End Tuition Discrimination Against Veterans
  • Petitioned Dr. Joe May

This petition was delivered to:

President, Louisiana Community & Technical College System
Dr. Joe May

End Tuition Discrimination Against Veterans

    1. Justin Curley
    2. Petition by

      Justin Curley

      New Orleans, LA

  1.  
  2.   
October 2012

Victory

We did it! Earlier this week I met with Chancellor Sullivan to discuss the treatment of veterans like myself at Delgado Community College. I entered the meeting with hope and the encouragement that thousands of people had my back. I left the meeting elated- Chancellor Sullivan not only agreed to fix my situation but to also do the same for other veterans in my situation and retroactively pay us back to the fall of 2011. This is huge! He and the administration are now interested in helping me fix this at a higher level so we can help even more veterans access their hard earned GI Bill and get university degrees. This is a huge step for veterans like myself everywhere and I couldn't have done it without you.

In 2003, I enlisted in the Air Force where I was trained as a medic.  I served all around the country as well as 4 years in Germany and 2 years in Pensacola.  After being honorably discharged from service, I knew I wanted to continue a career in medicine so I decided to pursue a degree in nursing.  Thanks to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, I would be able to pay for my tuition if I attended a public college or university.  Little did I know that my years of military service would in fact prevent me from benefiting from the GI Bill I was promised.

 

Three years ago I moved to New Orleans to attend Delgado Community College which is part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.  I moved there just two months after leaving service.  Despite my three years of residency, the board and chancellor of my school denied my in-state residency, claiming that because I hadn't been employed in Louisiana for one year, I am an out-of-state student.  "Well you're a resident of Louisiana, just not for tuition purposes," said the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.  Thus, my GI Bill tuition benefits were worthless.  I'm charged tuition at the non-resident rate.  The out-of-state fees make my tuition double that of an in-state student.  The GI Bill does not pay the out-of-state costs.  I have to take out student loans to pay the difference and I loose well over $3,000/year of student loan money that could go towards other expenses like housing, transportation, books, groceries, etc.  

 

Essentially, because I constantly moved with the Air Force, the Louisiana Community and Technical College System is taking away the veterans benefits I rightfully earned in favor of unwritten policies that are left up to the discretion and judgment of the board and chancellor.  To me, that says I'm a resident of nowhere. All -- because of my service.

 

I am not the only veteran this is affecting.  More veterans at my school and veterans all across the country are having a difficult time proving their residency because of the unique circumstances revolving around military service.  

 

So I am calling on the Louisiana Community and Technical College System to pioneer a process that would make it easier and less stressful for veteran students to access the Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits they- we- rightfully earned.  And hopefully, other schools will then follow their lead.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Vets in North Carolina Need Our Support!

      Justin Curley
      Petition Organizer

      Please, please, PLEASE lend NC your signature and support as they combat the same bureaucratic nonsense that I fought against. Read the article about UNC veterans' fight and then lend your signature to their fight. Without you, I couldn't have reversed Delgado's opinion. But now NC needs your help. Please lend them your support as you have lent me yours.

      http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/22/14565761-home-but-not-a-resident-some-student-veterans-fighting-to-stay-on-gi-bill?lite

      https://www.change.org/petitions/unc-board-of-governors-stop-discriminating-against-student-veterans.

      Home but not a 'resident': Some student veterans fighting to stay on GI Bill

      courtesy of Hayleigh Perez Some 250,000 student veterans are being forced to pay $10,000 for tuition each academic year because many colleges are misclassifying the residency status of those veterans - often for the schools' own financial gain - according to a student veterans organization.

    2. It's Official: Dr. Sullivan on What Delgado Did & How You & I Made Change!

      Justin Curley
      Petition Organizer

      "On Thursday, October 18, Delgado's Chancellor Monty Sullivan confirmed that Curley's petition succeeded in catalyzing a change in Delgado's residency policy that would retroactively refund any veterans in similar positions, including Curley."

      "“We have been out front on this issue for a while now, and it was just after the passage, I believe, of the Post-9/11 veteran's benefits package, because we recognized it created an issue for our veterans,” said Sullivan. “The concern that I have was the implementation of that policy was not as fast as it should have been or as accurate as it should have been in terms of the interpretation of policy.”"

