National Association of State Approving Agencies
National Association of State Approving Agencies
Advocates for quality education and training programs for our nation's veterans.
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Date Event
June 22, 1944

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, a.k.a “The GI Bill” into law. The unprecedented legislation gave veterans returning home from WWII access to unemployment compensation, low-interest home and business loans, and, most importantly, funding for education.


79th Congress passes Public Law 268 requiring individual state Governors to appoint a State Accrediting Agency. Each agency would be tasked with approving and monitoring institutions and establishments desiring to offer veterans’ on-the-job training programs. Over the next several years, the name would evolve into State Approving Agencies as they are known today.

January 1, 1947

The first contracts are signed between the federal government and the individual State Approval Agencies, marking the beginning of an important federal-state relationship that continues through present day.

That same year, veterans attending school on the GI Bill comprise 49% of the nation’s higher education population.

September 20-22, 1948

The first National Conference of State Approval Agencies is held in Kansas City, MO. It is attended by SAAs from 26 states, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and representatives from the Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs.

July 25, 1956

First GI Bill comes to a close after benefiting 7.8 million participants, but SAA work continues on.


President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Veterans Readjustment Benefits Act, extending benefits to veterans serving during times of war and peace. Individual state Governors are once again asked to designate an official approving agency to help oversee the benefits.

June 12, 1973

The National Association of State Approving Agencies officially incorporates as a national organization. Its mission is to facilitate individual states’ efforts to promote and safeguard quality education and training programs for all Veterans and other eligible persons.


Bernell C. Dickinson of North Carolina becomes the first female president of NASAA


Congress passes the Montgomery GI Bill, marking the first legislation to extend educational benefits to active duty, National Guard, and Reserve members.


The Post 9/11 GI Bill completely revamps veterans’ educational benefits for the new century, providing more substantive benefits to the largest group of veterans in history. The SAAs take on a larger role than ever as well, serving as advisors to schools as they learn how to process the new benefits.


Public Law 111-377 expands the Post 9/11 GI Bill to include the dependents and spouses of veterans as well as new types of training programs including non-college degree programs, apprenticeships and flight training. It also changes state/federal approval authorities and designates the SAAs with the new role of conducting annual compliance surveys.


Public Law 115-48, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, otherwise known as the “Forever GI Bill,” amends the Post-9/11 veterans' educational assistance program, in part, removing certain time restrictions on program use; increasing assistance for reservists, guardsmen, dependents, and surviving spouses and dependents; providing full eligibility for Post-9/11 Purple Heart recipients and certain reservists and guardsmen; providing an extra academic years' worth of benefits for STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) degree candidates; establishing a five-year pilot program for high technology courses; and restoring eligibility for service members whose school closes in the middle of a semester.