I just mailed off another $1,500 to Berkeley for my son's education. I am very grateful that, so far, we haven't had to borrow any money to pay for college. California gave our family the in-state tuition rate as military members living in California.
In 2009 we expect the New G.I. Bill to kick in, which should pay for his tuition. Since I have more than 10 years on active duty, I shouldn't incur an additional active-duty commitment to accept the money. I've read that if you have at least 6 years of active service, you can transfer your benefit to your dependents, but it incurs a 4-year service commitment for you.
The G.I. Bill covers the enrollment fees of the public universities. If you select a private college, you'll have to make up the difference. Also, dependents are not entitled to living expenses, which military members themselves would be able to collect.
All in all, we're very grateful for the benefit. It came just in time for our family.