Tennessee makes community college free for all adults

Tennessee makes community college free for all adults

Posted 10 months ago in Current Events, updated 7 months ago.

Deen Doughouz image
Male , Lives in Turkey
1,939 Views
Image

(by Katie Lobosco, CNN Money) – Lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday that will expand the Tennessee Promise program that launched in 2014. It made tuition and fees free for recent high school graduates enrolled in a community college or technical school. Now, adults who don’t already have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree can go for free, too, starting in the 2018 fall semester.

[Republican] Governor Bill Haslam is expected to sign the bill into law. He proposed the legislation in his State of the State address earlier this year. It’s a cornerstone of his initiative to increase the number of residents with a college education to 55% by 2025. Last year, less than 39% of residents had gone to college.

“If we want to have jobs ready for Tennesseans, we have to make sure that Tennesseans are ready for jobs, and there is no smarter investment than increasing access to high-quality education,” Haslam said in a statement.

To be eligible, students must have been a state resident for at least a year before applying, maintain a 2.0 GPA, enroll in enough classes to be a part-time student, and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Expanding the free-tuition program will cost about $11.2 million once fully implemented. But it will be funded by the state’s lottery account, just like the rest of Tennessee Promise. [An estimated 20,000 are expected to enroll in the first year, said Mike Krause, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.]

Students will save about $3,700 a year, which is the average cost of tuition and fees at Tennessee’s 13 community colleges. If they already receive a need-based Pell Grant from the federal government, Tennessee will cover any remaining cost.

 

Should states be in the gambling business?

Since Haslam, a Republican, pushed for the Tennessee Promise program in 2014, the idea of tuition-free college has gained some traction. Oregon has made community college free for recent high school grads and GED recipients, too. San Francisco will make community college free for all residents starting this fall.

In April, New York made tuition free at two- and four-year colleges for students whose families earn no more than $125,000 a year. Lawmakers in Rhode Island are also considering a proposal to make two years of college tuition-free.

More than 33,000 students have benefited from the Tennessee Promise program in its first two years, raising enrollment among first-time freshmen by 30%, according to the governor’s office. The first group of eligible students are graduating this year.

 

CNNMoney (New York) First published May 11, 2017. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from CNNMoney. For the original article, visit CNNMoney.com.


infoclear

Your reaction?

11
LOL
9
LOVED
11
PURE
6
AW
10
FUNNY
8
BAD!
8
EEW
7
OMG!
5
ANGRY
Comments 1

jacksteven288  

hello

REPLY
keyboard_arrow_up