Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced during his State of the State address Monday that all adult residents will be able to attend the state's community colleges tuition- and fee-free. The idea builds on the success of the widely-heralded Tennessee Promise, which offered free tuition, last dollar scholarships at community colleges to the state's high school graduates.
"We have to do more for adults in Tennessee," Haslam said. "I'm introducing the next step in making certain everyone in Tennessee has the opportunity to earn a degree by proposing Tennessee become the first state in the nation to offer all adults a college education free of tuition and fees."
The state's officials have a goal to have 55 percent of the adult population with a degree or certificate by 2025, but they're about 870,000 degrees short, he said.
The proposal, which isn't expected to cost taxpayers, would be offered through the Tennessee Reconnect initiative, which already allows adult students to earn a certificate for free at any of the state's colleges of applied technology.