The governor of Tennessee announced that adults can enroll tuition-free this fall at a community or technical college in the state.
Bill Haslam said this week that the groundbreaking program enables high school graduates who are at least 24 years old two years of tuition-free community or technical college.
“We want to send a clear message that wherever you fall on life’s path, you have the opportunity to earn an education beyond high school,” Haslam said in a statement.
“By 2025, at least half the jobs in our state will require a college degree or certificate. Tennessee will lead in creating highly-skilled jobs if we make sure that Tennesseans are ready for those jobs, and there is no smarter investment than increasing access to high-quality education.”
People who already have an associate or bachelor’s degree aren’t eligible.
Those interested begin by filling out an application at TNReconnect.gov before applying to a local community college or eligible Tennessee Reconnect institution.
Then people should file the FAFSA and enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part-time.
Eligibility rules also state that a student must be a Tennessee resident for at least one year and be determined as an independent student on the FAFSA.
Nashville Public Radio noted that the state estimated that Reconnect will only have to cover about 15 percent of a student’s tuition costs because most people will qualify for a high amount of financial aid from the federal government.
The opportunity will be promoted through a state-wide marketing campaign.
The Reconnect program builds off of the Tennessee Promise program, which provides people who recently graduated from high school with two years of tuition-free community or technical college.
Knox News reported that the Promise program students are more likely to succeed in college than their peers.