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


Dan Egert: ROTC Cadet Aims for Space

While serving in the Air Force at Patrick Air Force Base (AFB), Dan Egert watched the shuttle launches from his window at work. In July 2011, he drove several hours from Mississippi to watch the final shuttle launch in person. Although he never dreamed of becoming an astronaut, space, and particularly rockets, always captured his attention. “It was always there,” he says.

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Brett McKnight: Veteran Braves New Challenges at Syracuse University

When Brett McKnight arrived at Syracuse University he wasn’t a typical first-year student. A veteran who served as a Reconnaissance Marine in the 2nd Recon Battalion at Camp Lejeune, N.C., he had been deployed twice and attended rigorous military courses like a combatant diver, military free-fall, trauma management and more. In February 2012, after one semester at Paul Smith’s College, McKnight enlisted in the Marine Corps.

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Casting a Spotlight on a Few of the 2019 Commissioning ROTC Cadets

Joshua Boucher

Name: Joshua S. Boucher
Branch: Air Force ROTC
Hometown: Oakland, Maine
Major/School: Aerospace Engineering/ College of Engineering and Computer Science
Plan for postgrad: Specialized training for Tactical Air Control Party Officer (TACP-O) selects
Biggest takeaway from ROTC: Humility is the most important quality in leadership. Being able to put your ego aside and listen to a day-1 Airman is essential to building relationships and mission success. Continue Reading

Laura Bush to Visit Syracuse University as D’Aniello Family Speaker

Former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush will speak at Syracuse University as part of the D’Aniello Family Speaker Series on Wednesday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m. in the Whitman School’s Marvin and Helaine Lender Auditorium.
The event includes a discussion with Mrs. Bush, the 43rd First Lady of the United States, followed by a reception. All members of the campus community are welcome to attend. Seating is limited.

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Military-Connected Student of the Month: George Canino

Like many, George Canino’s path to service began with his family. His father, a retired member of the U.S. Air Force, sparked his interest in the military at a young age.

Canino’s father was stationed in Madrid, Spain, while in the Air Force. After he retired, when George was 3 years old, the family remained there. Even after completing an associate’s degree in international business from Schiller International University in Spain, Canino held on to his desire to serve. Canino enlisted in the U.S. Army and moved on his own to the U.S. in an English-speaking environment after living 21 years in Spain

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Student Veterans Organization Annual Ball and Awards Banquet Highlights Achievements and University’s Commitment to Veterans

The Syracuse University Student Veterans Organization (SVO) held its Annual Ball and Awards Banquet recently. The event recognizes the contributions of the SVO to the University, celebrates Syracuse’s tradition of service to veterans, and honors notable student veterans for their achievements at the University. U.S. Army veteran Mark Erwin G’12, who is now employed as the special assistant to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, delivered the evening’s keynote speech.

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Chancellor Syverud Hosts Annual Chancellor’s Review for ROTC Cadets

Last week, members of the campus community and Chancellor Kent Syverud gathered in the Dome for the 102nd Annual Chancellor’s Review of the Syracuse University Army and Air Force ROTC cadets. Syracuse boasts the longest consecutively running ROTC program in the country—a legacy in keeping with the University tradition of support for veterans and military families as the “best place for veterans.”

During the event, Chancellor Syverud announced an impressive milestone related to the University’s commitment: “I’m proud to say that veteran and military-connected enrollment has passed five percent of our total enrollment here at Syracuse University.”

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