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As more veterans return home from active duty and decide what to do next, attending college is a popular option. By using their military skills, they can often combine those unique skills with college to put themselves on an exciting career path. Since they have GI Bill benefits, they have a variety of options ahead of them – including Credit by Exam. To learn how veterans can take advantage of the GI Bill while attending college, here are some important points to keep in mind.

The GI Bill is Not Federal Financial Aid

While virtually all students rely on financial aid to attend college, the GI Bill is not viewed as traditional federal financial aid. Because of this, veterans must apply for student loans or sign promissory notes to the school, then pay them with their GI Bill benefits. This is especially important for those pursuing an online master’s in special education in any school across the nation, since they will need to attend school for a longer period of time while still maintaining a personal and professional life.

The GI Bill Can Be Started and Stopped as Needed

If you need to pursue your education part-time, GI Bill benefits can be started and stopped as needed. By doing so, many veterans first complete an associate’s degree, take some time off, then complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. This will allow veterans the time needed to learn how military strategies can work in the business world, develop a formal resume, and understand how to best market their skills.

You Have 10-15 Years to Use Your Benefits

Whether you want to be a full-time student or take only one class at a time, you can do so through the GI Bill, since you’ll have as many as 15 years to use your benefits. With this amount of time, veterans can ease back into civilian and college life without the pressure of having to quickly complete their education.

The GI Bill Pays Based on the Credits You Take

By paying based on the number of credits you take, the GI Bill can provide up to $1000 per year for books and supplies, and can offer a monthly housing allowance while paying full tuition to the school.

No matter how you choose to use your GI Bill benefits, the good news is that if used wisely, you can find yourself transitioning from a great military career into an equally satisfying civilian career.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber

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