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Application process open for TN Reconnect

Posted on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7:08 pm

Pat Marsh

Pat Marsh

State Representative


You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. ~ C.S. Lewis

I’m proud to announce that the application process is officially open for adults to enroll tuition-free this fall at a community or technical college through Tennessee Reconnect. Over 4,000 applications have already been submitted.

As you may know, Tennessee Reconnect provides high school graduates two years of tuition-free community or technical college. This is a last-dollar scholarship for adults to earn an associate degree or technical certificate as part of the Drive to 55 initiative. Since studies show that by 2025, at least half the jobs in Tennessee will require a college degree or certificate, we want to make sure people in our community are prepared for the changing job market.

Once again, Tennessee is showing its leadership in education. We are the first state to offer all our citizens, both high school graduates and adults, the chance to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate tuition-free. The application deadline is set for April 15, 2018.

To apply:

  • Complete the application at TNReconnect.gov;
  • Apply to a local community college or eligible Tennessee Reconnect institution;
  • File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at http://FAFSA.ed.gov;
  • Enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part-time.

I had many visitors this week up from the district. The Convenience Store Association came up Monday, and I got the chance to visit with Amy Mitchell from Southern Energy and Bill Parsons from Parsons Oil of Fayetteville. Rhonda Clanton, the Bedford County Property Assessor, was also up here for a meeting and a visit.

On Wednesday morning, I had a good meeting with Shelbyville’s hardest working person to really help those in need — Fredia Lusk. Fredia was representing the Community Clinic of Shelbyville and Bedford County. She is the Executive Director of the clinic that works to obtain funds, grants and donations to keep the free clinic open for our most vulnerable citizens. I am trying to help Fredia up their state budget for all the Health Care Safety Net programs in the state. Thanks, Fredia, for all your hard work and for your passion to help!

Wednesday was also Farm Bureau Day on the Hill. I was able to meet with Jason Reeves, Renee Wiser and several board members of the Bedford County Farm Bureau. I got to show them my new office and then they toured the new tunnel and the Capitol. We then met back up at Puckett’s for a great lunch.

The Legislative Session is probably half over for this year, and everything will proceed at a super-fast pace until we adjourn around the end April. Bills are really starting to move around here and make their way out of committees and to the floor. Our subcommittee is scheduled to close down soon. Its final calendar was published this week, and it has 39 bills! Many of them will likely be taken off notice, but we are still in for some long meetings. Since we are in the second half of the 110th Session, if they aren’t heard next week, the bills will be dead. If the sponsor still wants to pass similar legislation, they will have to start completely over next year. A new bill will have to be drafted, filed and go through the committee process all over again from the very beginning.

I passed four bills in the committee system this week, and I have one on the House Floor on Thursday. I have had to take three or four of my personal bills off notice because of various problems with the legislation. If they have problems, we certainly don’t want them to become state law.

Let me know what you think or if there is something I can help you with. My number is 615-741-6824 and my email address is rep.pat.marsh@capitol.tn.gov. I want to hear from you so I can better serve you.