College comes with a lot of challenges. Not everyone is ready for grueling study sessions or tricky time management skills.
Certain students enter university with an entirely different mindset than your average, overly excited freshman. Some come to UT through the GI Bill.
The GI Bill has aided several generations of soldiers in completing school.
"My grandfather fought in World War II and was one of the first generations of soldiers eligible for the GI Bill benefits," said Jack Bradshaw, senior in geography.
Whether a sibling, a friend, or even a grandparent, most students know someone who was able to complete his or her education through the assistance of the GI Bill.
"The GI Bill helped (my grandfather) graduate from law school and start a predominant law firm in Missouri," continued Bradshaw. "The GI Bill is definitely a great way to afford and attend school."
The GI Bill has continued from the 1940s to the present day and evolved to better fit the needs of modern veterans.
Stephen Jones, senior in wildlife and fisheries science, served as an infrantry man in the Marines from 2005 to 2009. He was stationed in the nation's capitol and in California. Jones served one tour in Iraq back in 2008 and found himself here on campus pursuing his dream of being a fisheries biologist. Jones attends the university with assistance from the GI Bill and is one of many veterans on campus.
The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the GI Bill, was created to help provide veterans returning home from war an easy transition into society through education and property ownership.
Originally created to only benefit soldiers during times of war, the GI Bill now encompasses any veterans that have served time for the United States military.
The GI Bill assists veterans in attending four-year universities, community colleges, technical schools, and even in acquiring advanced degrees.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the GI Bill will pay a veteran's way entirely through a public university with all tuition and fee payments. If the veteran chooses to go to a private or foreign school, the government will pay up to $18,077.50 per academic year with the exception of a few states.
"Having the GI Bill has made college a lot less stressful," said Jones. "Instead of worrying about having to make money outside of school to support myself, I can focus on studying and making good grades."
The GI Bill provides a monthly allowance, a books/supplies stipend and even pay for airfare or travel expenses if the veteran lives in a rural area.
"Also, I hear so many students talk about student loans and how much debt they are accumulating while going to school," continued Jones. "Because of the GI Bill, I will not have to worry about that when I graduate. I think graduating college debt-free is the greatest benefit (of the GI Bill)."
Around campus, these veterans blend in with your average student. Sometimes they appear older, less nervous but just as excited as every other fresh face to step foot on campus.
"I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life prior to serving, and I was sick of school. I don't know if I would have made it through school before I joined the Marines," said Jones. "I have been much more driven when it comes to doing well in school and with my career goals."
For four years, these brave men and women have traded in their camouflage for orange.
"I know what I want now and I am working hard to get it," said Jones.