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James Ross, Homeless Man, Sues For Free College Education

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HOMELESS
Homeless man James Ross is suing two Florida universities over a little-known provision that entitles him to a free college education. | AP

A homeless man is suing two Florida universities for not honoring a state statute that he believes entitles him to a free post-secondary education, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

James Ross, 47, has been homeless on and off since he was 14, trading his time between a tent in the woods and shelters, according to the Sentinel. And while he admittedly suffers from mental health issues and calls himself a "genuine social misfit," the Orlando man has decided to take his case to court, suing Valencia College and Full Sail University for allegedly failing to abide by a state statute that entitles him to a free post-secondary education. The civil suit is seeking $100 million, the Sentinel reports.

To see pictures of how Ross lives his day to day life, click here.

The little-known provision entitles anyone without a "fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence" to attend the state's colleges, universities or trade schools free of tuition and fees.

With a scanned copy of the statute in hand, Ross attempted to apply to Valencia College, which would not process his application without paying a fee, and Full Sail University, which turned him away.

Attorneys for both schools have filed motions to dismiss the case, according to the Associated Press. The case is set to begin on August 28.

While children and youth are entitled to a free public education nationally, Florida is the only known state to extend that opportunity to post-secondary education, according to the Sentinel.