Thursday, April 03, 2008

Senator Schumer Pushing for Bigger, Better GI Bill

The GI Bill was established in 1944 to help veterans of the armed forces pursue higher education options.

However, according to New York State Senator Charles Schumer, the bill is woefully out of date and must be modified to assist soldiers looking to obtain a degree.

Rising costs of college tuition and supplies as well as a large increase in returning veterans who are interested in pursuing higher education are forcing the government to look at the bill, which has not been amended since the end of World War II.

The population of young veterans in Northern New York along is expected to soar, especially with the expansion of Fort Drum.

Currently, there are over 53,000 young veterans in the North Country area.

Of the 65 percent of soldiers currently deployed under the age of 30, only 15 percent of them hold a bachelor’s degree.

Those numbers, said Schumer, need to change.

Which is why he is co-sponsoring a plan to create a new GI Bill, introduced by Virgina Senator Jim Webb.

In a press release, Schumer said the new GI Bill will expand benefits, offer larger stipends for living costs and increase financial assistance for educational programs.

To learn more about the GI Bill visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.