The University of Houston played an important part in the United States' efforts during the Second World War. Among its many contributions, the institution housed the first Naval School established in a college, training more than five thousand Navy personnel and several hundred Army and Navy pilots. Following the war, many of the nation's servicemen and women returned to colleges and universities to take advantage of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the GI Bill of Rights. Under the GI Bill, veterans received up to $500 a year from the government to cover tuition and fees as well as a monthly stipend.
Just as the University of Houston contributed to the war effort, following the war it contributed to the education of thousands of returning veterans. Dr. W.W. Kemmerer, assistant to the university president, strongly influenced the university's successful shift from a wartime to a peacetime stance. The postwar years were an era of significant growth for the fledgling institution. Many UH students used the GI Bill to further training obtained in the military, learn a vocational trade, or pursue college degrees. Enrollment for Fall semester 1944 reached 2,720, a significant increase from the 1,104 students just a year before. By the 1947-1948 school year enrollment reached 10,882.
To aid veterans in their transition from military to student life, UH established a guidance program with Richard O. Jonas as chief counselor and Roy A. Crouch as head of the office of psychological services. In December 1944 the U.S. Veterans Administration selected the University of Houston as the site for an official VA Advisement Center, augmenting the guidance program's effectiveness. The office provided assistance in application for admission to the university and obtaining compensation through the GI Bill. A special housing bureau helped veterans and their families locate places to live. Counselors, often former members of the armed forces themselves, aided ex-soldiers with registration, career guidance, and overall readjustment to civilian life.