From the end of World War II until 1950, more than 2.3 million military veterans studied at colleges and universities in the United States, making use of the G. I. Bill.1 Some university administrations were concerned about the negative consequences of the mass and background of the new students at their institutions, and universities struggle to provide adequate housing, class rooms and faculty. 

At the peak of veteran student enrollment in the academic year 1949/50, The Catholic University of America (CUA) counted 4,757 students, almost double the number of 1940/41.2 CUA, like other colleges at the time, struggled with housing, academic accommodations and with the unusual phenomenon of married students with families. The School of Arts & Sciences had 954 undergraduates in 1948/49, compared to only 260 during the first post-war academic year. When 1,291 students from the school graduated a year later, the number was twice as high as in 1940/41 (623). About 10% of the students were of foreign origin, many European refugees among them, so the university created a new office and Dean McGuire became the first “advisor of Foreign Students”. By 1953, the number of undergraduates had declined to 3,455. The percentage of ecclesiastical students remained steady at about 30%.

1Olson, Keith W. The G. I. Bill and Higher Education: Success and Surprise. American Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 5 (Dec., 1973), pp. 596-610. Stable URL:

2Nuesse, C. Joseph. The Catholic University of America: A Centennial History. CUA Press, 1990, 342-343.