For direct online access to VA benefits and resources, create an account here.

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill pays for 36 months of school. It doesn’t pay for a bachelor’s degree — this isn’t guaranteed and is only achieved through the allotted timespan. It also doesn’t pay a salary.

Note: you can check on the status of your G.I. Bill by clicking here

However, there are a number of ways a student veteran (or dependent) can squeeze bucks out of certain things to pay for the necessities of everyday living.

Here are six of them:

Take at least one class in person

By doing this, your housing allowance will be greater (if you take all online classes it could come out to be pretty paltry).

Take extra classes

To reiterate, the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill pays for 36 months of schooling — it doesn’t pay for a straight up degree. By taking as many classes as you can, credits can be earned at a higher rate, per month. The more credits you sock away, the more likely you’ll graduate without ever having to go into your own pocket for tuition.

Pick a major as soon as possible

The quicker you realize what you’ll be majoring in, the quicker you can take credits and amass credits from classes within that specific focus, and satisfy the number you’ll need to have to receive your degree.

VA Work Study Program

Learn more about it here (it pays vets to help other vets, basically).

Submit a FASFA

It’s an acronym that stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Access the form here.

Veterans (or dependents) may be eligible for additional financial aid. Because G.I. Bill benefits don’t count as income (assuming your tuition is already covered) these aid payments could be used to pay for other things (food, rent, bills, etc.). As a general rule of thumb, apply to as many scholarship, aid and grant programs as you can. Anything that is approved can be used in this same auxiliary manner.

Pocket the book stipend

The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill offers up to $1,000 per year for books. Pocket this amount (and use it for other things) by taking advantage of shrewd alternatives that’ll get you the texts you need to do well in your classes, at a fraction of the cost. This blogpost lists them. Renting, discounts, scouring the used racks are just to name a few.