Over 10,000 Adults Have Applied For Tennessee Reconnect Scholarship

This week, House Republicans joined with Governor Haslam to announce that over 10,000 adults have applied for Tennessee Reconnect, the state’s program for adult learners to earn an associate degree or technical certificate tuition-free.

The application for Tennessee Reconnect opened on February 15 of this year and 10,497 applications had been submitted as of April 10. Tennessee Reconnect is a groundbreaking program that covers tuition and mandatory fees at a Tennessee community or technical college for eligible adults that do not yet have a college degree.

Among those who have applied for the scholarship, more than two-thirds have previously enrolled in college and just more than half of all applicants have attended college in the past five years. The average age of applicants is 34 years old and nearly 90 percent of those who applied plan to work while enrolled through Reconnect.

The Tennessee Reconnect program was passed by the General Assembly in 2017. Adults hoping to enroll in community or technical college in fall 2018 are encouraged to apply by April 15 to ensure time to complete all enrollment steps. The application for Reconnect requires four simple steps:

• Complete the application at TNReconnect.gov,

• Apply to a local community college or eligible Tennessee Reconnect institution,

• File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at FAFSA.ed.gov,

• And enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part-time.

The Tennessee Reconnect program is part of the broader Drive to 55 initiative — the push to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. Studies show that by 2025, at least half the jobs in Tennessee will require a college degree or certificate.

Tennessee is the first state in the nation to offer all citizens, both high school graduates and adults, the chance to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate tuition-free.