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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Update on Marine being denied in-state tuition...

I am happy to say that after a nationwide outcry, the Marine that I posted about a couple of day sgo is getting a fair shake after all and will be allowed to recieve in-state tuition rates.
Marine gets tuition break
Officials find way for Texan following nationwide outcry

Following nationwide public outcry, a decorated U.S. Marine from Texas will be allowed in-state college tuition after a school turned him down because he didn't reside in the state when he began two tours of duty in Iraq.

As WorldNetDaily reported,Cpl. Carl Basham was told by admissions officials at Austin Community College he didn't qualify as a Texas resident "for tuition purposes, despite being a registered voter and holder of a state driver's license.

But today the college said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, himself a former U.S. Marine, identified a state waiver provision for which Basham qualifies, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

"We are so delighted that he will be eligible for in-state tuition," said Veronica Obregon, spokeswoman for Austin Community College.

Patterson wrote a letter stating Basham qualified for a waiver that requires him to provide military documents showing Texas as his state of residence plus his voter and automobile registration.

Obregon said Basham has presented the proper documentation to meet the waiver requirements.

Previously, the school pointed to the Texas Coordinating Board Rules, which regulate public colleges in the state. The rules say members of the armed forces "are presumed to maintain the same domicile that was in effect at the time of entering the service during their entire period of active service."

Basham moved with his parents to Louisiana when he was a junior in high school, and he enlisted in the Marines right after graduating. Even though his parents moved back to Texas after he had been in the service for a year, the college argued he lived in Louisiana at the time of enlistment.

"Any time that a student leaves the state of Texas, moves into another state, resides in that state, enters into the military in that new state, and claims that new state as their permanent home, then they lose their Texas residency," Obregon explained.

Basham had argued that after "being in the military for a year, coming from Louisiana, my parents moved back into Texas, making me an automatic resident, because I'm still their dependent."

Over two enlistments and eight years of service, the Star-Telegram reported, Basham was awarded a Combat Action Ribbon, a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and other decorations. He served as a driver and an auto mechanic in his two tours of duty in Iraq, each lasting seven months.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

That's a scandal about the marine denied that because he was away fighting for his country.

mg said...

Maybe I don't understand the in's and out's of the Montgomery GI Bill's current embodiment... but why would the state be liable for this Marine's tuition, when essentially it should be the responsibility of the federal government? State liability is totally seperate from Federal liability in these cases unless I am mistaken.

Nic said...

Hi there MG. It's not that the state is liable for his tuition, it's that he was being denied in-state tuition rates even though he was registered as a resident of the state since 1998, including a registered voter, etc. Their reasoning was he didn't wualify b/c he had spent too much time in Iraq. The link to the original story is here. Always glad to see you stop by!

Ken said...

I am glad the Marine was able to get instate tuition. Any military person should automatically get it.

In my blog I have a comment that my brother recieved in his blog from a wife who lost her husband in Iraq. Her words are very inspiring and in stark contrast to the rantings of Cindy Sheehan. Come visit and please bring a tissue.