There is a lot of skepticism and finger-pointing aimed at the VA these days, some legitimate concerns and others just incessant complaining. Regardless of your thoughts on the VA, the GI Bill is a great program that allows you to get a free education, and gets you paid in the process—and coming from someone who has utilized the GI Bill in the most expensive place to live in America as well as an average city, the pay is plenty to get by (though I’m not sure if that applies if you have kids). Coming out of college with little to no debt puts you ahead of countless young Americans who might spend 5-10 years just cleaning the slate before they can actually start pursuing their dreams.

I loved my college experience, and took advantage of it as well as I could. Here are some tips for those considering the same route:

 

Realize that college might not be the right option for you.