The Drive to 55
Is hoping to pick up new passengers at community colleges and colleges of applied technology. The Chronicle of Higher Education has be best summery of our governor's proposal to offer free tuition to all public higher education institutions in Tennessee except universities. Access is a good thing. He's also proposing cutting the lottery scholarships for freshman and sophomores at universities to $3000 a term from $4000.
Free Community College? Tennessee Proposals Draws Praise and Concerns
Gov. William E. Haslam of Tennessee this week proposed a relatively simple idea: Have the state pay the tuition and fees of all high-school graduates who want to go to a community or technical college for two years. The governor's plan, called the Tennessee Promise, would use state lottery reserves to create an endowment to pay for the program, estimated to cost about $34-million the first year, if it is approved by the General Assembly.
A bill is advancing in Oregon’s legislature to study a similar proposal.
Governor Haslam's idea is not entirely new, and it's no silver bullet. But it is gathering positive reviews from many higher-education experts who describe it as a bold plan that could have broad effects in the Volunteer State.
"Dramatic and game-changing ideas are needed to meet our nation's need for higher education, and we're glad to see them being proposed," Dewayne Matthews, vice president for strategy and policy at the Lumina Foundation, wrote in an email.
One major effect of the Tennessee Promise would be to encourage low-income students who might have been dissuaded from even applying to college because of the sticker price, said Mr. Matthews and others.
"We know that many potential students, especially underrepresented and first-generation ones, see college as unaffordable," Mr. Matthews wrote. "The Tennessee proposal addresses that concern very powerfully."