David Carter, a 65-year-old formerly homeless man, will get the chance to finish his college degree, decades after hardship forced him to drop out.
Ryan Chandler, a third-year journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin, was interviewing Carter for an assignment when he learned that the man was a former UT student himself.
After starting his art degree in 1971 Carter struggled with mental health and substance issues that caused him to drop out and left him homeless. He spent some time hitchhiking and eventually moved back to the area to take care of his parents but had continued to struggle. He’d always dreamed of finishing his university degree in Studio Art but lacked a computer and money for the application fees so his goal had remained out of reach.
David brought his UT transcript today. With 87 hours passed, he has been hoping to finish his degree since 1971. We’ve been talking with the Office of Admissions, and they’re working on re-admitting him for next spring. Let’s make 2020 his year @UTAustin #DegreeForDavid pic.twitter.com/jfMtcWprH4
— Ryan Chandler (@RyanChandler98) February 28, 2019
After hearing Carter’s story Chandler began working with the UT Austin administration to get Carter reenrolled.
Now, with Chandler’s help, and after tracking down his old college transcripts that proved he’d already completed 87 credits, more than half required for the degree, Carter has been accepted back into UT Austin’s College of Fine Arts to finish what he started.
A generous university alumnus has even stepped up to pay his remaining tuition fees, allowing him to finally earn his degree.
We did it! After 6 years of panhandling on the Drag, David Carter has been readmitted to @UTAustin and will resume his degree this week. Thanks to Longhorns’ support and an article published in @TheAlcalde, a Texas Ex has pledged to pay his full tuition. #DegreeForDavid pic.twitter.com/aY46snux6R
— Ryan Chandler (@RyanChandler98) June 2, 2019
Well done, Ryan and well done, David!