All On Georgia

Forever GI Bill gets signed into law, Senator Isakson reacts

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, applauded the president’s signing into law the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, legislation Isakson introduced to enhance the post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The bill was singed into law on Tuesday.

“By enacting this law, we are making an important investment in the proven success of our veterans,” said Isakson. “This is a truly meaningful victory for our veterans, who should have every opportunity available to them to pursue their desired profession and career after they return from duty. The 1.1 million individuals using VA education benefits each year will all benefit from these reforms, and even more veterans will gain eligibility for these benefits. I appreciate the members of Congress and the president for implementing these important reforms to aid our veterans and support their futures.”

FILE – JUNE 13, 2016 DUNWOODY U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson talks during an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution editorial board, Monday, June 13, 2016. KENT D. JOHNSON/ KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

The bill is known as the Forever GI Bill and it is estimated to cost more than $3 billion over 10 years. The new law will eliminate the 15-year limit on education benefits for new military enlistees and veterans will no longer have a time limit to use their educational benefits as veterans.

The GI Bill has been updated many times since it started in 1944. The 2009 version significantly expanded college enrollment according to a recent study.

According to the 2017 annual report by the Department of Veterans Affairs, 79 percent of veterans enrollees in higher education programs in 2016 were beneficiaries from the post-9/11 program.

Here are the major changes in the Forever GI Bill:

Veterans whose colleges shut down in the middle of the semester will have their benefits restored:

For a complete summary of the bill, click here.