AUSTIN - It’s never too late to get an education. Even if you’re 75-years-old, like Eldon Tarver.
After life intervened in the 1960s, the University of Texas business student dropped out of his classes, but now he’s back and slated to graduate with the class of 2018, Tarver said in an interview with McCOMBS TODAY, a publication of the McCombs School of Business at UT.
“Throughout my adult life, I regretted not finishing my degree,” Tarver told McCOMBS Today. “I always felt like if I went back to school, I wanted to return to UT.”
So when he and his wife, Pauline, decided to move back to Austin to get closer to their children, he did just that.
Tarver credits the Hazlewood Act, a state law that provides up to 150 hours of tuition exemption for veterans and their family at public colleges and universities in Texas, from making that dream financially viable.
He told McCOMBS TODAY that he gets a lot of support from his family, but that some of his friends "scratch their heads."
Maybe they knew Tarver back in the day, as he said he didn’t think he was a good student the first time around when he spent too much time at Gregory Gym and the Student Union.
After dropping out, Tarver joined the military for four years. He re-enrolled at UT yet again after his service only to drop out in just under two years.
While his earlier days as a Longhorn may have taken a personal toll on him, you can rest assured that Tarver is trying his hardest to be a better student this time around. He told McCOMBS TODAY he’s only taking classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and that he’s “studying pretty much every other day.”
He also said the UT crowds, diversity and parking are also some of the major differences he’s noticed since being enrolled in the 60s.
“Then there’s the Co-Op. That’s a madhouse,” he told McCOMBS TODAY. “It was a lot simpler to get your books before.”
Though Tarver said he doesn’t believe he’s really in the market for a job after graduation, he might consider getting back into volunteer work.
“Most of my focus has been getting through this first year and learning how to be a student again,” said Tarver. “I’m just trying to get it done while I’m still alive.”
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