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State just made it really hard NOT to go to college

Tenn. To Offer Free Tuition At Community Colleges

The state of Tennessee is making it very difficult for students to decide not to go to college. And it's probably not for the reason you're thinking. HLN reports:

"Tennessee high school grads, listen up, are soon going to be able to attend community college for free. Lawmakers have approved a bill that will pay all tuition and fees for two years."

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us. Especially when you consider the fact that College Board found in 2013 the average cost of a two-year degree at an in-state school costs more than $10,000 per year. On average, it costs students about $18,000 per year for a four-year degree at an in-state school.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam laid out a proposal for this program back in February when he gave his State of the State address.

The Washington Post reported at the time, Haslam said the government would set aside $300 million from the state's lottery fund to help cover the costs.

WKRN notes that the governor's plan to take money away from the lottery fund will mean the Hope Scholarships, which are funded from that lottery reserve, will be cut from $4,000 to $3,500 for freshman and sophomores at four-year universities.

At the same time, Tennessee plans to increase the scholarship for juniors and seniors from $4,000 to $5,000.

This college tuition program is a large part of Haslam's "Drive to 55" initiative, which The Tennessean describes as an "initiative aimed at increasing the number of college graduates from 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025."

The program, now called The Tennessee Promise, mandates all recipients meet five requirements.

First, they must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. They must work with an assigned mentor and attend a college orientation. Students are also required to maintain their grades and finally, perform one day of community service each semester.

Cleveland.com notes Oregon and Mississippi have also discussed the idea of offering students two free years of community college, but Tennessee is the first state to adopt the proposal.

The Tennessee Promise program will take effect in fall 2015. The state is expecting 25,000 students to apply.

Join the discussion

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floatgod April 18 2014 at 12:38 PM

BLUE states are RED with envy.
Really, read some of the lib comments on here.

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Olguita April 18 2014 at 11:47 AM

Wow I'm jealous, I had to pay for every moment in college, the student loans took forever to get paid off. Having students being able to go to community college for free is amazing. I hope other states pick that up.

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2 replies
fillion.m Olguita April 18 2014 at 11:55 AM

Just wondering, Adopt, did you value your education having paid for it yourself? Were you more dedicated to your studies knowing you were forking over thousands of dollars a year to attend? Do you think you would have been as dedicated if you knew it was on someone else's dime?

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patmcurran Olguita April 18 2014 at 12:18 PM

When I went to college it was basically free and that was at a State school. The GI bill also helped people get educations and you know what, we are all doing well.

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Peter April 18 2014 at 12:20 PM

Well this is all fine and dandy if the kids, who otherwise would not have gone, intend to learn something there so they can get a job when they get out. Some kids don't belong in college, but should learn a trade instead.

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1 reply
jlwhite020 Peter April 18 2014 at 12:46 PM

Don't know for sure about Tenn. a lot of community colleges are vocational, and offer assoc. degrees

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alspoolhall April 18 2014 at 1:21 PM

Way to go Tennesse. Now if we could just start making stuff here instead of overseas, there would be jobs for everyone and in time eveyone could pay for their own education . . . like it used to be back in the day. I want to buy American made products . . . is that too much to ask?!

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1 reply
junior alspoolhall April 18 2014 at 1:33 PM

It's not too much to ask for American made products. Problem is the cost of American made products as compared to those made overseas. With of course the exception of anything NIKE, none made here and prices outrageous.

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1 reply
alspoolhall junior April 18 2014 at 1:49 PM

Thanks for your comment. Manufacturing is something I know a little bit about and there is an easy way to just do it . . . sorry for that . . . isn't that a Nike tag line?! Part of mfg. being successful stateside would mean that companies would take a little less for themselves and their shareholders, like they used to do back in the day.

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IBruzEZ April 18 2014 at 12:37 PM

All that lottery money finally going to good use....

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bergen1 April 18 2014 at 12:34 PM

Impressive. Good for Tennessee!

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hornet32j April 18 2014 at 12:43 PM

Being from TN I think this is a Beau Geste but that all it is a gesture , you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink , young folks here are like young folks every where they want to party have fun , working is inconvenient .

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2 replies
bjredmond64 hornet32j April 18 2014 at 12:49 PM

i'm afraid it is a sign of the end times the bible talks about. party party party. the fool has said in their heart there is no God.

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Observer42 hornet32j April 18 2014 at 2:22 PM

As someone who has worked with young people all my life, I have to vigorously disagree with you! Of course some children come from families who do not value education, and who do not encourage education. We are in the south, after all. But many young people want to go to college, yet are hopeless. Without family support, without understanding of how to manipulate the scholarship or loan system, they are overwhelmed. I came from a family that ridiculed my desire to get an education...that stated, "You done went and got above your raisin." Many of our TN children are in that situation. If partying is all the future they can see, party they will. This is a chance for hope.

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banngbanng April 18 2014 at 12:37 PM

If you know how to work the system and FAFSA, college is already free....take advantage of grants and scholarships. School doesn't teach you how to do this but trust me when I say the most important things I learned are the English language, basic mathematics (for my finances) and learning loopholes :)

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Motlow April 18 2014 at 10:57 AM

Not bad Louisiana should look in to this.

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no1trini April 18 2014 at 10:57 AM

Finally, a gov with the understanding, that without at least a 2yr degree, you do not have much of a chance out there.. Congratulations people of Tennessee!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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