After opting to join military student has hard time getting deposit back

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PHOENIX - A Valley teen wanted to go to college, and put down hundreds of dollars to enroll, but when he changed his mind getting the money back proved to be a tough task.

When Tyler Arnold, 18, realized college wasn't for him his family assumed they could get their enrollment fees back, especially since the reason Tyler wasn't going to college was because he decided to enter the military instead.

Arnold's biggest lesson in survival skills won't come this fall.

"I was ready to go to college, the college experience," he said.

It'll happen in March when the Pinnacle High School graduate heads off to boot camp.

After realizing the military was his true calling Arnold's parents asked NAU for their $300 enrollment fee back, not expecting the school would just pocket their payment.

"They just said that as of May they decided to no longer refund deposits because of joining the military," Dennis Arnold said.

"They should refund your money if you decide to go fight and protect them," Tyler said.

Surprised the school denied their request Dennis and Tracy Arnold contacted 3 On Your Side asking NAU to give them a break.

"When one of your kids goes off to fight for their country and decides not to go to college, at this time and then go off to fight for his country, that that should mean something," Dennis said.

3 On Your Side contacted NAU to get some answers.

"He wasn't just flaking out and not going, he just made a different choice," Tracy Arnold said.

In an e-mail, a university spokesperson said NAU has a policy of no refunds for the fall after May first.

However, the school will reconsider if a student cannot enroll; adding military service to our country certainly qualifies as a reason for a refund.

After we got involved, NAU did refund the Arnolds' $300 enrollment fee.

"I would of never got that money back had you guys not have, I don't even know what you did, but you did something, but if it wasn't for you guys I would of never got it back, and thank you," Dennis said.

The family said they're thrilled to have their money back and the only thing they're even more excited about is their son's choice to achieve what he really wants out of life.

"Most kids just want to go up to college and party, so I was really happy he made that decision," Dennis said.

"I'm proud to join and be the only one out of my family, like my brother, my dad, to go and do something big in my opinion," Tyler said.

It appears this was a case of misinformation.

However, NAU said it is making an effort to correct the problem so it doesn't happen again.

So, again, thank you to NAU for refunding the money