The G.I. Bill has traditionally provided financial assistance for higher education to qualifying members of the armed services. There are several different incarnations of the G.I. Bill that provide differing benefits.
The original G.I. Bill (formally called the Serviceman's Readjustment Act) went into effect in 1944 and included a comprehensive package of benefits, such as low-cost mortgage and business loans, unemployment compensation, and payments for tuition and living expenses while attending school.
Other versions of the bill include Chapter 30, introduced in 1984, Chapters 31 and 32, and Chapter 33 (more commonly known as the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill). Each of these bills has its own unique terms and conditions and applies only to veterans who served during a specific period of time. Some require veterans to have paid into the bill during their service to be eligible. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill does not require veterans who served on or after September 11, 2001 to have paid into it, but veterans who paid into a previous version of the bill during that time are eligible for refunds of their initial buy-in.
Unlike the original G.I. Bill, the more recent versions provide only educational benefits, such as tuition payments and a stipend for cost of living.