New GI Bill will help veterans go to college

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Congressman John Hall announced the development of a new GI Bill for post-9/11 veterans on Thursday at Westchester Community College. The bill was passed over the summer to provide veterans with improved access to higher education.

The GI Bill was originally created to provide veterans of World War II with financial assistance to attend college and be successful after the war ended. According to Hall and other members of Congress, today?s veterans should be rewarded in a similar way.

?When they come home, we should try to help them in any way that we can,? Hall says.

Under the new plan, the government will pay for veterans? education up front, rather than reimbursing the veterans for the costs they assume. The bill will also pay for four years? tuition at the most expensive state school in the veterans? home states, or an equivalent amount at a private school, while also providing a monthly housing stipend and $1,000 a semester for books.

Veterans like Brian Callahan from Dobbs Ferry expect the bill to help facilitate the transition from solider to student.

The bill will be in effect starting fall 2009, but veterans can begin applying for its benefits now at their local Veterans Administration Office.

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