Corps (ROT C) scholarship recipient s are not eligible if they enter active duty before
October 1, 1996, and they are not eligible if they enter active duty after September 30, 1996, and received more than
$3,400 for each year as a scholarship recipient.
35 In certain circumstances, servicemembers who initially declined the benefit were allowed to enroll in the program.
36 Individuals who were eligible for the Post-Korean Conflict GI Bill receive an increase to the monthly allowance for
as many mont hs as the individual has remaining Post -Korean Conflict GI Bill entitlement .
37 T o discourage experienced personnel from leaving the military, servicemembers are eligible to receive educational
benefits while serving on active duty, but only after serving t wo continuous years on active duty.
38 As long as a covered participant remains continuously enrolled at the institution, the participant remains eligible for
in-state tuition and fee charges.
39 See footnote 18 for the meaning of the term institution of higher education (IHE).
40 Section 135 of the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended.
41 T he public IHL may require the covered participant to demonstrate intent to establish residency, by a means other
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Entitlement and Eligibility Period
Most individuals are entitled to 36 months (or the equivalent in part-time attendance) of
educational assistance. Active duty servicemembers discharged or released (other than for the
convenience of the government) before serving the minimum two or three years of active duty
service are entitled to educational benefits for a period equal to one month for each month of
active duty service, but no more than 36 months. Reservists are entitled to one month for each
month of active duty service and one month for each four months served in the Selected
Reserves, but no more than 36 months.42
For members of the active component, the delimiting date is 10 years after discharge or release
from active duty. For members of the Selected Reserve, the delimiting date is 10 years after
completing the required four-year Selected Reserve duty.
Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)
The Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) is the GI Bil
established under Title IV of the Veterans’ Education and Employment Assistance Act of 1976
(P.L. 94-502) and codified in Title 38, U.S.C., Chapter 32. VEAP was designed during peacetime
after the compulsory military draft expired on June 30, 1973, to encourage recruitment and
retention of high-quality military personnel while stil making education affordable to those who
chose to leave active duty military service.43 Upon initial enactment, the approved programs of
education were limited to a more traditional college education but were expanded as the program
matured.
Eligible Individuals
Under VEAP, educational assistance benefits are available to individuals who entered active duty
on or after January 1, 1977, and before July 1, 1985.44 To be eligible for benefits, veterans must
have been discharged or released other than dishonorably after meeting the active duty service
requirement, or they must have been discharged or released for a service-connected disability.
The active duty service requirement was (a) a minimum of 181 days of continuous service for
individuals who enlisted for the first time before September 7, 1980, and entered active duty
before October 16, 1981, or entered active duty as an officer before October 16, 1981, or (b) a
minimum of 24 continuous months or the obligated period of active duty for al other

than physical presence, in order to qualify for in -state tuition. 38 U.S.C. §3679.
42 Reservists who are discharged or released with a service-connected disability or pre-existing medical condition
during the four-year Reserve period are eligible for 36 months of educational assistance.
43 U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Veterans Education and Employment Assistance Act of 1976,
Hearings before the Subcommittee on Readjustment, Education , and Employment of the Committee on Veterans
Affairs on S. 969 and Related Bills, 94th Cong., 1st sess., October 1, 1975, S. Rept 761-4.
44 In general, individuals eligible for the prior GI Bill, the Post Korean Conflict GI Bill (see Appendix D), are not
eligible under VEAP. 38 U.S.C. §3202(1).
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individuals.45 Servicemembers remaining in service must have completed their first obligated
period of active duty46 or six years of active duty, whichever is less.
Program participants had to agree to monthly pay deductions of at least $25, but not more than
$100, during the initial tour of obligated service or six years of active duty service for a total
contribution of up to $2,700.47 After making at least 12 contributions, individuals can withdraw or
disenroll from the program, receiving their contributions in return and making them ineligible for
program benefits.48 In FY2019, 78 individuals disenrolled from VEAP.49
Benefit Payments
Most VEAP beneficiaries receive a monthly subsistence al owance. Individuals are entitled to
three times their contribution plus any DOD contributions (Table A-1). The maximum monthly
basic educational benefit may not exceed $300.50 An individual’s al owance may be reduced for
less than full-time enrollment or pursuit and depending on the type of program of education
pursued. Additional payments are available for tutorial assistance and qualified test fee payments.
Entitlement and Eligibility Period
Under VEAP, individuals are entitled to a maximum of 36 months (or the equivalent for part-time
attendance) or the number of months in which contributions were made, whichever is less. The
delimiting date is 10 years after discharge or release from active duty.
Combination and Comparison of GI Bill Programs
In general, veterans and servicemembers, many of whom wil be eligible for more than one GI
Bil , can combine GI Bil s to receive no more than 48 months of entitlement.51 DEA-eligible
individuals can combine DEA benefits with another GI Bil to receive up to 81 months of
entitlement, but the eligibility events cannot be duplicative.
However, a servicemember who is eligible for two or more of the GI Bil programs: VEAP,
MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR, or the Post-9/11 GI Bil , based on the same period of military service
must elect the program to which such service is to be credited. Similarly, an individual who is
eligible for both the Post-9/11 GI Bil Fry Scholarship and DEA based on the death of one parent

45 An individual is exempt from the 24 month active duty requirement if the individual is discharged or released from
active duty under a hardship discharge (10 U.S.C. §1173), early -out discharge (10 U.S.C. §1171), disability incurred in
or aggravated in line of duty, or service-connected disability. An individual is exempt from the 24 month active duty
requirement if the individual who enters on a period of active duty after October 16, 1981, previously completed 24
continuous months of active duty or received an early -out discharge from a previous period of active duty.
46 Certain individuals in the Armed Forces who receive educational assistance or other benefits are required to serve an
obligated period of active duty or repay a portion of the benefit.
47 In certain circumstances, individuals on active duty could make a lump-sum contribution in lieu of or in addition to
the monthly payments. The lump-sum payment is counted as if the individual made $100 monthly contributions.
48 Individuals on active duty could re-enroll at any time before July 1, 1985.
49 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, FY2021 Budget Submission.
50 T o calculate an individual’s monthly allowance, the individual’s contributions are multiplied by three, the DOD
contributions are added to the result, and the sum is divided by the lesser of the number of months of contributions or
36.
51 T he VA may extend the aggregate entitlement period for educational assistance in combination with the vocational
rehabilitation and employment program (Chapter 31 of T itle 38).
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must elect the program from which to receive a benefit. In addition, benefits under more than one
program cannot be received concurrently.
Appendix A provides a summary of key characteristics of the active GI Bil s.
Other Veterans Educational Assistance Programs
The following sections describe the eligibility and benefits under the veterans educational
assistance programs that are not GI Bil s.
VetSuccess on Campus
In an effort to ameliorate the transition from military service to civilian education and ensure GI
Bil participants achieve their educational and employment objectives, the VA initiated the
VetSuccess on Campus program in June 2009. Services are targeted to servicemembers, veterans,
and their family members who use VA education programs. Each college campus participating in
the VetSuccess on Campus program is assigned a full-time VA Veteran Readiness and
Employment (VR&E) counselor and a part-time VA outreach coordinator.52 The coordinator and
counselor ensure veterans are aware of the services offered, which include career and academic
counseling, adjustment counseling, vocational testing, awareness of and access to VA benefits and
services, referral services, and other services.
The VA chose campuses to participate that have high veteran populations. Participating campuses
enter into an agreement with the VA to work directly with the on-campus VA representatives to
coordinate service delivery. As of February 2020, there were 104 participating colleges and
universities.53
Veterans Work Study Program
The Veterans Work Study Program al ows GI Bil and VR&E beneficiaries to receive additional
financial assistance from the VA in exchange for employment. The program is codified in Title 38
U.S.C. Section 3485.54 Veterans and reservists in the VEAP, MGIBs, Post-9/11 GI Bil , and
VR&E who are enrolled at least three-quarter-time may take advantage of the work-study
program. Individuals in the DEA who are enrolled at least three-quarter-time in the United States
and are not pursuing a program of special restorative training may also take advantage of the
work study program. Although veterans with at least a 30% disability rating55 receive priority in
the selection of program beneficiaries, the VA also considers the individuals’ need for additional
educational assistance, whether the individuals have the necessary access to transportation to and
from the work site, the individuals’ motivation, and the individuals’ compatibility with the
available work assignments.

