Could free college tuition be on the way?
Tennessee may be known for its great weather, country music and being Elvis’s hometown, but that might soon change.
According to ThinkProgress, in April, Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill that will make tuition free for all high school graduates who go to a two-year college as long as they meet the requirements of the “Tennessee Promise” program.
Tennessee considering free tuition program
As part of the program, after graduating from high school, students will have to maintain a 2.0 grade point average, attend mandatory meetings, work with a mentor, and do community service. As long as they fulfill these obligations, their college education is free.
After the students graduate two-year colleges, they are eligible to enroll in a four-year school as juniors.
According to the report, the bill needs to be approved by Gov. Bill Haslam (R) before it goes into law, but the governor has made it a part of his campaign to improve the state’s graduation rates from 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025, so it’s certainly a possibility.
Making college more accessible and affordable
While no states currently offer free tuition to all high school graduates, others, including Florida, Mississippi, and Oregon are considering “pay it forward” plans that allow students to attend community colleges or public universities for free but require them to pay a certain portion of their income after graduation.
We’re looking forward to seeing how states respond to the challenge of low graduation rates and skyrocketing college tuition. Any program that makes college more accessible and affordable should have a positive impact on reducing student debt and improving graduation rates and higher education as a whole.