Historically among the most cost-effective inducements for recruiting military personnel, the Montgomery GI Bill has helped thousands to serve and pursue a college education following their term. Congress recently has proposed several changes that would bolster the bill’s provisions and hopefully boost recruitment during an era when youth are increasingly choosing college alone. RAND analyzed several of the proposed changes to discover whether they have the ability to meet more fully college’s increasing costs and the extent to which they enhance recruitment and reduce retention. Evaluation of the proposals’ short- and long-term abilities to meet these goals, as well as evaluation of their costs and implications, reveals that many of the recommendations are expensive but hold the promise of attracting and retaining more quality recruits. Other potential program improvements are recommended that could increase the attractiveness of military educational benefits.
This project was conducted in RAND's National Defense Research Institute.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.