SCF, Manatee-Sarasota Helps Purple Heart Recipient Get Head Start on Education

(Bradenton, Fla., Aug. 4, 2016)Sgt. Corey Carter, a Bayshore High School graduate who enlisted in the U.S. Marines, decided last year to get a head start on his education with online classes at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF). He knew once he got out of the military he would have only 36 months to use his Veteran Administration education benefits.

 Carter, who was awarded the Purple Heart after he was in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan in 2011, heard Florida had recently adopted tuition waivers for Florida recipients of the Purple Heart, so he reached out to SCF. He was assigned to Delane Solana, an advisor in Veteran Services at SCF, who helped him get the award and sign up for classes online while he was still stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

While he is officially a Florida resident, because he is still on active duty and stationed in North Carolina, he had a couple of hurdles. But Solana made sure she got all of the paperwork Carter needed and helped him with his application. He was able to complete four online classes over the summer and already is enrolled for the Fall semester. He will complete his military service in October and move home to Sarasota.

 Carter said he contacted Solana six months before he enrolled for his first semester. “She brought me up to speed with the Purple Heart benefit,” he said. “She helps me with any questions on classes and recommendations on professors” who can help him from a distance.

Carter said all of his professors “have been great.” He has been able to come home on leave to pick up his books and to meet any in-person requirements, but has communicated and worked largely online. He’s looking forward to January when he will get to be on campus full time.

Carter, who has a 4.0 grade point average, plans to complete his Associate in Arts at SCF and then transfer to the University of South Florida, Tampa to get his computer science degree. Once he is out of the service, he will likely use his GI Bill, which will pay for 36 months of tuition and living expenses. His Purple Heart benefits cover tuition only, but have helped him get ahead so he can complete college within the time allotted through the GI Bill.    

National Purple Heart Day, an annual day of recognition to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of combat-wounded veterans, is Sunday, Aug. 7.

For more information, contact  Solana in Veteran Services at or 941-752-5505. 

Corey Carter

Corey Carter

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