Tennessee Promise: The Proof Is In The Numbers

Friday, September 15, 2017 - by Holly Vincent

If you’ve ever wondered if Tennessee Promise really works, the proof is in the numbers. At Cleveland State Community College, those students who receive the Tennessee Promise Scholarship are outperforming students who do not receive the scholarship both in terms of retention and graduation rates. 

According to Cleveland State’s Institutional Research Department, the data speaks for itself. In the fall of 2015, there were 466 TN Promise students. The retention rates were as follows: 

? Fall 2015-Spring 2016: 350 (75% Compared to only 67% for Non-TN Promise

? Fall 2015-Fall 2016: 250 (54% Compared to only 33% for Non-TN Promise

According to the data, there was also a 28 percent completion rate among Tennessee Promise students in the May 2016 graduating class with only 13 percent completion rate among Non-Tennessee Promise students. 

Jamie Hamby, director of Financial Aid, stated, “Not only do we retain more of our Tennessee Promise students on a semester by semester basis than we do our non-Promise students, but according to the data, these are the ones that stayed the course to receive their degrees after two years, as well.”

In order to receive the Tennessee Promise, students must complete a variety of steps including: 

1. Apply for Tennessee Promise by going to www.tnpromise.gov by Nov. 1.
2. Complete Your FAFSA and college application by Jan. 16, 2018. (And make sure that you’ve listed Cleveland State as your number one choice on your FAFSA and your Tennessee Promise application.)
3. Attend a second mandatory meeting at your high school in spring.
4. Register as a full time student for fall semester at Cleveland State.
5. Attend your New Student Orientation between May and July.
6. Complete and submit 8 hours of community service between Nov. 3 and July 1, 2018.

“I think all students thrive when provided with structure,” stated Ms. Hamby. “I think that’s one reason why our Promise students perform as well as they do. In order to be a part of Tennessee Promise, you have to be held accountable and be able to meet deadlines, and these students learn that structure very early on.”
For more information on Tennessee Promise, visit www.tnpromise.gov, or contact the CSCC Financial Aid Office at 423-473-2317.

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