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

Whether it’s a bachelor’s degree, associate’s or master’s (postgraduate), the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill can be used to attain more than just one. It all comes down to one core thing: how you structure your schedule and use the 36 months the benefit affords (and one at a time).

As former United States Marine veteran and Iraq War veteran Brad Tatum — who now owns two master’s degrees and no debt thanks to the use of his G.I. Bill benefits — explains, it’s all about coming up with a plan, and then executing:

Looking into it, I saw that most of the pre-requisite courses I had already taken in the MBA program, and that if structured correctly and aggressively, the remaining coursework could be done in 12 months – which was exactly how many months of GI Bill I had remaining.

He’s also someone who proudly touts the Yellow Ribbon Program (because he used it successfully), a benefit that can help pay for part of the difference that the G.I. Bill may not be able to cover (to learn more about it click here).

In addition to Brad’s advice, here are a few tips from a University of California Berkeley alum, who graduated from the prestigious West Coast institution in just two years (cutting her total tuition in half) back in 2009: take summer classes, take extension classes, get everything in writing, skip studying abroad and read the catalogue (to read her account in its entirety, click here).

The G.I. Bill, once in action, pays tuition to the school or institution directly. At the beginning of each semester, it’ll provide the veteran or family member with a stipend for books, as well as housing allowance at the end of each month.

To check on the status of your G.I. Bill benefits, click here.

Beyond this education feature, hosts other online services former service members can take advantage of right now:

If you’re not already enrolled in VA care, you can apply online by clicking here.

Refill prescriptions, by clicking here.

Securely message members of your VA health care team (and schedule appointments), by clicking here.

Apply for a pension or burial benefits.

– The way a veteran can check the status of their claims and appeals has been streamlined, and can be found all in one place, by clicking here.