52 T he Veteran Readiness and Employment program, formerly known as Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, is
an entitlement program that provides job training and other employment-related services to veterans with service-
connected disabilities. For more information, see CRS Report RL34627, Veterans’ Benefits: The Vocational
Rehabilitation and Em ployment Program
.
53 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, FY2021 Budget Submission.
54 Work Study was initially enacted by P.L. 92-540 in 1972.
55 T he VA conducts disability evaluations and assigns disability ratings to servicemembers and veterans. An
individual’s disability rating describes the impact of a disability on gainful employment in the civilian economy. T he
lower the rating, the more capable an individual is of maintaining gainful employment. For more information, see the
Veterans Affairs Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD; 38 C.F.R. §§4.1-4.150).
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An individual wil enter into an agreement with the VA to perform a certain number of hours of
work in exchange for compensation. Eligible individuals may work for up to 25 hours times the
number of weeks contained in an enrollment period. They receive the greater of the state’s
minimum wage rate or the national minimum wage rate under Section 6(a) of the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938 (Title 29 U.S.C. §206(a)). Eligible work-study activities, listed in 38
U.S.C. Section 3485, are general y related to the provision of veterans benefits supported by the
VA.
Veterans Counseling
For the most part, GI Bil -eligible individuals may request educational and vocational counseling
from the VA. The counseling may include, but is not limited to, assistance selecting a program of
education, resolving personal problems, and resolving academic difficulties. Counseling was
provided to al recipients of educational assistance until 1972. Counseling is stil required under
DEA for a child who may require specialized vocational training or special restorative training, or
a child who is under 18 years of age and has not completed high school. It is also required for a
spouse who desires specialized vocational training. Counseling is stil required under al of the
programs if the individual is rated as incompetent. The VA is authorized to expend up to $6
mil ion annual y on counseling.
High Technology Pilot Program (VET TEC)
The Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC), also known as the
High Technology Pilot Program, was enacted by the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational
Assistance Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-48).56 The program is intended to provide GI Bil -eligible
veterans the opportunity to enroll in high technology programs of education that the Secretary
determines provide training or skil s sought by employers in a relevant field or industry. The VA
is authorized to expend up to $15 mil ion annual y for the five-year pilot program.
Eligible Individuals
VET TEC benefits are available to successful applicants. Successful applicants are the first
eligible applicants who ensure the program wil not exceed its annual spending limit. Eligible
individuals are veterans who are entitled to a GI Bil .
VET TEC Qualified Training
Under VET TEC, the VA contracts with qualified training providers of high technology programs.
High technology programs are nondegree programs of computer programming, computer
software, media application, data processing, or information sciences that are offered by qualified
providers. Qualified providers are entities that are not IHLs, have been in operation for at least
two years, have successfully provided the high technology program for at least one year, and meet
VA-developed approval criteria. Qualified providers that offer tuition reimbursement to students
who do not find meaningful employment in suitable fields within 180 days of program
completion receive preference in contracting.

56 38 U.S.C. §3001 note.
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Benefit Payments
Beneficiaries receive a monthly housing al owance; while the training providers receive tuition
and fees payments. The maximum housing al owance is the DOD-determined monthly basic
al owance for housing (BAH) for a member of the Armed Forces with dependents in pay grade E-
5 for the area in which the qualified provider is located.57 The housing al owance is reduced for
individuals enrolled through distance learning and according to the individual’s enrollment rate.
The VA reimburses 25% of the cost of tuition and other fees for the high technology program
upon enrollment of an eligible veteran, 25% upon program completion by an eligible veteran, and
50% upon employment of an eligible veteran-completer in a suitable field.
Entitlement and Eligibility Period
An entitlement period for individuals is not established under VET TEC. An individual’s
delimiting date is the earlier of the individual’s GI Bil delimiting date, the date on which the
individual exhausts their GI Bil entitlement, and the end of the five-year VET TEC pilot
launched in March 2019.
Beneficiaries and Cost
Benefit receipt in VEAP, MGIBs, REAP, Post-9/11 GI Bil , and DEA is exhibited in Figure 1.
The following are among the highlights of the figure:
 Combined beneficiaries in VEAP, MGIBs, REAP, Post-9/11 GI Bil , and DEA
increased 91% from 541,439 in FY2008 to 1,036,123 in FY2014, due in large
part to the Post-9/11 GI Bil .
 Post-9/11 GI Bil beneficiaries grew from approximately 370,000 in FY2010,
the first full year of implementation, to almost 800,000 in each of FY2014-
FY2016, but the number of benefit recipients has since declined to fewer than
750,000 in FY2018.
 The number of beneficiaries in the MGIB-AD was moderately stable from 1994
through 2001 at around 290,000 beneficiaries; increased from 2002 through
2008—peaking at 354,284 beneficiaries; and has declined since 2009 following
the implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bil to fewer than 25,000 in FY2018.
 VEAP beneficiaries peaked in 1988 at 88,964 and dropped to zero in FY2019
although there are stil eligible individuals. Refunds upon disenrollment are
projected to continue at least through FY2021 as eligible individuals and
individuals past their delimiting date request a return of their contributions.
 MGIB-SR beneficiaries exceeded 100,000 from 1990 through 1994, and has
since followed a general (although not absolute) decline to under 45,000 in
2018.
 Beneficiary cycles in DEA mirror major conflicts with greater numbers around
the Vietnam Conflict, 1978-1982, and around the conflicts in Iraq and
Afghanistan, 2004 through the present.

57 BAH is a DOD benefit to uniformed servicemembers to provide housing compensation when government quarters
are not provided. T he amount is based on a survey of actual median current market rent, average utilities (including
electricity, heat, and water/sewer), and average renter’s insurance in local civilian housing markets and is payable
based on geographic duty location, pay grade, and dependency status.
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 The Reserves Educational Assistance Program (REAP) was in effect from 2005
to 2019 with a peak number of beneficiaries of almost 50,000 in FY2008 (see
Appendix F).
Figure 1. Total Veterans, Active-Duty Servicemembers, Reservists, and Dependents
Receiving VEAP, MGIB-AD, MGIB-SR, REAP, DEA, and Post-9/11 GI Bill Education
Benefits each Year (1978-2019)

Source: Department of Veterans Affairs’ Annual Reports 1978-1997; data provided to CRS by the Department
of Veterans Affairs, 1998-2008; Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Benefits Administration Annual
Benefits Report FY2010; and the President’s Annual Budget Request, FY2013-FY2021.
Notes: Beneficiaries may receive benefits in more than one year and from more than one program in the same
year. VEAP excludes data for the Section 901 program.
VEAP is the Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance program (38 U.S.C., Chapter 32).
MGIB-AD is the Montgomery GI Bil -Active Duty (38 U.S.C., Chapter 30).
MGIB-SR is the Montgomery GI Bil -Selected Reserve (10 U.S.C., Chapter 1606).
REAP is the Reserves Educational Assistance Program (10 U.S.C., Chapter 1607).
DEA is the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program (38 U.S.C., Chapter 35).
Post-9/11 GI Bil is the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (38 U.S.C., Chapter 33).
Table 2 compares beneficiaries and cost of selected programs administered by the VA. The
program with the highest beneficiary numbers and obligations in FY2019 was the Post-9/11 GI
Bil , with over 700,000 beneficiaries and total obligations of almost $11 bil ion. VEAP had no
training beneficiaries in FY2019 but disbursed disenrollment refunds. The DEA program
provided benefits averaging $6,724 per beneficiary compared to $15,047 for the Post-9/11 GI
Bil .
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Table 2. Obligations and Benefit Recipients of Selected Programs
Administered by the VA: FY2019
2019 Obligation
Benefit
2019 Obligation
Program
($ thousand)
Recipients
per Beneficiary ($)
Post-9/11 GI Bil a
10,748,939
714,346
15,047
DEAb
861,152
128,075
6,724
MGIB-SRc
107,149
44,356
2,416
MGIB-ADd
216,380
22,166
9,744
REAPe
1,462
299
4,890
VEAPf
0
0
0
VetSuccess on Campus
NRg
37,704
NRg
Work-Study
48,133
13,528
3,558
Counseling
2,368
1,073
2,207
VET TECh
1,377
0
0
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, FY2021 Budget Submission.
a. The Post-9/11 GI Bil is the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (38 U.S.C., Chapter 33).
b. DEA is the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program (38 U.S.C., Chapter 35).
c. MGIB-SR is the Montgomery GI Bil -Selected Reserve (10 U.S.C., Chapter 1606).
d. MGIB-AD is the Montgomery GI Bil -Active Duty (38 U.S.C., Chapter 30).
e. REAP is the Reserves Educational Assistance Program (10 U.S.C., Chapter 1607). In general, no educational
benefits can be paid after November 25, 2019.
f.
VEAP is the Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance program (38 U.S.C., Chapter 32). VEAP
excludes data for the Section 901 program. In FY2019, 78 individuals disenrol ed from VEAP receiving $1.4
mil ion. According to data emailed to CRS on July 29, 2020, from the VA Office of Congressional and
Legislative Affairs, from 1978 through 2019, VA obligated $1.5 bil ion in training benefits and $1.3 bil ion in
disenrol ment refunds.
g. Obligations for VetSuccess on Campus, which constitute salaries and expenses, are included in the overal
obligations for salaries and expenses under the Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E ) program.
h. VET TEC is the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses, also known as the High
Technology Pilot Program (38 U.S.C. §3001 note). VA began making payments in June of 2019.

