A University of Michigan student who took a break from studies to serve four years in the U.S. Navy and then returned to academics is saying the school has a policy that is discriminating against veterans.
Sophomore Brian Stone told WIDV when he returned from service to the university, he was billed for out-of-state tuition, adding $10,000.
“And then I got a letter in the mail saying that due to my overseas service that I may be considered an out-of-state resident. I had a $6,000 bill that was left for me,” Stone said according to WIDV.
“We’re not happy about this policy. We think it pushes veterans away,” he continued. “Actually, we’ve lost 40 percent of our veterans this semester at the University of Michigan Dearborn just because of this.”
Stone, as part of the Student Veterans Association, asked university leaders Thursday to change this policy.
He also started a petition for his cause and included these other examples of veterans he believes were discriminated against through the policy:
In one case, the residency classification office told a veteran she needed to legally separate from her spouse, who is working out of state to pay for her extra tuition, in order to “cut out-of-state ties” and receive in state tuition.
In another case, they told an Iraq war veteran and Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, who had never left the state of Michigan except for military deployments, that he was an out of state resident because he “left the state of Michigan and went to Iraq for a year.”
WIDV reported that Stone was able to get his out-of-state student designation changed, but it took four months, during which time he paid the higher tuition cost.
“Do they think Iraq and Afghanistan are military VACATION HOMES? This is outrageous and MUST STOP!” Stone wrote in his petition.
According to University of Michigan’s residency guidelines, those living outside the state who want to receive in-state tuition — those who don’t reside there for education, volunteer actives, military service or employment are a few examples — must file Application for Resident Classification. There are filing deadlines based on the school calendar.