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Veterans—Prepare for Your Future thru Educational Training, poster, 1942–45

The G.I. Bill’s financial assistance for educational training was a notable development in the history of veterans’ benefits. After previous wars, Congress had generally approved extra pay, government insurance, or cash bonuses for returning soldiers. During the first six years of the original G.I. Bill, more than 2.2 million veterans attended college or university using the act’s education benefits.

Records of the Office of Government Reports, National Archives and Records Administration

Veterans—Prepare for Your Future thru Educational Training

Establishing the G.I. Bill of Rights

After its unanimous approval by the House and Senate, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill of Rights into law on June 22, 1944. The legislation provided returning soldiers with unemployment insurance, money for post-secondary education and job training, and low-interest mortgages and loans to ease their transition into civilian life. By 1951 nearly 8 million veterans had received educational and training benefits, and 2.4 million had received loans for homes, farms, and businesses. Subsequent legislation would extend benefits to all who served in later conflicts.

This measure has for its purpose extending full justice and educational opportunities to the veterans of this war who have defended the Republic with their life and blood.

Representative Karl M. Le Compte of Iowa, Speech to the U.S. House of Representatives, May 12, 1944