One of VA’s biggest successes recently has been hiding in plain sight under our digital noses. The GI Bill Comparison Tool continues to quietly break traffic records as 79,246 visitors used the tool in January 2017 and has received 5.6 million page views since coming online.

It’s no surprise the start of a new semester brings increased traffic, as last month’s peak beat out August 2016 by some 2,000 visitors and the previous best by 7,000 visitors in August 2014 — when the comparison tool was launched.

The trend shows that more Veterans, Servicemembers and their dependents are using the tool to make informed choices on where and when and how they will utilize their GI Bill benefits — to say nothing of the school officials and administrators, data crunchers and legislators checking in on how certain institutions rate or stack up.

The comparison tool has helped 1.74 million unique users — validating the humble vision of the small team that created it.

Too often, it seems, the public perceives government as inefficient and wasteful. But the comparison tool was almost completely homebrewed by just a handful of VA and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) developers.

Since VA cannot actually advise a Veteran or Servicemember on where or which school they can use their GI Bill benefits, the comparison tool originated in idea as a protection, a way for users to research public, private and for-profit institutions on their own.

The federal requirement was created by Executive Order 13607 and Public Law