MOVE TO TENNESSEE FOR THE WEATHER. STAY FOR THE FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE?
Low-income students who could not previously afford to apply to many colleges will now have the chance to go school tuition-free.
In January, Governor William Haslam of Tennessee proposed a bill, called Tennessee Promise, where the state will pay the tuition fees of every high school student grad that wants to go to technical or community college for two years.
The program is funded by money made from the state lottery.
Research suggests that this bill would lead to both higher college enrollment and a higher number of degrees attained. Haslam’s goal is for 55% of state residents to have a higher education degree by 2025.
To qualify, students apply for federal grants, and Tennessee covers what the federal government does not. Students must be enrolled full-time for up to five semesters, maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher, and perform 8 hours of community service each semester.
We applaud Governor Haslam for encouraging more socio-economic diversity in his state colleges. A higher education degree is a ticket to higher lifetime earnings, and will help increase worker productivity for future generations.