GI Bill's buying power shrinks

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Marc Edgerly and his father, Carl, both joined the Army as young men, served during wartime and eventually decided that college, not a full-time military career, was what they wanted. But the cost they shouldered for that education is dramatically different.

The GI Bill covered all of Carl Edgerly's college expenses in the mid-1970s. His son, however, expects that even with the maximum $1,075 in monthly GI Bill benefits, he will be saddled with $50,000 in student loans when he graduates from George Mason University.

"The total amount of the GI Bill comes nowhere close to what I actually need for college," said Marc Edgerly, 26, who is in his second year at the suburban Washington school. "After five years of college, it is not going to work."

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