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Congressman Yarmuth Sponsors Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act

Congressman Yarmuth Sponsors Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act

(Washington, D.C.)  This week, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) became an original cosponsor of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.  This landmark legislation will significantly increase educational benefits for our nation’s recently returned veterans.

“These brave men and women risked everything for this country after September 11, and now it is our moral obligation to ensure that they have every chance to succeed in civilian life,” Congressman Yarmuth said.  “More and more, a college education is becoming a requirement to finding a good job in this country, and I believe that, after years of service, every veteran who wants to earn a degree should have the opportunity.

America began offering education assistance to veterans during World War II with the landmark G.I. Bill of 1941.  The Post-World War II G.I. Bill paid for veterans’ tuition, books, fees, a monthly stipend, and other training costs.  Approximately 7.8 million people, more than half of all American war-time veterans, utilized the benefits given under the original G.I. Bill in some form.  Every dollar we invested in the education of veterans, generated seven dollars for the economy through better jobs, increased innovation, and expanded consumer spending.

Currently, veterans’ educational benefits are administered under the less expansive Montgomery G.I. Bill, which has not kept paced with the education needs of those who served following September 11, 2001. 

This legislation is the latest step Yarmuth has taken in his commitment to veterans and their education.  In February, when the Education & Labor Committee, on which he serves, approved the reauthorization of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act, the Louisville Lawmaker introduced a provision that would establish Centers of Excellence in Veteran Student Success, which will establish support centers for veterans and provide academic guidance and mental health services to ensure that veterans make a smooth transition from the battlefield to the classroom.  He also supported the largest increase in veterans’ healthcare in American history and the biggest increase in student aid since the original GI Bill in 1941—both bills are now law. 

Major provisions of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill include:

  • Increased educational benefits would be available to all members of the military who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001, including activated reservists and National Guard.  To qualify, veterans must have served at least three to thirty-six months of qualified active duty, beginning on or after September 11, 2001.
  • The bill provides for educational benefits to be paid in amounts linked to the amount of active duty served in the military after 9/11.  Generally, veterans would receive some amount of assistance proportional to their service for 36 months, which equals four academic years.  Veterans would still be eligible to receive any incentive-based supplemental educational assistance from their military branch for which they qualify.
  • Benefits provided under the bill would allow veterans pursuing an approved program of education to receive payments covering the established charges of their program, up to the cost of the most expensive in-state public school, plus a monthly stipend equivalent to housing costs in their area.  The bill would allow additional payments for tutorial assistance, as well as licensure and certification tests. 
  • The bill would create a new program in which the government will agree to match, dollar for dollar, any voluntary additional contributions to veterans from institutions whose tuition is more expensive than the maximum educational assistance provided under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill
  • Veterans would have up to fifteen years, compared to ten years under the Montgomery G.I. Bill, after they leave active duty to use their educational assistance entitlement.