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Associated Press
This 2008 photo provided by Stephen Lee shows Lee, right, having a meal with Afghans in Paktika province, Afghanistan. Lee was still in Afghanistan - his second deployment to the war zone - when he began looking at colleges. The California native settled on the University of Wisconsin-Madison and had already begun his studies when he learned of the coming changes to his GI Bill benefits. He was looking at an extra $20,000 a year out of pocket. "It was a HUGE jump," says Lee, whose military occupational specialty, or MOS, was human intelligence collector. "And that's when I had to start thinking really hard about whether or not I was going to be able to afford school, or whether I'd have to take a year off and work while I tried to get in-state status." Around that time, the state launched its Yellow Ribbon Program, under which the university and the VA agree to split the difference between the resident and nonresident rate. There was only a limited amount set aside for the program, but Lee lucked out. "This uncertainty almost took me out of school," he says. (AP Photo/Stephen Lee)

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