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It was just two days past his high school graduation when Eric Livingston enlisted in the U.S. Marine Reserves. "I liked the idea of what the Marine Corps does, but I also knew it was an avenue to get my education," he says.
Eric knew he wanted to go to The Ohio State University and, after he enlisted, he enrolled in classes at Columbus State to get him there. After one year in school, Eric was deployed to Afghanistan, and was forced to withdraw from his classes. "I was gone for 8 months, and when I got back home, I wanted to start back to school, but it was a tough transition."
"Jay (Favuzzi) and the Veterans Services staff showed me how to make it all work."
He had earned GI benefits, so the Columbus State Veterans Services staff helped him through the process of securing those benefits and paying for college. "I have benefits that pay for 70% of my education. Columbus State's low tuition helps that go a lot further, and reduces what comes out of my own pocket."
More importantly, Eric says, Columbus State's Veterans Services staff helped him make the mental and emotional transition from deployment back to the classroom.
"A lot happened in that eight months and I'm not going to say it was easy to come home and go right back to everyday life and school. At one point I thought seriously about giving up on getting my degree, but Jay (Favuzzi) and the Veterans Services staff showed me how to make it all work."
Eric's immediate goal is to transfer to Ohio State and major in Finance. With just one semester left at Columbus State, that goal is well within his reach.