by Gary Leftwich

In most ways, Shadarius Stokes is a typical college student.

A sophomore studying marketing at the University of West Georgia, he juggles classes, leisure time, and a job at a local retail store that covers the bills. However, Shadarius’ schedule also includes an obligation most students don’t have – one that soon will help with his expenses.

The university recently announced it will waive required institutional fees for active duty service members and reservists who receive tuition assistance. The action, which takes effect in time for the fall semester, will help many who otherwise could not afford to attend classes.

Veteran types at a computer keyboard“These men and women already have given so much to our country,” said UWG President Kyle Marrero. “Helping them pursue their education as they prepare for the next stage of their lives is the least we can do to show our gratitude.”

Dr. Marrero requested a review of the waiver’s impact on the university after talking with local military recruiters and state Sen. Mike Dugan of Carrollton.

“This is a great step in that it shows those in the military that the University of West Georgia appreciates and values their service,” said Sen. Dugan, a retired Army lieutenant colonel. “The university benefits from getting students who have shown a deep commitment to finishing the assignments before them.”

For Shadarius, who manages logistics in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, the waiver will lighten his load.

“It will help a lot,” said Shadarius, who hopes to use his marketing education to start a clothing line. “I won’t have to come out of pocket. That means I won’t have to work as many hours, and I can concentrate more on classes.”

Between 15 and 20 students are eligible now for the waiver, according to Danny Gourley, director of the Center for Adult Learners and Veterans.

“We definitely expect that number to go up as more people learn about the offering,” Danny said.

For more information, please contact the UWG Center for Adult Learners and Veterans at 678-839-5210.

Posted on May 27, 2016