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U.S. Sen. Jim Webb Visits VCU to Discuss Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits

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U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) visited Virginia Commonwealth University today to hold a roundtable with students who are attending the university on the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Webb, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced the Post-9/11 GI Bill legislation his first day in office.

“Even before I ran for office, I thought of the men and women who have served in the military after September 11th as the ‘next greatest generation,’” Webb said. “And we owe it to them to provide them the same educational opportunities that the greatest generation had.”

Signed into law on June 30, 2008, and implemented a year later, the bill offers returning service members up to 36 months of benefits including payment of tuition, room and board, fees and educational costs plus a $1,000 a month stipend while enrolled in full-time training.

VCU President Mike Rao welcomed the senator to campus on behalf of the crowd of students benefitting from the legislation gathered at Cabell Library.

“In this room, you see the fruits of your labor, senator,” Rao said.

To date, more than 800,000 students have applied for their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to attend college or other post-secondary programs, including 532 at VCU. Chrysan Bolton, who attended Webb’s visit, is majoring in both criminal justice and psychology and minoring in political science and is preparing for a career in the U.S. Navy.

“Knowing that I have benefits gives me a sense of relief because I know that my tuition and fees will be paid,” Bolton said. “Since I’ve started using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I’ve been able to borrow less money for financial aid to pay for living expenses on campus. As a benefit receiver I can gladly say that I am happy this bill was passed.”

Beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 GI Bill crowded into the Cabell Library 2nd floor multipurpose room to hear U.S. Sen. Jim Webb discuss the legislation. Photo by Mike Porter, VCU Office of Communication and Public Relations.
Beneficiaries of the Post-9/11 GI Bill crowded into the Cabell Library 2nd floor multipurpose room to hear U.S. Sen. Jim Webb discuss the legislation. Photo by Mike Porter, VCU Office of Communication and Public Relations.