Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Fighting for Education: Veterans and Financial Aid

Friday, November 13, 2015 : 10:15 AM
Tuttle Center (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Andrew Barr, Texas A&M University
The Post-9/11 GI Bill brought about the largest expansion in veteran education benefits since the end of World War II, roughly doubling the average benefit level. I leverage large changes in financial aid generated by the benefit expansion, including geographic variation in grant levels, to identify the effect of additional aid on the degree attainment of military veterans. Using multiple quasi-experimental approaches, I find that the new GI Bill increased the share of veterans receiving a degree within six years of military separation by six percentage points, a 30% percent increase. This increase is driven by both new enrollment among those who might not have attended college and increased persistence among those who might otherwise have dropped out before completion.