The GI Bill, officially known as the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, was designed by Congress to provide a substantial number of benefits for soldiers returning from the Second World War. Generally thought of in terms of allowing veterans to attend college, the GI Bill has included a wider range of economic benefits, including low-interest housing loans.
The GI Bill was originally proposed by President Franklin Roosevelt in reaction to the substandard treatment veterans had received following World War I. During the great Depression, substantial numbers of veterans had marched in protest regarding what they perceived as abandonment by the federal government. The original GI Bill was a breakthrough piece of legislation that helped ease the transition of soldiers back into civilian life.
A second GI Bill was passed in 1952, to serve the needs of soldiers returning from Korea. In pursuit of higher education, soldiers received a monthly stipend from which they would be able to pay tuition and various related educational fees. In 1966, a third Veterans Readjustment Bill expanded the size and scope of benefits, including for the first time soldiers who had served in peacetime as well as war. Continued GI Bills passed by Congress have continued the tradition of providing support for veterans seeking to improve their educational opportunities