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Community College Tuition-Free for All Tennesseans | Tennessee State Government

Gov. Bill Haslam recently made an announcement that Tennessee will add tuition-free community college for adults to the TN Reconnect program, which already offers a free 2-year degree or certificate program to graduating high school students.

How does Tennessee manage what many other states seemingly cannot do? I’m not sure. But it appears the state is fiscally responsible. “For a second year in a row, and the second year in Tennessee recorded history, the state budget does not take on any new debt.”

Haslam: Community College Tuition-Free for All Tennesseans (Link)

“NASHVILLE – In his seventh State of the State address to the General Assembly, Gov. Bill Haslam introduced his proposal to make Tennessee the first state in the nation to offer all Tennessee adults without a degree access to community college tuition-free – and at no cost to taxpayers.” ~ Tennessee State Government


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. usfman

    While equal access is a worthy progressive goal it does not necessarily promote equal attainment .

    • JoAnn Chateau

      No, that requires elbow grease, plus luck.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. smilecalm

    just read that SF
    is doing so, also.
    in CA community colleges
    are still affordable,
    but not downright cheap;
    like $25 per semester,
    as when i went there 🙂

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Certain states must always lead the way. Residents of most states don’t seem to expect anything of value in return for their taxes!

      • smilecalm

        right?! 🙂

  3. philosophyfictionblog

    Prima facie, it’s a great idea and a great thing. College tuition is obviously driving away talented youth from working-class backgrounds and entrenching structures of privilege in our society. My hunch, though, is to look for a catch here. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Maybe there isn’t, though.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      I don’t blame you for being suspicious, but if 2-yr free college tuition is our measure for something “too good to be true,” our expectations have sunk very low.

      There probably is an angle, though. It’s hard to attract companies to your state who can provide good jobs (and spur the economy) if your population is uneducated.

  4. dancingpalmtrees

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to do this in New York also. Too late for me as I will be paying back my student loans for at least the next three years!!

    Message from the Governor

    When it comes to higher education in New York this much is clear: A student’s access to a quality education shouldn’t depend on what their parents make.

    That’s why I kicked off the Excelsior Scholarship Campaign this week, to talk to people about my plan to offer tuition-free college at our state universities to middle class New Yorkers. This initiative is the first-of-its-kind in the nation and will enable thousands of bright, young students to pursue their dreams of higher education — without the pressure of crushing student loan debt.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Kudos to New York, too. Hope this is a trend. For those of us who became indebted for the sake of education, we can at least look forward to living in a better, kinder, more stimulating society that increasingly contains more aware and thinking people.

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