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How Savvy Student Veterans Can Graduate Debt Free

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What if you could get your college education paid for? This is a reality for many student veterans who are opting to attend schools in states that waive college tuition for service members. Of course, there are some state eligibility requirements, but typically if you served 90consecutive days on active duty and were honorable discharged you’re entitled to these benefits.

If you’re a savvy student veteran, you could couple this with their GI Bill and make for a debt free education, I’m speaking from experience. I attended Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) a four-year college that falls under the Connecticut State tuition wavier. My semester bill was roughly $700, not too bad. It was a substantial savings compared to the almost $11,000 a year the average student pays, no extras included. I also received my post 9/11 GI Bill, it’s a fact that I made money while attending school.

Many colleges are even going beyond the state waived tuition and participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program. According to the Veterans Affairs GI Bill website, the Yellow Ribbon Program “allows institutions of Higher Learning (Degree Granting Institutions) may elect to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program to make additional funds available for education program without an additional charge to a veteran students GI Bill entitlement.” An institution can contribute up to 50% of the expenses related to attending college and the VA will match that amount, issuing payment directly to the institution.

The Yellow Ribbon Program went into effect durning 2008, but these states provide tuition waivers at public colleges and universities to student veterans:

Student veterans should research benefits offered by their state or college, many grants are even available. According to The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) Project on Student Debt, the average borrower will graduate $26,600 in debt. Walking away without college loan payments will undoubtedly provide for a better financial future.

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