In 1918, the Federal Board of Vocational Education established a rehabilitation division for disabled World War I veterans. The Board worked with states, local business, and vocational schools to provide veterans with training for new occupations such as farming or teaching. By 1922, over 156,000 disabled World War veterans had entered 445 trades or professions.
VA’s 1945 annual report showed that during the G.I. Bill’s first year:
- VA received 83,016 applications for education benefits: of those, 75,272 were eligible, 35,044 entered courses, and 22,335 were in training.
- VA received 15,455 applications for home loan guarantees: 12,228 loans were made in the amount of $19,644,824.90 for 11,220 home loans, 270 farm loans, and 738 business loans.
By 1951 8,170,000 veterans had attended over 1,700 schools and colleges at a cost to the Government of $14,000,000,000. 3,430,000 were able to finish high school; 2,350,000 went to college; 1,630,000 received on-the-job training, and 760,000 obtained on-the-farm training. In 1944, educators were skeptical about the bill, but by 1951, they had nothing but praise for the bill’s success in educating millions of veterans who could not have afforded to do so on their own.
The G.I. Bill was authorized and implemented under General Frank T. Hines’ administration at VA. Since 1944, educational benefits of some form have been provided to military veterans of every war America has participated in.