I am writing to you from Afghanistan, to express my dismay that your school is continuing to take legal action against a veteran who is a state resident. A recent report I read in the Washington Post about Navy veteran Stephanie Kermgard’s protracted legal battle with your school over tuition makes me wary of your institution’s support for student veterans.
These reports have indicated a disturbing lack of concern for student veterans—I put the student first because we are, after all, there to learn—and our issues. Particularly with regards to financial aid and VA (Veteran’s Administration) educational assistance, I am appalled to hear that your school administrators consider some military students out-of- state residents; while the vast majority of other universities consider us in-state residents. A bill to fix this is working its way through Richmond’s corridors of power, but does it really take legislation to inject some common sense here?
After my current deployment, I had planned to move to Virginia—my fiancée lives in Washington D.C.—to complete my education. George Mason was among the schools I had strongly considered applying to, due to its proximity to DC, great reputation and support for the GI Bill’s Yellow Ribbon program. As a result of the recent report, I am no longer interested in attending your university.
We in uniform are more than just guaranteed tuition payments. At a time when veteran unemployment is high and school funding is drying up, universities ought to be stepping up and leading the path to education and degree completion for those who have served honorably, not putting obstacles in the way.
For a school which hosts the Army ROTC’s “Patriot Battalion,” it sure doesn’t appear to be upholding that tradition. It is time for George Mason to live up to its motto—“Where innovation is tradition,”—and fix its military residency tuition woes, before the Supreme Court does.
(NOTE: The opinions and views expressed here are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Army, the Veteran’s Administration or the Department of Defense.)
“Hala Numan thinks that corporations invented the association of green with shamrocks, red and green with holly, red and pink with romantic love, and orange and black with pumpkins and nighttime. The only thing more absurd than this is her failed attempt to then segue into a hackneyed, juvenile rant against “the system” which had nothing to do with her aforementioned groundbreaking discovery. Please tell me this isn’t the best that Mason’s left wing has to offer.”
Graduate student, software engineering, Volgenau School of Engineering