Articles written by: Emily Siner

Gov. Bill Haslam promoted the Tennessee Reconnect grant at TCATs across the state this spring, including at TCAT Chattanooga, pictured here. Credit: TN Photo Services.
Audio / Higher Education / Tennessee

The Real Winner Of The Tennessee Promise Enrollment Boom? Technical Colleges

Tennessee’s community colleges have been the center of attention this year while the governor’s office implemented Tennessee Promise, a free-tuition program for graduating high school seniors. But another branch of the state’s higher education system far surpasses community colleges in terms of enrollment growth: technical schools.

Richard Irwin, vice provost of University of Memphis, talks to higher education leaders about efforts to recruit older adult students. Credit: Emily Siner/WPLN.
Audio / Tennessee

How Is Free Community College Affecting Enrollment At Four-Year Universities?

The number of Tennesseans enrolling in community college immediately after high school jumped 14 percent this fall, according to the state. That’s due in large part to the first year of Tennessee Promise, which made community college free for graduating high schoolers. But on the other side of the higher education equation were four-year universities.

Margot Fosnes, right, wrote down the contact information of the Tennessee Promise students she worked with this spring. She would later contact them to remind them of the FAFSA deadline. Credit: Emily Siner/WPLN.
Audio / Tennessee

Mentors Won’t Help Tennessee Promise Students With Financial Aid Forms Anymore

In the state’s second year of offering free community college to graduating high school seniors, it’s changing the way it’s helping students apply for financial aid as volunteer community members will no longer be helping Tennessee Promise students navigate the FAFSA — even though that had been one of the mentors’ main tasks.

Tennessee Promise students Kris Tugman, left, and Richard Briley talk in the hallway of a Nashville State Community College building after meeting Gov. Bill Haslam. Credit: EMILY SINER / WPLN
Audio / Tennessee

Tennessee Promise Students Begin Long-Awaited First Day Of Free Community College

Monday marked the first day of school for thousands of freshmen across the state started community college for free. It was a day much anticipated by officials who’ve been implementing Tennessee Promise — and by many students who’ve changed their post-high school plans to take advantage of it.