State Watch

University of Tennessee announces free tuition for lower-income students


The University of Tennessee will begin providing free tuition to students from low-income families, the school’s president announced Thursday.

The Associated Press reported the university’s interim president Randy Boyd as saying that the policy will apply to students who are in-state and whose families make a combined annual income of less than $50,000 per year.

{mosads}”This isn’t a school just for the wealthy or the elite,” Boyd said. “This is a school for everyone.”

The University of Tennessee did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.

The program, dubbed UT Promise, would apply to three of the school’s campuses in the state, in Knoxville, Chattanooga and Martin, but will not apply to the state’s medical school in Memphis, according to CBS affiliate WREG.

“It is critically important that we take a lead role in ensuring students can achieve their dream of obtaining an undergraduate college degree,” Boyd added, according to WREG. “It is our mission and responsibility to do everything we can to ease the financial burden for our middle- and working-class families, and UT Promise is an ideal conduit to achieve that.”

Students who qualify for the program, according to the AP, will be matched with mentors for volunteer service and will be required to complete service learning requirements in order to continue receiving the benefits.

The plan applies to future students as well as those who have already applied for school in 2020.

State programs already provide full tuition assistance to a number of schools including Tennessee’s 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology, according to WREG.

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