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Appendix A. Comparison of Selected Characteristics
of the Active GI Bills

Table A-1. Selected Characteristics of the Active GI Bills
Sorted by the number of beneficiaries, in descending order
Characteristic
Post-9/11 GI Bill
DEAa
MGIB-SRb
MGIB-ADc
VEAPd
Year enacted
2008
1956
1984
1984
1976
Initial
P.L. 110-252
P.L. 84-634
P.L. 98-525
P.L. 98-525
P.L. 94-502
authorization
Eligible Individuals
Period of
9/11/2001 to
Since the
7/1/1985 to
Entered active
On or after
qualifying service
present
beginning of
present
duty after
January 1, 1977,
the Spanish
6/30/1985
and before July
American War
1, 1985
Minimum
30 continuous days None
Accepted six-
Two or three
181 continuous
required length
on qualifying active
year reserve
continuous years days of active
of service
duty with a
obligation
on active duty,
duty service, or
service-connected
after June 30,
depending on
24 continuous
disability discharge;
1985
obligation;
months of active
90 aggregate days
20 or 30 months duty service, if
on qualifying active
on active duty
enlisted after
duty; or
depending on
September 7,
none with a Purple
obligation if
1980, or entered
Heart
discharged for
after October
cause; or
16, 1981
two continuous
years of
honorable active
duty service and
four continuous
years of Selected
Reserve service
Discharge status
Honorable
Other than
Must remain
Honorable
Other than
discharge or on
dishonorable
with reserve
discharge or on
dishonorable or
active duty
or on active
unit
active duty
on active duty
duty
Monetary
None
None
None
$1,200
$2,700
Contribution
maximum
Additional
Fry Scholars and
None
Nonel
Nonel
None
individuals
transferees
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Characteristic
Post-9/11 GI Bill
DEAa
MGIB-SRb
MGIB-ADc
VEAPd
Entitlement and Eligibility Period
Period of use
8/1/2009 to
1956 to
7/1/1985 to
7/1/1985 to
1/1/1977 to
present
present
present
present
present
Duration of
36 months
45 months if
36 months
Lesser of 36
Lesser of 36
benefits
first used DEA
months or
months or
before August
number of
number of
1, 2018; or
months of active
months of
36 months if
duty and one-
contributions
first used DEA
quarter number
on or after
of months of
August 1, 2018
reserve duty
Delimiting Date
Time limits vary
For the
While in the
Within 10 years
Within 10 years
depending on
spouse: within
Selected
of discharge or
of discharge or
eligibility (see CRS
10 years of
Reserves
release from
release from
Report R42755,
eligibility, or
active duty or
active duty
The Post-9/11 GI
within 20 in
required reserve
Bil : A Primer)
some instances
duty
For the child:
after finishing
high school or
reaching age
18, but before
reaching age
26
Eligible Programs of Education, Institutions, and Establishments
Col ege or
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
university
High school
Not eligible
Eligible
Not eligible
Not Eligible
Eligible
Apprentice and
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
on-the-job
training
Entrepreneurship Eligible
Not Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
training
Cooperative
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
training
Benefit Payments
Maximum
$4,614.00 per
$1,265.00 per
$397.00 per
$2,122.00 per
$300.00 per
standard benefit
month for housing
month for
monthf for
monthf for
monthg for
for 2020-2021
At a public IHLe,
subsistence,
subsistence,
subsistence,
subsistence,
“actual net cost for tuition and
tuition and
tuition and fees,
tuition and fees,
in-state tuition and
fees, supplies,
fees, supplies,
supplies, books,
supplies, books,
fees” less certain
books, and
books, and
and equipment
and equipment
student aid
equipment
equipment
At a private or
foreign IHL, up to
$ 25,162.14
Books and
Up to $1,000
Not eligible
Not eligible
Not eligible
Not eligible
supplies
annual y
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Characteristic
Post-9/11 GI Bill
DEAa
MGIB-SRb
MGIB-ADc
VEAPd
Relocation
Up to $500 once
Not eligible
Not eligible
Not eligible
Not eligible
al owance
Maximum
$1,200
$1,200
$1,200
$1,200
$1,200
tutorial
assistance
Maximum
$2,000 per test
$2,000 per
$2,000 per
$2,000 per test
$2,000 per test
licensing and
test
test
certification test
fees
National test
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Actual cost
Actual cost
fees
Advance
Eligiblei
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Eligible
paymentsh
Accelerated
Not eligible
Not eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Not eligible
paymentsj
Tuition
Eligible
Not eligible
Not eligible
Eligible
Not eligible
Assistance Top
Up Programk
$600 Buy-Up
Not eligible
Not eligible
Eligible
Eligible
Not eligible
Program
Supplemental
Up to $950 per
Not eligible
Up to $350
Up to $950 per
Not eligible
assistance
month
per month
month
Source: Prepared by CRS based on data available from the VA; Title 38 U.S.C., Chapters 30, 32, 33, and 35; and
Title 10 U.S.C., Chapters 1606 and 1607.
a. DEA is the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program (38 U.S.C., Chapter 35).
b. MGIB-SR is the Montgomery GI Bil -Selected Reserve (10 U.S.C., Chapter 1606).
c. MGIB-AD is the Montgomery GI Bil -Active Duty (38 U.S.C., Chapter 30).
d. VEAP excludes data for the Section 901 program. VEAP is the Post-Vietnam Era Veterans Educational
Assistance program (38 U.S.C., Chapter 32).
e. IHL is an institution of higher learning.
f.
Amounts shown are for ful -time institutional training, and for individuals who completed a minimum of
three years of service. The amounts are less for individuals who served less than three years and who
attend less than ful -time. The educational benefits payment rate schedule is available at
https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/resources/benefits_resou rces/rate_tables.asp. The MGIB-AD maximum
payment does not reflect the al owance received by Post-Korean Conflict GI Bil recipients who transfer to
the program.
g. Government matches every $1 the servicemember contributes with $2. The maximum benefit available
under the program is $8,100 ($5,400 federal contribution and $2,700 individual contribution). The total
contribution (servicemember contribution plus government share) is than divided by the number of months
the servicemember contributed to VEAP.
h. An advance payment is the first partial and first ful month of the monthly al owance and is available to
individuals who are planning to enrol more than half-time and who have not received educational assistance
benefits in 30 days or more. Advance payments are sent to the educational institution for disbursal t o the
student within 30 days of the start of the academic term.
i.
Although regulations clarify the eligibility requirements for advance payments of the monthly housing
al owance, VA guidance and policy documents indicate that advance payments are not availa ble under the
Post-9/11 GI Bil .
j.
An accelerated payment of the monthly al owance is available for education leading to employment in a
high-technology occupation in a high-technology industry. If the costs of the program of education are more
than double the monthly assistance al owance to which the individual would have been entitled, the
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individual may receive the lessor of 60% of the program’s costs for the term or the individual’s remaining
dol ars of entitlement.
k. Department of Defense, Instruction 1322.25, “Voluntary Education Programs,” March 15, 2011
(Incorporating Change 4, Effective April 2, 2020).
l.
Although the branches of the uniformed services are authorized to permit the transfer of benefits to
dependents, none of the branches are currently permitting the transfer of benefits.

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Appendix B. Educational Assistance Under the
Original GI Bill of Rights58

Since the Revolutionary War, the United States has provided benefits to injured or disabled war
veterans; however for much of this period, benefits were not provided to the same extent to able-
bodied veterans. Prior to World War II (WWII), “poor, jobless, and disgruntled veterans … had
led to unrest and fear of revolt throughout American history.” In 1932, after World War I, the
military was cal ed in to forcibly remove 20,000 stil unemployed and often homeless veterans
and burn their encampment near the Capitol and White House.59
In early U.S. history, military service was thought of as “a fundamental obligation of [male]
citizenship.”60 Because the 16.1 mil ion personnel61 who served in the U.S. Armed Forces62
during WWII accounted for over one-third of the 41.1 mil ion63 working-age males (between 20
and 64 years of age) in 1947, the consequences of mass unemployment were feared. Before the
end of WWII, Congress and the American Legion64 worked together to pass the original GI Bil ,
or Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (P.L. 78-346).65 The act provided a full range of
resources to veterans including the construction of additional hospitals; educational assistance to
non-disabled veterans; home, business, and farm loans; job counseling and employment
placement services; and an unemployment benefit.
The original GI Bil was general y considered successful in averting unemployment, raising the
educational level and thus the productivity of the U.S. workforce, and confirming the value that
Americans place on those that provide military service.66
The original GI Bil , the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (P.L. 78-346), was intended to
help veterans returning from World War II (WWII). The original GI Bil provided unprecedented
benefits: funds to the VA to build and administer additional hospital facilities; extension of
vocational rehabilitation and employment services; educational assistance to non-disabled
veterans; loans for the purchase or construction of homes, farms, and business property at
advantageous terms to veterans; employment services to returning veterans; and unemployment

