Half of GI Bill Veterans Completed Educational Program

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
(AP photo)

Military veterans are making good use of the GI Bill of 2008 (pdf) and its support for those seeking college education, a new report (pdf) says.


More than half (52%) of vets on the GI Bill have completed their two-year or four-year postsecondary education programs, according to the Student Veterans of America (SVA) study. Those programs included opportunities at universities, community colleges and vocational schools.


The legislation, also known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, provides benefits to veterans and military members who serve on active duty after September 10, 2001.


Former military students tend to take longer than traditional students to get their degrees, the report found. Those receiving an associate degree usually required 5.1 years, and those receiving a bachelor’s degree often needed more than six years to finish.


The longer completion times were attributed to a host of factors impacting veterans, such as interruptions due to deployments, being older than typical students, having families to support, and holding down full-time jobs.


Another piece of good news in the report: Many veterans don’t stop at achieving just one higher-education degree. Of the vets reviewed in the study, more than 30% of those who earned vocational certificates, nearly 36% who received an associate’s degree, and 21% of bachelor’s degree grads went on for more schooling.


“Americans have invested substantial dollars in giving our veterans an opportunity to further their education, and this report shows many positive signs that they are doing just that,” SVA President Wayne Robinson told the media.


The study was based on the records of one million GI Bill beneficiaries from 2002 to 2010, which represented more than 22% of the veteran population that received educational benefits during that time.


The 2008 GI Bill is said to be the most extensive educational assistance program for veterans since President Franklin Roosevelt signed the original GI Bill (pdf) in 1944.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Report: Most GI Bill Veterans Make Good on Education Benefits (by Josh Hicks, Washington Post)

A Review of Veteran Achievement in Higher Education (Million Records Project) (pdf)

A Million Strong: Helping Them Through (by James Dao, New York Times)


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