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Application Snafu Cause Higher Tuition Fees For Navy Veteran

7:08 PM, Nov 11, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Michael Gunter served 10 years in the United States Navy but he said that UNF is keeping him from getting the maximum use of his GI bill educational benefits.

"I'm trying to graduate with less than the average $25k in debt," he said. "They're throwing up all these roadblocks."

Gunter is new a student at the University of North Florida in the Health Administration program. The problem is he's paying out-of-state tuition fees and he said he shouldn't have to.

"I'm a reservist, I'm in pay status, I drill, I'm eligible for a promotion. I could get called to go to Iraq or Afghanistan to active duty like anyone else. I don't understand why they wouldn't give me the Florida tuition rate," said Gunter.

According to Florida law, those serving in the military pay in-state tuition fees as a resident.

He has had to get a $10,000 student loan to cover his expenses, for that is the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. 

"I don't know if the people at UNF just don't understand the language," said Gunter.

The problem is not UNF; the problem is the language of the paper work sent to the university.

"The paperwork that was submitted to us by the student from the military, indicated that he was inactive. Active duty qualify for in-state tuition which is what he was asking," said Sharon Ashton, UNF's assistant vice president for public relations.

The paperwork said Gunter was inactive, with a Chicago address but at the same time it also said he was assigned to NAS at full pay, implying that he has an active role in the military.

"Normally what we get from the military is very clean cut, it is black and white, you're active or inactive," she said.

Wednesday, November 9, the UNF staff decided to change Gunter's status; after we began investigating his complaint, the University gave him a call to let him know it will change his residency status.

"Our admission hadn't really seen anything like this before, but we decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

 

 

 

 

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