Tuesday, May 13, 2008


CBS Congressional Democrats are pushing what could become the most dramatic expansion of college aid for military veterans since World War II, with a bill they hope will buoy them this election season and become an albatross for Republicans. Pitched by the Democrats is a plan that would essentially guarantee a full-ride scholarship to any in-state public university, along with a monthly housing stipend, for individuals who serve the military for at least three years. The proposal would give veterans 15 years to use the benefit, instead of the current 10-year limit, and would set up a new government program that matches financial aid by more expensive private institutions. For a pricey public school - such as Miami University in Oxford, Ohio - that benefit might be worth as much as $31,000 per school year, compared to the maximum $9,900 benefit that veterans are given now. The GI bill covered all the costs for World War II veterans. But today, with expenses exploding, the value of the benefit has plummeted, CBS News correspondent Thalia Assuras reported last month. Attending a public college costs an average of almost $13,000 a year. The GI bill pays about half that amount.


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