58 Description prepared by CRS based on a historical review of legislation and other reports.
59 Edward Humes, “T he Greatest Generation: T he Accidental Remaking of America,” in Over Here: How the G.I. Bill
Transform ed the Am erican Dream
, 1st ed. (Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Inc., 2006), pp. 4 -20.
60 Suzanne Mettler, Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2005), p. 26.
61 U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, April 29, 2004, http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2004/cb04-
ffse07.pdf.
62 T he Armed Forces are the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard of the United States.
63 U.S. Census Bureau, “T able 1. Years of School Completed by Persons 14 Years Old and Over, by Age, Color, and
Sex, for the United States: Civilian Population, April 1947, and T otal Population, April 1940.”
64 T he American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic wartime veterans organization devoted to
mutual helpfulness. It is a not -for-profit community-service organization.
65 Suzanne Mettler, Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2005), pp. 18-22.
66 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1956, House Committee Print No. 289 (Washington: GPO,
1956), pp. 107-142.
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benefits to veterans. The purpose of the educational assistance program was to avoid high levels
of unemployment as had occurred following World War I, to help servicemembers readjust to
civilian life, and to afford returning veterans an opportunity to receive the education and training
missed while providing compulsory service in the military.67 From December 1, 1941, through
December 31, 1946, 16.1 mil ion personnel served in the U.S. Armed Forces in WWII.68 The U.S.
population in 1946 is estimated at 141,388,566.69
Eligible Individuals
Educational assistance benefits were available to al veterans who served on active duty in the
military or naval service after September 16, 1940, and before the termination of WWII hostilities
(December 31, 1946). Eligible veterans must have been discharged other than dishonorably and
have served a minimum of 90 days or have been discharged or released for a service-incurred
injury or disability. The 90-day service period excluded time spent completing the Army
specialized training program or Navy college training program and excluded time spent as a cadet
or midshipman at one of the service academies.
Benefit Availability and Duration of Use
Eligible veterans were required to begin an education program within two years of discharge or
release or within two years of the end of WWII, whichever was later. The start date was later
extended by P.L. 79-268, enacted in 1945, to four years after discharge or release or December
31, 1950, whichever was later. Veterans were entitled to at least one year of education (or the
equivalent for continuous part-time study) or the length of the chosen education program if that
program was shorter than 12 months. Upon satisfactory completion of the first year (or the period
of a shorter education program), veterans whose education had been interrupted upon entering
military service were entitled to educational benefits for at least as long as they served after
September 16, 1940, and before the end of WWII, but not more than four years. The restriction,
which provided no more than one year of educational benefits to certain veterans, was later
removed to provide the same benefits to al veterans.70 By law, no educational benefits under the
original GI Bil could be paid seven years after the end of WWII, or July 25, 1956.71

67 T he draft age was lowered from 20 to 18 years when President Roosevelt signed the Selective Service Act of 1942
(P.L. 77-772).
68 Facts for Features, U.S. Census Bureau, April 29, 2004, http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2004/cb04-
ffse07.pdf.
69 Historical National Population Estimates: July 1, 1900, to July 1, 1999, Source: Population Estimates Program,
Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Internet Release Date: April 11, 2000, Revised date: June 28, 2000,
http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/1990s/popclockest.txt.
70 P.L. 79-268, enacted in 1945, removed the restriction limiting benefits beyond the first year to those whose education
had been impaired, delayed, interrupted, or interfered with; those under 25 years of age; or those not pursuing refresher
or retraining courses, thus opening the full program to all veterans.
71 P.L. 85-807, enacted in 1958, extended benefits for veterans who through 1956 were ineligible for the program but
whose discharge status was later amended to make them eligible for the program, allowing those veterans to begin a
program of education within four years of the amended discharge status but before August 28, 1962, and allowing them
no more than five years of benefits before January 31, 1965.
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Eligible Programs of Education, Institutions, and Establishments
Initial y, the eligible educational institutions were almost any institutions providing education:
public or private elementary, secondary, and other schools furnishing education for adults;
business schools; scientific and technical institutions; colleges and universities; vocational
schools; junior colleges; teachers’ colleges; professional schools; and other educational
institutions. The eligible training establishments were businesses or other establishments offering
apprentice or on-the-job training. Because the quality of some training programs was poor, laws
were enacted establishing approval criteria for training institutions and for-profit schools.72
Stricter criteria were prescribed for on-the-job and on-the-farm training programs and vocational
schools.73 Also, avocational and recreational training programs, such as nonvocational flight
training, were eventual y prohibited.74
Benefit Payments
Under the GI Bil , the VA paid up to $500 a year directly to an educational institution for tuition,
books, fees, and other training costs for each enrol ed veteran. Institutions providing apprentice or
on-the-job training did not receive this payment. Veterans were required to maintain satisfactory
conduct or progress in their chosen program of education. To increase flexibility, the program was
revised by P.L. 79-268, enacted in 1945, to al ow veterans to receive higher annual tuition and
fees payments (accelerated payments) for a corresponding reduction in the period of entitlement.
The VA also paid up to $50 monthly as a subsistence al owance to single veterans, and $75
monthly to veterans with one or more dependents. The monthly payment was eventual y
increased to $75 monthly for single veterans, $105 monthly for veterans with one dependent, and
$120 monthly for veterans with more than one dependent by P.L. 80-411, enacted in 1948.
Veterans who attended part-time or received compensation for apprentice or on-the-job training
received a lower subsistence al owance. In 1945, P.L. 79-268 specifical y authorized tuition and
fees payments for correspondence courses but disal owed the subsistence al owance. Later, P.L.
79-679, enacted in 1946, limited total earnings for veterans receiving compensation for apprentice
or on-the-job training. Veterans were limited to a total monthly employment compensation plus
VA subsistence al owance of no more than $175 for single veterans and $200 for veterans with
dependents. This was increased to $210 for single veterans, $270 for veterans with one
dependent, and $290 for veterans with more than one dependent by P.L. 80-512, enacted in 1948.

72 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1965, H.Prt. 289 (Washington: GPO, 1956), pp. 28 -29.
73 On-the-job training programs were required to gain approval from a state approving agency according to specific
criteria under P.L. 79-679 enacted in 1946. Requirements for on -the-farm training programs were established in P.L.
80-377, enacted in 1947. With regard to vocational schools, P.L. 81 -610, enacted in 1950, (1) authorized the VA to
disapprove payment of benefits for training in for-profit vocational schools that had been in existence for less than one
year, (2) prescribed stricter criteria for approval of for-profit schools with fewer than 25 students or one-fourth of the
students enrolled (whichever was larger) paying their own tuition, (3) provided that no new courses could be approved
in for-profit schools where the state approving agency determined that the occupation for which the course was
intended to provide training was crowded in the state and that existing training facilities were adequate, and (4) set
minimum attendance requirements for veterans pursuing trade or technical courses below college level.
74 P.L. 80-262, enacted in 1949, and P.L. 81-266 and P.L. 81-610, enacted in 1950.
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Lessons Learned
Some important lessons were learned in the implementation of the original GI Bil , and as the
result of several studies.75 Paying tuition and fees directly to educational institutions led to
overpayments and excessive payments to for-profit vocational training programs in particular.76
Some institutions were created solely to profit from the program.77 It was necessary to define and
establish standards for the eligible training establishments and educational institutions to ensure
adequate quality of the educational programs and to define and remunerate responsibility for
evaluating them.78 There was considerable objection to the use of the GI Bil for avocational and
recreational purposes since one of the stated purposes of the program was workforce
preparation.79 The third mechanism for ensuring proper use of the GI Bil educational assistance
was the importance placed on veterans’ identifying and adhering to an educational objective.
Final y, it was necessary to increase the benefits as the cost of living and education increased.
Beneficiaries and Costs
In the end, the nation spent $14.5 bil ion ($139.6 bil ion in 2020 inflation adjusted dollars) to
provide education and training to 7.8 mil ion WWII veterans. The total expenditure per
beneficiary was $1,859 ($17,894 in 2020 inflation adjusted dollars).80
Table B-1. Original GI Bill Benefit Recipients

Number
Veteran Population
15,440,000
Total trained
7,800,000
Col ege and other school trainees
5,710,000
Col ege trainees
2,230,000
Other school trainees
3,480,000

