Date of Award
Master of Arts
The Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944, or GI Bill of Rights, afforded veterans of the Second World War an unprecedented opportunity: to finish a degree program interrupted by military service or begin a new degree program courtesy of the United States taxpayer. The GI Bill proved so successful that it is now deeply engrained in the mythos of 20th century Americana. However, the immediate reaction to the bill was not as positive. Initially presented as a method for economic recovery, the idea of sending veterans to school impressed few people, including the many administrators and experts in higher education for which passage of the bill would have a direct impact. Many experts felt veterans of the Second World War would make poor students and that their military service would prevent them from making positive contributions to campus life. This paper examines the history of the GI Bill, the preparations undertaken by administrators in higher education, and the reactions of students on the Iowa State College campus to the veteran student population by comparing the expectations presented in higher education journals of the 1940s to the outcomes of veterans on campus as documented in student newspapers and archived university records. Although veteran students and married students in particular, presented unique problems for college administrators, they did not have a negative impact on the college campus.
Evan Daniel Hill
Hill, Evan Daniel, "From foxhole to classroom: world war II veterans at iowa state college" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11423.