MSEJ September 2017 - Page 17


And if you didn’t use what you had, what would happen if you regretted your inaction later?

With the elimination of the “use or lose” aspect of the Post 9/11 GI Bill for service members, they no longer have to fear what will happen when the benefits clock runs down. They can use their GI Bill benefits when the time (and opportunity) is right for them.

And while MyCAA benefits do still run out, getting a certification for certification’s sake still runs you the cost of time and energy.

As an educator, I do believe that knowledge is power. But I also know that attending school and making use of earned benefits should come with a sincere consideration of the intended outcomes. Your time does have value, and your money should only be spent when you can clearly see a return on investment in terms of your future career.

If you are attending school or a certification course under any of the following circumstances, you may want to spend some time analyzing your goals.

1. Because there’s a time limit.

Yes, we should all be aware of the time limits related to our benefits. However, that doesn’t mean we

should attend school just to use the benefits. We should use any available benefits to achieve a specific goal. Otherwise, yes, you may be using your benefits, but you may still find yourself without a plan or a career once you’re out of school.

2. Because of the added benefits.

I know the housing stipend is helpful, but going to school for the Post-9/11 GI bill housing stipend seems silly to me if there’s no direct point to your education. Using your benefits for a housing stipend is really just a short term solution to a long-term problem. Once you’re done with school, you’re still going to need a place to live, and you’re still going to need a job.