75 T he studies include a February 1950 joint report by the VA and the Bureau of the Budget, two reports issued in
January 1951 and February 1952, by a House Select Committee to Investigate the Educational and T raining Program
under the GI Bill and a survey by the General Accountin g Office of the education and training operations of the VA in
seven states issued in July 1951.
76 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President ’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1965, H.Prt. 289 (Washington: GPO, 1956), p. 30.
77 U.S. Congress, House Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, Education and Other Benefits for
Veterans of Service After January 31, 1955
, Report to accompany H.R. 12410, 89th Cong., 2nd sess., February 3, 1966,
Report No. 1258, p. 3.
78 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: Education and Training, and
Employment and Unemployment, A Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by
T he President’s Commission on Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 12, 1956, H.Prt. 291
(Washington: GPO, 1956), pp. 55-59.
79 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President ’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions , 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1965, H.Prt. 289 (Washington: GPO, 1956), p. 29.
80 T he 2020 inflation adjusted number for total expenditures was calculated by inflating $14.5 billion and $1,859 in
January 1956 dollars to January 2020 using the U.S. Depart ment of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI Inflation
Calculator (accesses from https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm).
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Number
On-the-job trainees
1,400,000
On-the-farm trainees
690,000
Source: Veterans Administration, Veterans Benefits under Current Educational Programs, Fiscal Year 1984,
Washington, 1984, p. 28.
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Appendix C. Korean Conflict GI Bill81
The Korean Conflict GI Bil was enacted under the Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of
1952 (P.L. 82-550) and codified in Title 38, U.S.C., Chapter 33. The purpose of the program was
to prepare returning veterans to enter the workforce.
The Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1952 (P.L. 82-550, also known as the Korean
Conflict GI Bil ) was authorized to help veterans returning from the Korean Conflict adjust to
civilian life. The program was codified in Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 33, before its subsequent
repeal. The expected number of Korean Conflict veterans─less than 6 mil ion (or 4%) of a
national population of 157,552,740 in 195282─was lower than the number of WWII veterans,
reducing the risk of high national unemployment in comparison to the post-WWI and post-WWII
eras. The Korean Conflict GI Bil was intended to provide veterans the education forestal ed by
compulsory service and provide equitable benefits, as had been afforded the WWII veterans. The
bil was also written in an effort to avoid many problems encountered in the implementation of
the original GI Bil .83
Beginning with the Korean Conflict GI Bil , there has been much debate on the level of
educational assistance that should be provided to veterans and servicemembers. Some believed
that requiring individuals to make a monetary contribution in addition to their military service
would increase their sense of responsibility and purpose. Some believed that the educational
assistance benefits were a necessary compensation for compulsory service or reimbursement for
voluntary service. Some believed that high levels of assistance promote attrition from the
military. And some believed that the benefits are a necessary recruitment tool.
Eligible Individuals
Veteran eligibility was essential y the same for the Korean GI Bil as the original GI Bil except
that only those members of the Armed Forces who served on active duty during the Korean
Conflict (on or after June 27, 1950, and before the termination of hostilities on January 31,
1955)84 were eligible. Veterans stil had to be discharged other than dishonorably and serve a
minimum of 90 days, or be discharged or released for a service-incurred injury or disability. The
90-day service period excluded time assigned to an education or training program similar to those
offered to civilians and excluded time spent as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service
academies.
Benefit Availability and Duration of Use
While WWII veterans were afforded up to four years of education benefits, Korean Conflict
veterans were limited to 36 months, which is substantial y equivalent for students attending
traditional postsecondary schools with summers off. Eligible veterans were required to begin an

81 Description prepared by CRS based on a historical review of legislation and other reports.
82 Historical National Population Estimates: July 1, 1900, to July 1, 1999, Source: Population Estimates Program,
Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Internet Release Date: April 11, 2000, Revised date: June 28, 2000,
http://www.census.gov/popest/archives/1990s/popclockest.txt.
83 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President ’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1965, H.Prt. 289 (Washington: GPO, 1956), p. 30.
84 T he January 31, 1955, termination date for eligibility was established by P.L. 84 -7 enacted in 1955.
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education program within two years (later extended to three years by P.L. 83-610, enacted in
1954) of discharge or release or before August 21, 1954, whichever was later. Veterans were
entitled to educational benefits for a period equal to 1½ times the duration of their active duty
service between June 27, 1950, and the termination of hostilities, but no more than 36 months.
Veterans enrolled entirely in correspondence courses were entitled to educational benefits for a
period equal to six times the duration of their active duty service. Veterans could combine
benefits with the VR&E program or the original GI Bil to receive up to 48 months of educational
benefits. By law, no educational benefits under the Korean Conflict GI Bil could be paid seven
years after discharge or release or upon the termination of hostilities, whichever was earlier.85
This was later extended to eight years after discharge or release or January 31, 1965, by P.L. 84-7,
enacted in 1955.
Eligible Programs of Education, Institutions, and Establishments
The list of eligible educational institutions and training establishments did not change from the
original GI Bil except that institutions listed on the Attorney General’s List of Subversive
Organizations86 were not eligible. States were requested to create state approving agencies
(SAAs) to approve educational courses and provide lists of eligible institutions. The VA provided
some cost reimbursement of salaries and travel for these state agencies.
To ensure the benefits were used for workforce preparation and to avoid some of the misuse
experienced under the original GI Bil , several provisions were added or changed from the
original GI Bil . Veterans were required to declare an educational objective or certificate/degree.
They were al owed to change their educational objective only once, only if not making
satisfactory progress by no fault of misconduct, neglect, or lack of application, and if the new
program fit their aptitude or previous education or the new program was a normal progression
from the existing program. The legislation specifical y prohibited veterans from receiving
benefits for avocational and recreational courses in bartending, dance, photography, music, sports,
and personal development.87
The criteria and standards for approving training establishments and educational institutions were
bolstered in comparison to the original GI Bil . As original y enacted, the Korean GI Bil
disapproved new enrollments of veterans in non-accredited courses below the college level
offered by a private for-profit or nonprofit educational institution if more than 85% of the
enrolled students had al or part of their educational charges paid to or for them by the
educational institution, VR&E, or the original GI Bil . The act included an additional provision
disapproving the enrollment of veterans in any course that was offered by an educational
institution that had not been in operation for at least two years unless either the educational
institution was public, the educational institution had been in operation for more than two years
and the course was similar to instruction previously given, or the institution relocated local y and
had offered the course for more than two years. Amendments to the original GI Bil establishing

85 P.L. 85-807 enacted in 1958 extended benefits for veterans who through 1956 were ineligible for the program but
whose discharge status was later amended to make them eligible for the program allowing those veterans to begin a
program of education within three years of the amended discharge status but before August 28, 1961, and allowing
them no more than five years of benefits.
86 T he Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations was prepared according to section three of part III of
Executive Order 9835, which established a loyalty program to the federal government to thwart communism.
87 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President ’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1965, H.Prt. 289 (Washington: GPO, 1956), pp. 28-31, 153-
154.
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stringent standards for apprentice, on-the-job, and on-the-farm training were expanded under the
Korean Conflict GI Bil to include courses already approved by national y recognized accrediting
agencies and certain courses without accreditation.
Benefit Payments
The Korean Conflict GI Bil made payments only to veterans, as opposed to the payments made
to veterans and educational institutions under the original GI Bil . The U.S. House of
Representatives’ Select Committee to Investigate Educational, Training, and Loan Guaranty
Programs under the GI Bil (1950-1952) indicated that direct payments to educational institutions
led to abuse.88 A 1956 house report determined that because the original GI Bil was generous,
some veterans used the benefits for income rather than to achieve an employment goal.89 It was
also believed that if veterans were responsible for paying a portion of the cost of their own
education that this, in combination with the payment of benefits directly to veterans, would
encourage more careful spending.90
Since maximum benefits were offered to veterans in full-time study, the legislation provided a
uniform definition of full-time for below college-level trade, technical, and institutional courses
offered on the clock-hour basis and for undergraduate courses offered at colleges and universities.
The benefit provided a monthly subsistence al owance of up to $110 monthly to single veterans,
$135 monthly to veterans with one dependent, and $160 monthly to veterans with more than one
dependent. Veterans who attended institutional training less than full-time, attended on-the-farm
training at least half-time, or attended cooperative training full-time received a lower al owance.
As a result of the determination that some veterans were overpaid from the original GI Bil ,91
veterans who attended apprentice or on-the-job training received an al owance, which could not
exceed $310 monthly in combination with the veterans’ employment compensation. Veterans
completing al coursework through correspondence courses or on a less-than-half-time basis were
only reimbursed for the cost of completed courses. Veterans in flight training received 75% of the
cost of flight training unless the program of education combined flight training with other
coursework.92
An al owance was not paid if veterans were absent from unaccredited courses or apprentice or on-
the-job training for more than 30 days. Veterans could not suspend their education for longer than
12 months without a waiver from the VA. Veterans and their institutions were required to certify
attendance, lessons completed, and/or satisfactory progress. The law disal owed veterans from
receiving duplicate benefits from the Korean Conflict GI Bil and any other educational benefit
from the U.S. Treasury.

