A record number of students applied to the Tennessee Promise program this year, according to Monday press release from the Tennessee Commission on Higher Education. The commission also published its own annual report about the progress of the program.
Preliminary data shows that 64,612 high school students applied for the program during the most recent application cycle, which ended Nov. 1. The Tennessee Promise program, launched in 2015, is a tuition-free scholarship for students at the state’s community colleges.
The report shows that since the program began, 123,000 students have received $181 million in scholarships and 31,000 students benefiting from the program have earned a degree. More than 15,000 Tennessee Promise students have transferred to a four-year university in the state. In 2021, the number of students enrolled in college declined in the same year, along with the number of high school seniors. The report also found disparities in who enrolls in the program after applying. For example, black students made up 20 percent of enrollment but only 12 to 15 percent of Tennessee Promise students.
This fall, the commission launched what it calls the “Year of Momentum,” an initiative to boost the state’s college enrollment and align higher education offerings with the state’s workforce needs.
“With Tennessee’s college enrollment rate declining over the past five years, the entire state is coming together to take swift action to inform and engage more students in the many educational and career options available to them after high school.” , – says the press release. .