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New GI bill to open college to more vets

New GI bill to open college to more vets
Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, shown April 21, 2009. (UPI Photo/Alexis C. Glenn) | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- A new law could open colleges to thousands of U.S. veterans who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford the expense, the president of Dartmouth College said.

The law, to take effect Aug. 1, more than doubles the amount covered in the current GI, or government issue, bill, USA Today reported Monday.

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Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., and James Wright, the president of New Hampshire's Dartmouth College, both former Marines, told USA Today they backed the bill because the existing bill had not kept up with the increasing cost of education.

The new bill guarantees the equivalent of in-state tuition at the highest-priced public college in the state where the veteran lives and provides a monthly housing allowance and $1,000 stipend for books and supplies.

The benefits are available to veterans who served at least 90 days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

"These veterans are part of a demographic that is being missed," Wright said.

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