88 Paul Starr, The Discarded Army, p. 237.
89 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President ’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1965, H.Prt. 289 (Washington: GPO, 1956), pp. 37-40.
90 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President ’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1965, H.Prt. 289 (W ashington: GPO, 1956), p.154.
91 U.S. Congress, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Readjustment Benefits: General Survey and Appraisal, A
Report on Veterans’ Benefits in the United States
, committee print, prepared by T he President ’s Commission on
Veterans’ Pensions, 84th Cong., 2nd sess., September 11, 1965, H.Prt. 289 (Washington: GPO, 1956), p. 30.
92 Veterans pursuing programs of education that combined flight training and other coursework could be reimbursed for
75% of the cost of flight training and receive a monthly allowance. T heir entitlement period was reduced at a rate of
one day for every $1.25 in payments.
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Beneficiaries and Cost
In the end, the nation spent $4.5 bil ion ($37.2 bil ion in 2020 inflation adjusted dollars) to
provide education and training to almost 2.4 mil ion Korean Conflict veterans (Table C-1). The
total expenditure per beneficiary was $1,882 ($15,561 in 2020 inflation adjusted dollars).93
Table C-1. Korean Conflict GI Bill Benefit Recipients

Number
Veteran Population
5,509,000
Total trained
2,391,000
Col ege and other school trainees
2,073,000
Col ege trainees
1,213,000
Other school trainees
860,000
On-the-job trainees
223,000
On-the-farm trainees
95,000
Source: Veterans Administration, Veterans Benefits under Current Educational Programs, Fiscal Year 1984,
Washington, 1984, p. 28.

93 T he 2020 inflation adjusted number for total expenditures was calculated by inflating $4.5 billion and $1,882 in
January 1965 dollars to January 2020 using the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI Inflation
Calculator (accesses from https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm).
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Appendix D. Post-Korea Conflict and Vietnam Era
GI Bill94
The Post-Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era GI Bil was enacted under the Veterans Readjustment
Benefits Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-358) and codified in Title 38, U.S.C., Chapter 34. In addition to
providing benefits to veterans, it provided benefits to active duty servicemembers to encourage
retention in the Armed Forces.
Once fighting and ground troop deployment escalated in Vietnam, the Veterans Readjustment
Benefits Act of 1966 (P.L. 89-358), better known as the Post-Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era95
GI Bil , was passed. The program is codified in Title 38 U.S.C., Chapter 34. Congress passed the
bil unanimously despite reservations by President Lyndon B. Johnson that the cost was too
high.96 The benefits were designed to help recruit new servicemembers, extend benefits to al who
fulfil ed their compulsory service, and afford returning veterans an opportunity to receive the
education and training missed while providing compulsory service in the military. Although the
benefits were initial y intended to provide “considerably less liberal treatment” to non-war
veterans,97 over time Congress expanded the benefits and liberalized eligibility. Incidental y, these
veterans were eligible for other federal education benefits available to the general public and
passed through the recently enacted Higher Education Act of 1965.
Eligible Individuals
The minimum active duty eligibility period was 180 days. Educational assistance benefits were
available to al veterans who served on active-duty after January 31, 1955, and entered military
service before January 1, 1977, who were discharged other than dishonorably and served a
minimum of 180 days, or were discharged or released for a service-connected disability. The 180-
day service period excluded time assigned to an education or training program similar to those
offered to civilians, time spent as a cadet or midshipman at one of the service academies, time
spent in college for a delayed enlistment in the Army National Guard or Air National Guard, and
service in the National Guard and the Reserves. The program was later amended by P.L. 93-508,
enacted in 1974, so that members of the National Guard and the Reserves were eligible if the
active duty period after the initial active duty training period was at least one year.
Servicemembers that otherwise met the eligibility requirements were also eligible for benefits
while on active duty after serving two continuous years on active duty. This provision responded
to concerns by the DOD that benefits available to veterans only would be counter to retention
efforts.98

94 Description prepared by CRS based on a historical review of legislation and other reports.
95 By presidential proclamation, the Vietnam Era began on February 28, 1961, and terminated on May 7, 1975, for
veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period, and the Vietnam Era began on August 5, 1964, and
ended on May 7, 1975, in all other cases.
96 John T . Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online], Santa Barbara, CA: University of
California (hosted), Gerhard Peters (database). http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=27461.
97 U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Cold War Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act;
report to accompany S. 9. Senate Report No. 89-269, 89th Congress, 1st Session, (Washington: GPO, 1965), p. 15.
98 U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Subcommittee on Veterans’ Affairs, Cold War GI
Bill - 1965
, S. 9: A Bill to Provide Readjustment Assistance to Veterans who Serve in the Armed Forces During the
Induction Period, 89th Cong., 1st sess., February 8, 18, 19, 24, 26, March 1, 9, 1965, (Washington: GPO, 1965), pp. 66-
67.
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Benefit Availability and Duration of Use
Although the bil was not passed until 1966, the benefits retroactively covered active duty
servicemen since 1955 such that there would be no period of ineligibility of educational
assistance benefits since September 16, 1940. However, no educational benefits were paid until
June 1, 1966.
Initial y, the Post-Korean Conflict GI Bil provided one month of entitlement for each month of
active duty service, up to 36 months. P.L. 90-631, enacted in 1968, increased the period of
entitlement to 1½ months of benefits for every month of service, with those serving 18 months or
more being entitled to the full 36 months of benefits. Later, the entitlement period was increased
to 45 months for those pursuing a standard undergraduate college degree by P.L. 93-508, enacted
in 1974, and final y to 45 months for al eligible persons by P.L. 94-502, enacted in 1976.
By law, no educational benefits under the Post-Korean Conflict GI Bil could be paid eight years
(later extended to 10 years by P.L. 93-337, enacted in 1974) after discharge or release or eight
years after the Bil ’s enactment, whichever was later.99 P.L. 94-502 enacted in 1976 provided that
no educational benefits could be paid after December 31, 1989.
As original y enacted, Post-Korean Conflict GI Bil veterans could combine benefits with other
educational benefit programs administered by the VA to receive up to 36 months of educational
benefits. P.L. 90-631, enacted in 1968, increased this al owance to 48 months.
Eligible Programs of Education, Institutions, and Establishments
Upon initial enactment, the eligible programs of education were courses pursued at an educational
institution─secondary school, vocational school, college or university, scientific or technical
institution, or any other institution offering education at the secondary school level or above. For
example, flight training courses had to be offered by IHLs and lead to a standard college degree
(later revised to the standard college degree the recipient was seeking by P.L. 90-77, enacted in
1967). The list of eligible educational institutions and training establishments was later expanded:
 Elementary schools, other schools furnishing education for adults, and
businesses or other establishments offering apprenticeships or on-the-job
training were later added.
 Farm cooperative training requiring 12 weekly hours of institutional agricultural
courses and relevant agricultural employment became eligible under P.L. 90-77.
 Apprenticeship programs that met Department of Labor published standards
were al owed under P.L. 90-77.
 On-the-job training programs were al owed under P.L. 90-77 if the programs
provided progression and appointment to the next highest level based on the
skil s learned as opposed to length of service; compensation that matched non-
veterans; initial compensation of not less than 50% of the final, full wage; a

99 Veterans who were ineligible for the program on discharge or release but whose discharge status was later amended
to make them eligible for the program were allowed benefits for up to eight years (later extended to 10 years by P.L.
93-337, enacted in 1974) after the discharge status was amended. Veterans who were incapable of beginning education
as a result of a physical or mental disability could be granted an extension for the period of incapacity according to P.L.
95-202, enacted in 1977. P.L. 97-72, enacted in 1981, authorized the VA to provide educational assistance through
December 31, 1983, to Vietnam Era veterans wh ose 10-year delimiting date had expired but who had remaining dollars
of entitlement and entitlement period, if the extended eligibility were used for apprentice or on -the-job training, a
program with a vocational objective, or a program of secondary education, and if the VA determined that the veteran
was in need of such a program to achieve a suitable occupational or vocational objective.
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reasonable guarantee that the job would be available upon completion of the
training period; at least six months of training but no more than two years; and
adequate resources for the training and if the programs qualified the trainee for
the job.
 Flight training at a non-IHL flight school was added by P.L. 90-77 if the flight
school was approved by the state approving agency (SAA) and Federal Aviation
Administration; if the training was necessary for the attainment of a vocational
objective in aviation; if the individual had a valid private pilot’s license or
sufficient flight training hours for a private pilot’s license (the al owance of
sufficient hours without a license was later deleted by P.L. 91-219, enacted in
1970).
 Courses required by the Smal Business Administration as a condition for
obtaining financial assistance became eligible under P.L. 91-584, enacted in
1970.
Educational institutions received an annual reporting fee for each eligible person100 receiving
educational benefits from the VA to facilitate reporting of enrollment, enrollment interruptions,
and enrollment terminations to the VA.
Lessons Learned
Based on the experiences with prior GI Bil s and early experience under the Post-Korean Conflict
GI Bil , several provisions were included to ensure benefits were used to promote quality
workforce preparation. Many of the provisions have been incorporated into al subsequent GI
Bil s. These provisions include the following:
 Benefit recipients were only al owed to take courses necessary to fulfil their
declared educational, professional, or vocational objective. Individuals were
al owed to change the objective if not making or likely to not make satisfactory
progress or if the new program better fit their aptitudes.101
 Avocational and recreational courses were disal owed.102
 No al owance was paid if veterans were absent for more than 30 days from
courses that did not lead to a standard college degree.
 Substantial y new courses at private for-profit institutions that had been offered
for fewer than two years were not eligible.
 No on-the-job or on-the-farm course (later expanded to any course by P.L. 90-
77, enacted in 1967) could be offered through open circuit television or radio,

