Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Get Ready for Tennessee Promise at Vol State

Vol State is launching an extensive Tennessee Promise publicity campaign starting this week. Why have we held off until now? We wanted to avoid confusion for incoming students. The Tennessee Promise will go into effect in the fall of 2015 and for high school seniors graduating next year. There are some other eligible groups, but also many restrictions. Here is the news release going out this week. Please note the special sessions for high school students and their families, listed below.

High School Seniors Apply Now for TN Promise Free Tuition at Vol State

The Tennessee Promise is a statewide program that allows high school seniors to attend community college free of tuition starting next year. Volunteer State Community College is one of the eligible Tennessee Promise colleges and the school is letting high school seniors know that they should apply for the Tennessee Promise now.

The program launches in 2015 with graduating high school seniors, home school students and High School Equivalency recipients eligible. There is a November 1 deadline for students to apply for the program online. That can be done at www.tnpromise.gov. Students will then need to apply to Vol State at www.volstate.edu/apply.

“While this is a free scholarship, students must take responsibility to fulfill the requirements, which includes making all the deadlines,” said Vol State president, Dr. Jerry Faulkner. “Even if a student is not sure they will attend Vol State, it is wise to complete the Tennessee Promise application before the deadline, in order to keep that option open.”

The Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship, meaning that it comes after a Pell Grant, Hope Scholarship, and TSAA scholarships. Students will need to apply for Financial Aid with Vol State, by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15. That can be done at www.fafsa.gov.

Books and materials are not covered by Tennessee Promise. Students must carefully follow the state guidelines to qualify and stay qualified. The Tennessee Promise covers five consecutive semesters of tuition, if students maintain qualification. They must start college in the first fall semester after they graduate from high school. They must also take at least 12 hours of classes each semester.

“Vol State is gearing up to help students meet the application requirements and to provide the on-campus assistance to help them maintain their eligibility for the Tennessee Promise,” said Dr. Faulkner. “We want to do everything in our power to help students succeed.”

The Tennessee Promise also provides mentors to help students with the college-going process. There will be two mandatory meetings for students in the spring. Students must complete eight hours of community service in the year before attending Vol State. While at Vol State, each student will need to complete eight hours of community service per term enrolled in the program and must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. Students must fill out the FAFSA again each year that they are enrolled, by February 15 each year.

Vol State can help students and parents with questions about the program. There will be informational sessions held in October. At each session, participants will have access to computers to complete the on-line Tennessee Promise application, and the online Vol State application. They will also receive an introduction to completing the FAFSA.  

The Gallatin campus sessions will be Saturday, October 18 from 9 a.m. to Noon and Tuesday, October 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A Springfield session will be held at the Highland Crest campus on October 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There will be a session in Livingston on October 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required for all sessions and can be completed online by visiting www.volstate.edu/promise. Exact locations will be provided after that sign-up. For more information about the Tennessee Promise at Vol State visit the web page or call the Vol State Admissions Office at 615-230-3688.

Don't forget that we still need mentors for the program in Sumner County. Vol State employees are perfect mentors, because you already understand how the system works, in at very least a basic way. Consider filling out the application today: www.tnachieves.org/mentor-application

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