Earlier this year, Tennessee became the first State to offer higher education free of charge to it’s residents. ?The Tennessee Promise is straightforward. ?Within the words of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam towards the Type of 2019, “You have the opportunity to attend two years of community or technical college completely tuition-free when you graduate from senior high school.”
The requirements of the program are simple. ?Any current high school senior in Tennessee must perform the following:
- Apply to the program by November 1, 2019.
- File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15, 2019 at www.fafsa.gov.
- Complete FAFSA verification, if needed by the student’s institution, by August 1, 2019.
- Complete 8 hours of community service for each semester they receive Tennessee Promise funding, to become completed before the start of each term.
- Apply to and sign up for an eligible institution. Some partnering organizations may ask students to apply for an eligible college program by February 15, 2019. Though this deadline is not the official requirement, it’s highly encouraged.
Any student who’s interested can get more information and apply?here.
A Reason behind Hope
With the growth of education loan debt in the usa, there’s been much debate within the best way to address this debt and to reduce it for future students.
One from the chief benefits and issues with federal government student loans is they are easy to get. ?The goal behind easy access to student education loans is a simple one – every american should have use of higher education. ?The unintended consequence of the program continues to be huge growth in tuition prices. ?With the money so easy to obtain,?universities can raise prices without fear of losing students. ?This has gone on for decades.
The problem with changing our current education loan programs is that it could limit college opportunities for a lot of students. ?Getting a plane that balances the requirement for reasonable prices without closing doors has shown to become challenging.
The exciting part concerning the Tennessee promise is it includes a real opportunity to really make a difference for thousands of university students. ?In fact, it might help students who don’t even sign up for this program.
New university students in Tennessee are in possession of a choice of attending over 40 schools for free. ?Non-participating state schools, private schools, and for-profit schools are in possession of new competition in the education marketplace. ?If they want new students they’re going to have to convince them that they’re worth spending thousands of extra dollars. ?These schools may have to drop their prices to contend with each other and with the free vocational schools and technical schools. ?This would be a huge win for residents of Tennessee.
What about everybody else?
Obviously the program only directly affects residents of Tennessee, nevertheless it has the potential to create a national impact.
One from the reasons that State governments receive a lot independence in the Federal government is because the founding fathers viewed them as “laboratories of democracy”. ?If the experiment is successful in Tennessee, many other States could follow.
Tennessee currently has 32% of their residents with a college education. ?The aim of the Tennessee Promise is to get that number as much as 55%. ?Should the program achieve it’s lofty objective, Tennessee have a huge advantage over other states with regards to recruiting business. ?Other States might be forced to adopt a similar program.
The Bottom Line
The Tennessee Promise may be the start of a monumental shift in higher education funding in the United States. ?At the very least, many Tennessee residents will have excellent higher education opportunities. ?Down the road, a number of other Americans might be afforded similar opportunities.