100 Eligible individuals include veterans, servicemembers, and surviving spouses and children eligible to receive
benefits under the War Orphans Educational Assistance Program (T itle 38 U.S.C., Chapter 35).
101 Veterans were allowed one change of their educational objective if not making satisfactory progress (by no fault of
misconduct, neglect , or lack of application) and allowed one additional change if the new program fit their aptitude or
if there was a reduced likelihood of not making satisfactory progress as a result of their own misconduct, neglect , or
lack of application.
102 P.L. 91-219, enacted in 1970, added provisions allowing the disapproval of bartending, personal development, and
sales courses, which do not provide specialized training in a specific vocation. P.L. 96-466, enacted in 1980, further
clarified that over the preceding two years at least 50% of the graduates of vocational programs of education who were
available for employment had to be employed in that vocational area for an average of 10 hours weekly for the
educational program to gain approval. T his provision was repealed by P.L. 97-306, enacted in 1982, because it was
determined to no longer be necessary to prevent abuse.
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and no program of education leading to a standard college degree could offer the
majority of courses through open circuit television or radio.
 Benefit recipients could not enroll in unaccredited courses below the college
level at private institutions at which more than 85% of the students received
payments from the institution or the VA.
 To fight low completion rates, various disclosure and refund requirements for
correspondence schools were prescribed by P.L. 92-540, enacted in 1972.
 Payments could be suspended for courses where there was a substantial pattern
of ineligible trainees receiving assistance because course approval requirements
had not been met or the institution offering the course had violated
recordkeeping requirements, as enacted in 1982 by P.L. 97-306.
 Programs of education outside the United States were al owed only if offered at
approved IHLs.
 Based on poor employment outcomes and overuse, Congress limited benefits for
flight training. In 1970, Congress limited flight training at a non-IHL flight
school to individuals with a valid private pilot’s license. Final y, flight training
at a non-IHL flight school was terminated for new enrollees by P.L. 97-35,
enacted in 1981.103
Benefit Payments
A monthly subsistence al owance was paid directly to recipients. Veterans and servicemembers
received up to $150 monthly (eventual y increased to $510 for individuals with two dependents)
according to a schedule based on full-time,104 three-quarter-time, or half-time or cooperative
program enrollment and the number of dependents. Active duty servicemembers and students
pursuing education on a less-than-half-time basis were only reimbursed for the cost of completed
courses, but no more than $100 monthly (eventual y increased to $376 by P.L. 98-543, enacted in
1984). Students completing al coursework through correspondence courses were only
reimbursed for the cost (eventual y reduced to 55% of cost by P.L. 97-35, enacted in 1981) of
completed courses, and their entitlement period was reduced by one quarter of the time in the
program (eventual y changed to one month of entitlement for each $376 reimbursed by P.L. 98-
543, enacted in 1984). Veterans in full-time on-the-farm, apprentice, or on-the-job training
received a reduced al owance.105 In general, veterans and servicemembers and their institutions
were required to certify actual attendance, lessons completed, and/or satisfactory progress before

103 A 1979 report by the General Accounting Office (now called Government Accountability Office, GAO) concured
with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposal by recommending that Congress terminate GI Bill benefits for
flight training. GAO found poor employment outcomes for GI Bill beneficiaries in flight training.
104 Full-time attendance required a minimum of 30 hours per week for trade or technical courses below college level
involving mostly shop practice, required a minimum of 25 hours per week for institutional courses below college level
involving mostly theoretical classroom instruction, required a minimum of four units per year for academic high school
courses, required a minimum of 14 credit hours (or less if certified by the institution according to P.L. 91 -219, enacted
in 1970) for institutional undergraduate courses, and required a 30 -hour work week or the minimum established by the
training establishment for apprentice and on -the-job training according to P.L. 91-584, enacted in 1970.
105 P.L. 90-77, enacted in 1967, provided a payment schedule based on the first through fourth and succeeding six
month periods of full-time apprentice or on-the-job training and the number of dependents. T he maximum monthly
payment was up to $100 monthly for the first six months of training if the student had two or more dependents
(eventually increased to $336 by P.L. 98-543, enacted in 1984). P.L. 90-77 also allowed cooperative farm trainees $80
per month (eventually increased to up to $404 monthly for two dependents based on full-, three-quarter- and half-time
status and the number of dependents by P.L. 98-543, enacted in 1984).
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payments were made. Veterans and servicemembers were al owed to receive an advance payment
for the first month of enrollment (P.L. 91-219 in 1970).
Al owance and entitlement period provisions were added for students pursuing a standard college
degree through independent study and for students pursuing education while incarcerated or in a
half-way house by P.L. 96-466, enacted in 1980. The law disal owed veterans from receiving
duplicate educational benefits from the U.S. Treasury.
P.L. 95-202 , enacted in 1977, authorized the state or local government to establish a program
with the VA that would al ow veterans to use accelerated payments to help repay certain VA
loans. The veteran had to be enrolled full-time and complete the program satisfactorily with a
degree, diploma, or certificate. The tuition and fees had to exceed $700 for a term, and no more
than 35% of program students could have received VA benefits. If these requirements were met,
the state or local government paid the VA a matching amount of the accelerated payment.
Predischarge Education Program
The Predischarge Education Program (PREP) al owed servicemembers who completed 180 days
of active duty and were stil on active duty to receive an al owance for non-correspondence
courses leading to a high school diploma or any deficiency, remedial, or refresher course in
preparation for enrollment in an approved educational institution or training establishment.106 The
monthly al owance was the lesser of actual tuition, fees, books, and supplies or $175 (eventual y
increased to $270 by P.L. 93-602, enacted in 1975). Al owances received while on active duty did
not reduce the regular entitlement period upon discharge or release.107
Training for the Educationally Disadvantaged
The Post-Korean Conflict GI Bil was later amended to provide special assistance and training for
the educational y disadvantaged. First, P.L. 90-77, enacted in 1967, al owed veterans and
servicemembers without a high school diploma or its equivalent or who needed additional
secondary school courses to receive the regular al owance for these courses without the payments
reducing their regular entitlement period. Second, P.L. 91-219, enacted in 1970, provided tutorial
assistance of $50 monthly for nine months (eventual y increased to $84 monthly for a maximum
of 12 months, or $1,008, by P.L. 98-543, enacted in 1984) to veterans and servicemembers
enrolled in postsecondary education at least half-time. The tutorial assistance had to be for a
deficiency in a course required for the educational objective, and the educational institution had
to certify the need for assistance, the qualifications of the tutor, and the customary nature of the
charges. Receipt of tutorial assistance did not reduce their regular entitlement period under the
Post-Korean Conflict GI Bil .

106 A refresher course is a course at the elementary or secondary level that reviews or updates material previously
covered in a course that has been satisfactorily completed, or a course which permits an individual to update knowledge
and skills or be instructed in the technological advances which have occurred in the individual’s field of employment
during and since the period of the individual’s active military service. A remedial course is a course designed to
overcome a deficiency at the elementary or secondary level in a particular area of study, or a handicap, such as in
speech. A deficiency course is any secondary level course or subject not previously completed satisfactorily, which is
specifically required for pursuit of a postsecondary program of education.
107 P.L. 91-219, enacted in 1970, created the PREP, and P.L. 94-502, enacted in 1976, terminated the PREP.
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Beneficiaries and Cost
In the end, the Post-Korea and Vietnam Era GI Bil provided education and training to almost 1.4
mil ion individuals who were servicemembers during the Post-Korean Conflict era and almost 6.8
mil ion individuals who were servicemembers during the Vietnam era (Table C-1). In total, about
60% of individuals eligible for benefits under the program took advantage of the program. By the
end of FY1990, cumulative program expenditures exceeded $41.5 bil ion108 ($88.4 bil ion in 2020
inflation adjusted dollars) or $5,089 per beneficiary ($10,841 per beneficiary in 2020 inflation
adjusted dollars).109
Table D-1. Post-Korea and Vietnam Era GI Bill Benefit Recipients
Post-Korean
Vietnam Era
Era (June 1966–
(June 1966–
Total

Sept. 1989)
Sept. 1989)
Number
Veteran population
3,237,000
10,252,000
13,489,000
Total trained
1,395,442
6,760,141
8,155,583
Col ege and other school
1,311,045
6,189,263
7,500,308
trainees
Col ege trainees
734,568
4,278,848
5,013,416
Other school trainees
576,477
1,910,415
2,486,892
On-the-job trainees
64,500
534,071
598,571
On-the-farm trainees
19,897
36,807
56,704
Source: Data provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Congressional Relations on January 11, 2011.

