Webb's GI Bill Meets Obstacles
It all sounds good on paper, offering full tuition coverage for military veterans. But for Senator Jim Webb, the main supporter for the new GI Bill, what may sound great on paper isn't going over well with his peers. The senator is pushing the GI Bill through Congress, asking for veterans of today to have access to the same benefits as those from World War II.
Behind Webb stand 51 senators also in support of the bill, from both the democratic and republican parties. They “see the educational benefits in this bill as crucial to a service member's readjustment to civilian life,” Webb said. The bill offers full tuition coverage for military veterans enlisting on or after September 11, 2001, up to the highest public university tuition cost, including housing, books and other miscellaneous college expenses.
The current GI Bill only covers approximately 73% of tuition expenses at public schools. The bill provides even less coverage for private and graduate schools. Webb states that the new bill will raise the current spending rate of about $2.8 billion last year by $2 billion.
Some critics of the bill are concerned that although it will encourage new recruits to join the army, it may also reflect negatively on the retention rates within the military. The fear is if soldiers have an opportunity to attend school at no cost to them rather than stay in the military, there will be a major military exodus.
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