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VOL. 39 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 23, 2015

Tennessee Promise gearing up for new students

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NASHVILLE (AP) - About 90 percent of Tennessee's senior class has applied for the first year of Tennessee Promise, the program that offers eligible high school seniors the chance to go to a community college or technical college tuition-free.

The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/1z31Tx8) reports that amounts to about 58,000 students and exceeds predictions by tens of thousands.

Some of those may decide to attend four-year schools instead or go another route, but in the meantime, community colleges are preparing to educate more students.

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan says some campuses may have to schedule night or weekend classes to accommodate added students.

President Barack Obama has praised the program and urged Congress to make community colleges across the U.S. tuition-free.

Mike Krause, who was brought in by Gov. Bill Haslam to oversee the program's beginning, has been contacted by other states to ask him about Tennessee Promise.

"States are looking at what Gov. Haslam has done, and they are fundamentally going back and saying can we do this?" Krause said. "Our answer to them is, for us in Tennessee, it was the right thing to do because we needed to change the conversation around the state."

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