Lawmakers approved legislation Wednesday that will extend the Tennessee Promise program that launched in 2014. It made educational cost and charges free for late secondary school graduates enlisted in a junior college or specialized school. Presently, grown-ups who don’t as of now have a partner’s, or four-year college education can go for free, as well, beginning in the 2018 fall semester.
Governor Bill Haslam is relied upon to sign the bill into law. He proposed the legislation in his State of the State address prior this year. It’s a foundation of his drive to expand the quantity of inhabitants with a school instruction to 55% by 2025. A year ago, under 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 an announcement.
To be qualified, 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.
Extending the free tuition program will cost about $10 million once fully implemented. But it will be funded by the state’s lottery account, much the same as whatever is left of Tennessee Promise.
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.
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, as well. San Francisco will make junior college free for all inhabitants beginning this fall.
In April, New York made educational cost-free at two-and-four-year schools for understudies whose families gain close to $125,000 a year. Legislators in Rhode Island are likewise considering a proposition 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 enlistment among first-time rookies by 30%, as per the representative’s office. The first group of eligible students is graduating this year.