Free Tuition Plan Promoted by Governor Halsam in Tennessee

There is good news for Tennessee students with the introduction of the free tuition plan that has been introduced by Governor Bill Halsam on Wednesday. He is urging students to take advantage of his pet project that is aptly called “Tennessee Promise”. This program offers to cover the tuition of any high school student that graduates.

Halsam made the rounds of high schools throughout the state to promote his plan and speak to packed gymnasiums of eagerly listening students. He said “We don’t want anyone to say ‘I’d like to go to college but can’t afford it.”  According to senior Leah Vanderbush he is spot on as she expresses that some students do seem concerned that they may go into debt. Leah says, “So I think this two year program really will motivate them to go to college for two years for free.”

Halsam plans to pay for “Tennessee Promise,” which is expected to cost roughly $34 million dollars, by using the millions of lottery money that is currently sitting in reserve and add it to the $47 million endowment that exists as well. There is currently $400 million sitting in a reserve fund.

The goal of the program is to not only get kids to enroll in college, but to actually get them to complete an associate’s degree and hopefully then transfer to a four year college as a sophomore. The Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor, John Morgan shares this idea by saying “It does create a whole different culture over time that students know that they can go to college” and he goes on to say “And that changes the discussion, and I think will lead to many more students going to college.”

Johnson II, L. (2014, August 20). Governor Haslam Promotes Free Tuition Plan in Tennessee. Retrieved August 21, 2014, from

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