108 Department of Veterans Affairs, Annual Report of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Fiscal Year 1990, Washington,
DC, March 1991, pp. 24-25.
109 T he 2020 inflation adjusted number for total expenditures was calculated by inflating $41.5 billion and $5,089 in
January 1989 dollars to January 2020 using the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI Inflation
Calculator (accesses from https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm).
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Appendix E. Veterans and Dependents Education
Loan Program110
The Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-508) created a short-lived veterans
and dependents education loan program to cover educational costs not provided for under the GI
Bil . It was codified in Title 38, U.S.C., Chapter 36 before being repealed in 1981.
The Veterans and Dependents Education Loan Program was established by P.L. 93-508 in
Chapter 36 of Title 38 U.S.C. to provide additional support to veterans attending high-cost
institutions. Veterans who served on active duty after January 31, 1955, and before January 1,
1977 (later modified to active duty after January 31, 1955, by P.L. 94-502, enacted in 1976), and
their spouses, widows, and children were eligible to borrow. Eligible individuals also had to be
enrolled at least half-time in a program of education leading to a standard college degree or a six-
month non-college degree. Loans were not eligible for correspondence courses or apprentice and
on-the-job training. Veterans who were full-time students were al owed loans for another two
years of their remaining dollars of entitlement once the VEAP entitlement period ended.
Repayment began nine months after enrollment dropped below half-time and was completed
within 10 years.
The loans were up to $600 (eventual y increased to $2,500 by P.L. 95-202, enacted in 1977)
annual y for education expenses. They were expected to cover the difference between the cost of
attendance and the individual’s reasonable financial resources.
There were several problems with the program’s administration. The majority of loans were
initial y made to individuals at no- or low-cost institutions until P.L. 95-476 specified high-cost
institutions. The loans were made without regard to other financial assistance such as Department
of Education student financial assistance programs. The financial needs of 99% of recipients
could have been covered through Department of Education student financial assistance programs.
The default rate increased from 44% as of December 31, 1997, to 65% as of September 30, 1980.
It also cost the VA 70 times more to administer the program than the Department of Education.
P.L. 97-35 repealed the VA education loan program as of September 30, 1981, with some
exceptions.111



110 Description prepared by CRS based on a historical review of legislation and other reports.
111 GAO, Veterans Administration Education Loan Program Should Be Terminated: Legislative Action Taken , HRD-
81-128, August 28, 1981, http://archive.gao.gov/f0102/116325.pdf. T he exceptions to the September 30, 1981, end date
were Vietnam Era veterans who were continuing full-time training in the first two years following the expiration of
their entitlement period or who were already pursuing flight training courses when flight training benefits were
eliminated.
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Appendix F. Reserve Educational Assistance
Program (REAP)
The Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) was the GI Bil enacted by Section 527 of
the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for FY2005 (P.L. 108-375). The
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (P.L. 114-92) effectively ended REAP
on November 25, 2019. It is codified in Title 10 U.S.C., Chapter 1607.112 Passage of the program
was a direct reaction to the increased number and length of cal s to active duty of Reserves and
National Guard members that occurred as a result of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq after
September 10, 2001.113 Reservists must serve at least two continuous years on active duty to
receive the MGIB-AD, and the benefits under the MGIB-SR are lower than under the MGIB-AD.
REAP sought to provide reservists with benefits proportional to their active duty service and
commensurate with the benefits of the regular Armed Forces.
REAP was a DOD program administered by the VA. Each DOD branch was required to establish
and maintain a program.
Eligible Individuals
Educational assistance benefits were available to reservists who had served at least 90
consecutive days in qualifying duty authorization after September 10, 2001, and before
November 25, 2015. A qualifying duty authorization for reservists was active duty in support of a
contingency operation.114 For Army National Guard or Air National Guard members, a qualifying
duty authorization was Section 502(f) of Title 32 U.S.C. when authorized by the President or
Secretary of Defense for the purpose of responding to a national emergency declared by the
President and supported by federal funds. The 90-day service requirement was waived for
individuals released from duty because of an injury, il ness, or disease incurred or aggravated in
the line of duty. Increased benefits were available to individuals who served at least one
continuous year, two continuous years, or three aggregate years in a qualifying duty
authorization.
Each service branch was authorized to al ow eligible individuals to transfer their REAP
educational assistance benefits to family members, but no branch ever permitted transfers.
Eligible Programs of Education, Institutions, and Establishments
The eligible programs of education were those programs approved for the MGIB-AD. Such
programs included graduate and undergraduate degree programs, vocational/technical training,
on-the-job or apprenticeship training, correspondence training, and flight training.115

112 10 U.S.C. §16161 et seq.
113 T he National Guard includes the Army National Guard and Air National Guard.
114 Individuals receiving financial assistance under the Senior Reserve Officers’ T raining Corps are not eligible.
115 Effective August 1, 2014, §542 of P.L. 113-66 limited REAP programs of education to eligible programs at T itle
IV-participating institutions of higher education, as defined in the Higher Education Act; licensure or certification
programs that met state requirements; and state approved or licensed programs leading to state licensure or
certification. DOD and VA publications did not suggest that the programs of education were so limited.
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Benefit Payments
Most REAP beneficiaries received a monthly subsistence al owance. Additional payments were
available for licensing and certification tests, national tests, supplemental assistance, the Buy-Up
program.
The monthly educational al owance for REAP was a percentage of the al owance provided under
the MGIB-AD. Reservists who served on active duty for at least two continuous years or three
aggregate years received 80% of the maximum MGIB-AD al owance for that type of education or
training, and those serving at least one continuous year received 60%. Reservists serving at least
90 consecutive days or released from active duty for an injury, il ness, or disease incurred or
aggravated as a result of active duty service before serving 90 consecutive days received 40% of
the maximum MGIB-AD al owance for that type of education or training. REAP beneficiaries
could choose to receive the monthly al owance in the form of an advance payment or accelerated
payment.
Benefit Availability and Duration
Most individuals were entitled to educational benefits for a period of up to 36 months (or the
equivalent in part-time educational assistance), regardless of the active duty eligibility period.
In general, no educational benefits were paid after November 25, 2015. However, individuals
who received REAP benefits for the enrollment period immediately preceding November 25,
2015, received benefits through the earlier of November 25, 2019, or until exhausting their
entitlement.116 In addition, individuals who lost REAP eligibility as a result of the November 25,
2015, sunset date were eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bil by crediting REAP-qualifying active
duty service toward Post-9/11 GI Bil eligibility, in accordance with VA procedures.117
In addition, no educational benefits were paid after separation from the reserves.118 However,
individuals who completed the 90-day service requirement and who completed their service
contract under honorable conditions remained eligible for benefits for 10 years after separation
from the Selected Reserve (separation from other reserve types does not qualify).119 Also,
individuals separated from the Ready Reserve because of a disability which was not the result of
the individual’s own wil ful misconduct had 10 years from becoming eligible for benefits before
the benefits expired. Individuals cal ed or ordered to active service while serving in the Selected
Reserve had to remain in the Selected Reserve. Individuals cal ed or ordered to active service
while a member of the Ready Reserve, excluding the Selected Reserve, had to remain in the
Ready Reserve. The Ready Reserve is one of the three major reserve components along with the
Standby Reserve and Retired Reserve. The Ready Reserve is the primary manpower pool of the
Reserves. Ready Reservists are usual y cal ed to active duty before the other components and
include Selected Reservists.120

116 T his sunset date and extension were enacted by Section 555 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2016 (P.L. 114-92).
117 T his eligibility to establish Post -9/11 GI Bill entitlement was enacted by Section 106 of P.L. 115-48.
118 Individuals who were incapable of beginning education as a result of a physical or mental disability or as a result of
being a primary caregiver to a veteran or servicemember could be granted an extension for the period of incapacity.
119 Between October 28, 2004, and January 27, 2008, completion under other than dishonorable conditions qualified.
120 See CRS Report RL30802, Reserve Component Personnel Issues: Questions and Answers.
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Veterans’ Educational Assistance Programs and Benefits: A Primer

Beneficiaries and Cost
By the end of 2019, cumulative program expenditures were approximately $1.1 bil ion.121





Author Information

Cassandria Dortch

Specialist in Education Policy



Disclaimer
This document was prepared by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). CRS serves as nonpartisan
shared staff to congressional committees and Members of Congress. It operates solely at the behest of and
under the direction of Congress. Information in a CRS Report should n ot be relied upon for purposes other
than public understanding of information that has been provided by CRS to Members of Congress in
connection with CRS’s institutional role. CRS Reports, as a work of the United States Government, are not
subject to copyright protection in the United States. Any CRS Report may be reproduced and distributed in
its entirety without permission from CRS. However, as a CRS Report may include copyrighted images or
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121 Although the program has sunset, minimal expenditures will continue to occur for reasons such as equitable relief.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs email to CRS on July 30,
2020.
Congressional Research Service
R42785 · VERSION 13 · UPDATED
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