Governor Bill Haslam is asking all high school seniors to take the time to apply for the state’s one-of-a-kind scholarship program.
Students have until November 2 to apply.
Tennessee Promise is a state sponsored scholarship and mentorship program that provides two years of community and technical college free of tuition and fees.
15,830 students from the 2015 graduating class are taking advantage of this year’s first implementation of Tennessee Promise benefits this fall, according to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC).
Also, community colleges across state are reporting substantial growth, with the number of students enrolling full time in community college directly after high school increasing by 14% since last fall.
“My message to high school seniors is: this is your Tennessee Promise. This is an opportunity for you to fulfill your potential, and you have an opportunity to change the future for yourself and for our state,” Haslam said.
Proposed by Haslam and passed by the General Assembly in 2014, Tennessee Promise is a key part of Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential to 55% by the year 2025.
Since the implementation of Tennessee Promise, the state says it leads the nation in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion – comprising 40% of the nation’s growth in FAFSA filings in 2015.
In addition to applying for Tennessee Promise, students are required to file a FAFSA, attend two mandatory meetings and complete eight hours of community service.
The state is also looking for adult mentors to help students complete their training.
“We know that access to college is important, but even more important is success. Not only do we need to get those students into school, they need to finish. That’s why the mentor piece of the Tennessee Promise is so important,” Haslam said. “The process of applying and attending college can seem daunting, especially for first generation college students, and having a caring adult to help guide you can make a big difference.”
The student and mentor applications are available at http://tnpromise.gov