GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977 Statement on Signing H.R. 8701 Into Law.
I am pleased to sign into law today H.R. 8701, the GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977, a measure providing expanded benefits for Vietnam era veterans. This measure includes a 6.6-percent increase in monthly educational assistance benefits retroactive to October 1. It will mean larger checks for the approximately 1,700,000 individuals who will train during this fiscal year under the GI bill and the Survivors' Educational Assistance Act. Monthly benefits for a single veteran will increase to $311; a married veteran will receive $370; a married veteran with a child will receive $422.
The VA work-study allowances are increased under this measure, as are special tutorial assistance provisions for veterans having academic difficulties.
This bill is also designed to help veterans attending high-tuition schools by liberalizing the VA direct low-interest educational loan program and increasing it from $1,500 to $2,500 per school year. Veterans will also be eligible to have a portion of their loan canceled through matching action by the Federal and State Governments.
This means that a single veteran is now eligible for up to $4,745 in grants for a 9-month school year, plus an additional $2,500 in low-interest loans. The current GI bill now has a 65-percent participation rate, which far exceeds the final participation rate under both the Korean conflict program (43 percent) and the World War II GI bill (50 percent). That rate will rise even farther when nearly 1,700,000 veterans benefit from the GI Bill Improvement Act.
The nearly $25 billion that we have spent under the current GI bill has been an excellent investment in our Nation's future. The measure I sign today should further improve this program.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 8701 is Public Law 95-202, approved November 23.
Jimmy Carter, GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977 Statement on Signing H.R. 8701 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242856