Governor Haslam proposes free tuition for 2 year colleges

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Governor Bill Haslam wants to pay for your kids to go to college. Governor Haslam has been saying he wants more college graduates to attract more businesses in the state. Monday night he proposed paying a student's tuition for two years.

Candace Davis is a senior at Loudon High School. She'll be the first in her family to graduate and she has her sights set on college. Candice Davis says, "I work fast food. I don't like it that much because you do so much work for so little money so it makes me want to have a good career."

For people like Candice who want to go to college, Governor Haslam is trying to make that possible. He unveiled Tennessee Promise which gives tuition to students going to community or technical colleges for two years the money would come from lottery reserve funds. Davis says, "This will be a great opportunity. It's not really fair that just because you don't have the money you can't get an education."

Candice's Principal Cheri Parrish thinks Tennessee Promise will encourage students to get their associate's degree. She thinks it will give them confidence to go on and get their bachelors degree. Only about half of her students go to college now. Loudon High School Principal Cheri Parrish says, "I was really excited because a lot of our students can't go on to four year college or a two year college."

Pellessippi State Community College welcomes the governor's plan.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Ted Lewis says, "We're very excited because it will allow them to come without worrying about finances involved."

They anticipate a considerably larger enrollment, but assure me they can deal with the influx of students since they have five different campuses.

The legislature still has to approve this plan. The governor says he wants it in place as early as this fall. So in August Tennessee students could be going to college for free.