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

A service member or veteran opting to utilize his or her G.I. Bill is a major turning point, and often the start of a whole new phase of their lives — one that can bring stability, a healthy paycheck and the path to a promising and fulfilling post-military career.

Such a decision should come with a good measure of preparation — weighing options so that the final choice as to where to spend one’s G.I. Bill benefits is the perfect fit not only for academics and tuition, but for the day-to-beat of one’s life (living situation, rent, weather, proximity to friends or family, etc.).

The G.I. Bill Comparison Tool is a great resource that can help with this review (as is this tool, which can be used to check on the status of one’s benefits).

For example’s sake, let’s say a veteran is thinking about attending Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

First, they would go to this site, to access the comparison tool.

A screen would then come up with the following fields to be selected (military status, which G.I. Bill benefit, active duty service length, type of classes, city, school or employer name).

After they’re filled out (for this case, Rutgers University is typed into the last field) and the big blue button that says “Search Schools” is clicked, this screen below will show up.

Additional information is also provided with this in-depth profile, but the snapshots above give an actual glimpse into what the tool can provide — which is substantial, and can prove vital when finally putting your educational eggs (G.I. Bill benefits) into one basket (college, university or other institution).