Post-9/11 GI Bill
Read the remarks of Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) on the Senate floor, June 30, 2010 -
the first anniversary of the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
Effective August 1, 2009, the educational benefits available to our nation’s veterans were substantially increased under the provisions of the “Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act."
The new law provides for payment of tuition and fees, a housing allowance, and a stipend for books and supplies for eligible veterans who have served on active military duty since September 11, 2001. In general, the maximum tuition and fees benefit available under the law is capped at the level of the in-state charges at the most expensive public institution in a state.
For institutions with higher tuition and fees, the new law also created the "Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program." Under this program, the federal government will match, dollar-for-dollar, contributions that colleges and universities make to help veterans cover tuition costs above the maximum in-state public college tuition amount. Institutions wishing to participate in the program must enter into an agreement with the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs that spells out items such as the manner in which the institutional match will be provided, the maximum amount of the institutional contribution, and the number of eligible veterans the institution will serve. Additional details regarding these agreements will be spelling out in regulations that will be issued by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
It is important to remember that even colleges not participating the Yellow Ribbon program can be veteran-friendly, providing significant financial assistance and support services. In fact, under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, veterans receive the same benefit whether they attend a public or private school. No veteran should rule out a private college simply because it is not enrolled in the Yellow Ribbon program, without first contacting the institution for further information. Click here to learn more.
These expanded GI Bill benefits were championed by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), who introduced the initial legislation. The “yellow ribbon” provisions were added at the behest of Sen. John Warner (R-Va.). The final measure also includes provisions sought by the Bush Administration to permit service members to transfer education benefits to family members. The provisions of the "Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act" were included in the Fiscal Year 2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act (Public Law 110-252).