Veterans Going to College: Evaluating the Impact of the Post-9/11 GI Bill on College Enrollment

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In this study, I used American Community Survey (ACS) 2005–2015 data to examine the enrollment effect of the Post-9/11 GI Bill; the analysis resulted in three main findings: First, although the New GI Bill has increased overall college enrollment by about 3 percentage points on average, the effect was much larger immediately after the bill’s adoption and has waned in recent years, suggesting that part of the initial enrollment burst was due to the retrospective nature of the bill. Second, the New GI Bill has had a consistent and positive impact on college enrollment among veterans ranging from 20 to 60 years old. Because older individuals on average have lower enrollment rates than younger ones, it follows that the former are relatively more responsive to financial incentives. Third, I found consistent and positive enrollment effects across veterans of all levels of existing educational attainment, with the largest estimates observed among those already holding master’s degrees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-102
Number of pages21
JournalEducational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • New GI Bill
  • college enrollment
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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