Like Last Year, Nearly 60K Seniors Have Applied for TN Promise

Press release from the State of Tennessee, Nov. 4, 2015:

Second Year of Program Sees Application Growth

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that for the second consecutive year nearly 60,000 high school seniors have applied for the Tennessee Promise, Tennessee’s groundbreaking scholarship and mentorship program that provides high school graduates last-dollar scholarships to attend two years of community or technical college free of tuition and fees.

By midnight on November 2, 59,635 students submitted applications.

“We’re excited to see even bigger application numbers this year. This is changing the culture of expectations in Tennessee, and one of the significant things about these numbers is it means that in the last two years more than 117,000 Tennessee students have had a purposeful conversation about going to college,” Haslam said.

Seniors that applied for the Tennessee Promise will now be required to participate in two mandatory meetings, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete eight hours of community service.

In 2014, more than 58,000 students applied, and according to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), 15,830 students from the graduating high school class of 2015 are using Tennessee Promise benefits this fall, which is the first year of implementation. Community colleges across the state also report substantial growth, with the number of students enrolling full time in community college directly after high school increasing by 14 percent since last fall. As a result of Tennessee Promise, Tennessee leads the nation in FAFSA completion, comprising 40 percent of the entire country’s growth in FAFSA filings in 2015.

Haslam also encouraged adults to sign up to be mentors for Tennessee Promise students before the November 20 deadline by visiting http://tnpromise.gov/.

“We know that access to college is important, but even more important is success. 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,” Haslam said.

Proposed by Haslam and passed by the General Assembly in 2014, Tennessee Promise is a key component of Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary credential to 55 percent by the year 2025.