Need-to-Know Facts on the GI Bill

Since its inception, the GI Bill has provided more than just educational benefits to veterans and their families. Originally meant to help WWII veterans returning from war, the GI Bill has also provided low-interest housing loans, medical benefits, and rehabilitation programs. For Syracuse University, the GI Bill also marked a special moment in the school’s history and commitment to veteran and military families. This month, we commemorate 75 years since the bill was first signed and share important facts about this life-changing benefit:

Fast Facts:

  • After consulting with national advisors, including then Syracuse University Chancellor William Tolley, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the GI Bill legislation on June 22, 1944.
  • By 1947, 49% of all U.S. college enrollments were made up of veterans.
  • In 1946 Syracuse University doubled its student body by accepting 9,464 veterans into the university. Today, Syracuse University ranks 1st in New York and 17th in the   U.S. for student-veteran enrollment.
  • Over the course of 75 years, the GI Bill has paid $400 billion in educational benefits to 25 million veterans and their family members.*
  • Those eligible for the GI Bill can also use Yellow Ribbon educational benefits. The Yellow Ribbon Program is offered by the VA to cover any tuition and fees not covered by the basic GI Bill. Syracuse University is one of only a few schools to offer unlimited Yellow Ribbon benefits.
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill was implemented on August 1, 2009. Since then, the VA has provided $20 billion in benefits to 773,000 veterans and their families.* 
  • The Post-9/11 GI Bill includes other programs including the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program. In 2018 there were over 120,000 veterans that participated in that program alone.* 
  • Since 1944, the VA has approved nearly 24 million home loans with 82% requiring no down payment. In 2018, the VA approved 2,000 grants totaling $104 million to severely disabled veterans to purchase, build, or remodel homes to assist with their needs.*

*Source: VA GI Bill Homepage