The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944
, also known as the G.I. Bill
, a law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans (commonly referred to as G.I.s). It was passed in 1944 by a conservative coalition in Congress that want to reward practically all wartime veterans, as opposed to the Roosevelt administration that wanted a much smaller and more elitist program. The American Legion mobilized its members across the country and secured passage in June 1944. Benefits included cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend high school, college or vocational/technical school, low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, as well as one year of unemployment compensation
. It was available to veterans who had been on active duty during the war years for at least 120 days and had not been dishonorably discharged—exposure to combat was not required. By 1956, roughly 2.2 million veterans had used the G.I. Bill education benefits in order to attend colleges or universities, and an additional 5.6 million used these benefits for some kind of training program.
Historians and economists judge the G.I. Bill a major political and economic success—especially in contrast to the treatments of World War I veterans—and a major contribution to America's stock of human capital that encouraged long-term economic growth.
Canada operated a similar program for its World War II veterans, with an economic impact similar to the American case. Since the original U.S. 1944 law, the term has come to include other benefit programs created to assist veterans of subsequent wars as well as peacetime service.
During the 1940s, "fly-by-night" for-profit colleges sprang up to collect veterans' education grants, because the program provided limited oversight. Similarly, for-profit colleges and their lead generators have taken advantage of the post-911 GI Bill to target veterans for subpar products and services. The Veterans Administration, however, does have a GI Bill feedback form for recipients to address their complaints against colleges. President Barack Obama also signed Executive Order 13607 which was to ensure that predatory colleges did not aggressively recruit vulnerable military service members, veterans, and their families.