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Tennessee Re-connect offers tuition-free education

Posted on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 8:13 am

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam last week announced the application is open for adults to enroll tuition-free this fall at a community or technical college through Tennessee Reconnect.

Tennessee Reconnect builds off the groundbreaking Tennessee Promise program, which provides high school graduates two years of tuition-free community or technical college, by establishing a last-dollar scholarship for adults to earn an associate degree or technical certificate free of tuition or mandatory fees.

“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.

“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.”

Haslam encouraged adults to apply for Tennessee Reconnect by following four simple steps: 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; and enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part-time.

To be eligible for Tennessee Reconnect, a student must not already hold an associate or bachelor’s degree, must be a Tennessee resident for at least one year and be determined as an independent student on the FAFSA.

A state-wide marketing campaign also launched on Thursday to promote the opportunity to apply for Tennessee Reconnect through television commercials and digital advertisements.

Tennessee Reconnect and Tennessee Promise are programs under the Drive to 55, the governor’s initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. Early results of the Tennessee Promise program show that students participating in the program are succeeding at higher rates than their peers.

Tennessee is the first state in the nation to offer all citizens – both high school graduates and adults – the chance to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate tuition-free.