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Students seek alternative ways to pay for school

May 30, 2017

 

David Dunn, a retired veteran who served in Iraq, is set to graduate this upcoming May from the University of Louisiana-Monroe. – Submitted photo

Raheem Proctor
Staff Reporter | rjp020@latech.edu

 

Every college student is not fortunate enough to have their full tuition paid, waived or assisted.

 

There are those who earned scholarships and grants to take care most of their tuition while in college.

 

There are those who have to take out full loans or pay completely out of pocket just to chase a dream.

 

Then there is the case for students who join the military.

 

Such is the case with Zaiquise Marshall, a senior computer information systems major, who joined the military as a way to pay for school.

 

“Everybody has their own reason for doing great things,” Marshall said. “As a poor college kid, I made the decision to join the Air Force National Guard.”

 

The Tallulah native said joining the military was always a big time goal for him, but he had a little encouragement to help make that decision.

 

“I could not afford to pay for college, so I needed help,” Marshall said.

 

Most military programs provide some type of tuition assistance for those servicemen and women who plan on obtaining a degree.

 

Aside from helping pay tuition, the military also leads to jobs and can even guide those that are undecided in a new direction.

 

“When I returned to school from military training, I was a changed person,” Marshall said.

 

Marshall emphasized how his mindset changed from wanting to pay for school to wanting to serve, protect and fight for his country.

 

Devin Dunn may sympathize with Marshall by saying that the military does indeed change people. They wake up earlier. They eat faster. They have an extra seriousness about life that some people find intimidating.

 

In the military, a person is given a target and then trained on how to obtain the target or objective. They are trained to always achieve an objective, even back in civilian life.

 

“I knew what I had to do coming into college and my primary goal has always been to graduate,” said Dunn, a senior graphic design major at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

 

Dunn actually started out in the military, is a retired veteran having served in Iraq, and is set to graduate this upcoming May.

 

“I honestly believe going active and serving prepared me for college, because I do not believe I would have been ready for college coming fresh out of high school,” Dunn said.

 

A great number of college students do a reserve program in which they must complete basic training and then are allowed to return back home, which is when most go back to school.

 

Kerry Fuselier recently joined the National Guard and plans to return to Tech in the fall.

 

“I just felt like I need to hit the reset button on my life, school and even my pockets,” Fuselier, a sophomore nursing major, said.

 

He will return from a program in which he graduated with honors and an extensive job training curriculum.

 

“It makes me more motivated to come back,” Fuselier said. “I wasn’t doing terrible before, but now I know if I use what I learned that I’ll do way better than I ever have.”

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