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Legislation for Women Veterans and Education

Education benefits are a major recruitment tool for the military, but it wasn’t always easy to access. It is largely unknown that this benefit was hard to come by in the past. Women were largely barred from earning college educations up until the 19th century in the United States. In reaction to these bars, women’s colleges were born, and often, they served as sister colleges to prominent and Ivy League institutions. 

Per, “Princeton and Yale began admitting women in 1969, with Brown University following in 1971 and Dartmouth in 1972. The lone Ivy holdout, Columbia University, did not admit women until 1983. Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania, by contrast, had admitted women since 1870 and 1914, respectively.”

Admiral Grace Hopper is one of the exceptions to the rules of Yale. She is one of the most prominent examples of military women who changed the world for the better. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Vassar, a women’s sister college to Yale, then later earned her master’s and doctorate at Yale University. Admiral Hopper is “one of the first three computer “programmers,” Hopper was responsible for programming the Mark I and punching machine instructions onto tape. She also wrote the 561-page user manual for the Mark I.”

The education benefits from military service originated from the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. This benefit originated from the concerns of the Department of Labor, which “estimated that, after the war, 15 million men and women who had been serving in the armed services would be unemployed.” Per the VA’s National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics’ February 2017 report on The Past, Present, and Future of Women Veterans: “Unlike [white] male Veterans, World War II women Veterans faced barriers in accessing the G.I. Bill many did not know they were eligible for these benefits. In addition, the social and cultural norms after the war discouraged women from the workplace and encouraged them to be focused on their role in the home as mothers, wives, and homemakers. Of the estimated 350,000 women Veterans who served in the Armed Forces at that time and were eligible for all GI Bill rights, it is unclear how many women Veterans actually used various parts of the G.I. Bill.” It does not appear that there have been any further studies nor any legislation in the process for this predicament. 

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