Navy veteran with perfect GPA denied transfer to San Diego State University

SAN DIEGO - A Navy veteran with a perfect GPA is on the hunt for answers after he was denied a transfer to San Diego State University.

Eric Johnson spent half of his six years in the Navy as a nuclear-trained electrician on a submarine. He was deployed overseas once, and he left the Navy in 2012 to pursue his passion -- to become a history teacher.

"I hit the books hard and tried to do my best at Mesa College … achieving the best grades I could," said Johnson.

So far, mission complete. After two years of classes, he boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA.

In November, he applied for a transfer to SDSU.

After five months of anticipation, Johnson on logged onto the SDSU portal on Tuesday to find out his application decision.

Johnson was denied admission and given this reason: some 78,000 prospective undergraduate students applied with fewer than 8,000 slots.

"My wife and I looked at that … disbelief for a couple of minutes," said Johnson.

He placed a call to SDSU and said he was told his application was in good order and was again informed about how competitive the process was.

Johnson became more puzzled when he found out a friend and fellow Navy veteran had just been accepted with a GPA of 3.48.

While his friend had completed an associate degree, Johnson did earn the number of credits needed for transfer. He also earned a Volunteer Service Medal while in the Navy for his volunteer efforts.

"I feel frustrated coming to a dead-end road. I just want to get to the bottom of this," said Johnson.

While Johnson wants to get into SDSU, he said his main concern -- in speaking out -- is for other veterans.

"When they come back and work hard and want to pursue school as well, that they get a fair shot," said Johnson.

In a statement, SDSU says it "receives applications from thousands of highly qualified transfer applicants each year and they are admitted based on intended major."

The school receives about 22,000 transfer applications for 3,000 slots.

Johnson can appeal the decision.

He's also awaiting an application decision from UC San Diego.

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