      Please read on for further details. Thank you so very much, each and every one of you! We did it!

      http://www.examiner.com/article/breaking-news-delgado-alters-residency-policy-refunds-vets-after-petition?fb_action_ids=10151127636358877&fb_a

      Breaking news: Delgado alters residency policy, refunds vets, after petition

      Jay Todd,New Orleans Political Buzz Examiner Jay Todd is a political science major at the University of New Orleans, and has published over 100 articles on Examiner.com and UNO's Driftwood newspaper, ranging from government, society, environment, and economics. He has served as the President of the Service Coalition, UNO's community...

    3. News...

      Justin Curley
      Petition Organizer

      I will have some VERY good news to post soon... so *please* stay tuned & thank you for your support!

    4. Some of the Other 250,000 Veterans

      Justin Curley
      Petition Organizer

      Another story exhibiting the fact that this problem is not an isolated incident. There are many vets -- at my school, elsewhere in the State of Louisiana, and throughout the rest of the country -- who's tuition money is, or is almost, absolutely worthless.

      Veterans in North Caroline are suing the state for "the possibility of waste and abuse of GI Bill revenues and possible misclassification of residency for tuition purposes. "

      Student veterans to sue UNC System alleging discrimination

      Catherine Lash,Charlotte Military News Examiner Catherine grew up seeing the world and learning military life in an Air Force family of seven. She is very familiar with the transitions and sacrifices in military life. With degrees in Political Science and Communications from LSU, she is a former radio news journalist.

    5. Examiner.com

      Justin Curley
      Petition Organizer

      Our new goal is 2,500 signatures. I see Dr. Sullivan Monday at 9 a.m. Your signature could be the one that tips the scales. Please, please, PLEASE share what's happening with student veterans around the country and work with me to end it. 2,500 isn't the stoping point. Neither is Delgado, but it's only together that we can make change.

      Thank you, thank you, THANK you Jay Todd for being oh so patient and flexible. Here's the story.

      Veteran's petition on tuition residency discrimination pushed by Change.org

      Jay Todd,New Orleans Political Buzz Examiner Jay Todd is a political science major at the University of New Orleans, and has published over 100 articles on Examiner.com and UNO's Driftwood newspaper, ranging from government, society, environment, and economics. He has served as the President of the Service Coalition, UNO's community...

    6. Reached 2,000 signatures
    7. On to 2,000!

      Justin Curley
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you! In between study breaks tonight I checked the numbers as they continued to rise. I encourage you: if you believe the half-truths promised to Veterans should stop with the GI Bill we were promised -- share my story with friends and lets keep this going!

      On to 2,000 for now. Lets make sure not a *single* more vet is denied their tuition benefit because of a technicality.

      Grateful & humbled by all of your support. Let's press on!

      -Justin

    8. Reached 1,500 signatures
    9. 1,000 and going strong!

      Justin Curley
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you -- each and every one of you -- for your support! Together we can make sure that all Veterans get the education benefits we were promised. I'm committed to working hard to make this a reality & the positivity thus far is moving. Thank you all so much. Let's keep working!

    10. Reached 1,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • William Dinkel CLARKSVILLE, TN
      • almost 2 years ago

      Having been in the military, in the early 70's, I know what our servicemen go thru and they deserve the opposite of discrimination, rather favored status and assistance both in tuition and jobs when they come out of the service.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Denise Rose Rutan KANSAS CITY, MO
      • almost 2 years ago

      Colleges should be integrated with the local community. People would go somewhere "for tuition purposes" - for quality and particular schooling: and stay and contribute... schools can take the lead and this will help build a nation.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sandra Mason HOPKINSVILLE, KY
      • almost 2 years ago

      Haven't we put our military thru enough? Why can't we help accomodate them? The government sure isn't..

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Terri O'Neil CHAMBLEE, GA
      • almost 2 years ago

      It seems to me that a veteran that had been deployed overseas might have difficulty proving in-state residence in any state if policies are sufficiently asinine. The result could well be that veterans are deprived of a key benefit of citizenship that their civilian counterparts enjoy. That's no way to "appreciate" veterans.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Bryan Miller MCGEHEE, AR
      • almost 2 years ago

      The government should be run by the people it governs.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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