This is the email I received, in response to the email I sent about Austin Community College denying the Marine from Texas residency status. (If you don’t want to read the whole thing, he now has Texas residency status.)
We have received your email concerning military veterans and their eligibility to pay resident (in-state) tuition at the state’s public colleges and universities. Unfortunately, some recent news articles did not fully describe the circumstances under which this student was classified as a non-resident, and federal privacy laws prevent us from providing more specific information about this particular case. In general, if a person has established Texas residency at the time of entering military service, time away from Texas due to service does not in any way affect that claim to residency. Texas has a basic set of laws that govern how people qualify to pay resident tuition, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the colleges and universities do not have the authority to overrule those laws. The state has many special programs to help members of the military, their families, and veterans qualify to pay the resident rate. The state also has provisions to help people leaving the service become classified as residents for tuition purposes. For an official message from the President of Austin Community College further explaining this situation as it appeared earlier this week, please go to the following link: http://www.austincc.edu/pres/Message.htm.
The good news is that Austin Community College recently announced that the issue involving this particular student has been resolved after he provided the appropriate documentation to qualify for in-state tuition. For an official message from the President of Austin Community College regarding this, please go to the following link: http://www.austincc.edu/pres/Message2.htm.
We strongly believe that every effort should be made to treat service members, their families, and veterans fairly. As a matter of fact, our Commissioner of Higher Education is a Vietnam veteran and is personally committed to ensuring that service members get the benefits to which they are entitled.
Sincerely, Linda Battles Assistant to the Commissioner Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Is it true that a Marine has been denied residency status because of his two tours in Iraq? If it is, and this is your policy, I think it needs to be changed.
According to Fox News, at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,166018,00.html, Austin Community College says it is your policy that is making that happen.
I am glad it is resolved.