For cash-strapped college students, inflation is making school harder to pay for. But Southwest Tennessee Community College has been responding to student needs in the hopes of keeping them enrolled.
Roughly 40% of Tennessee seniors take steps to enroll in college, but don’t follow through in the fall.
The Tennessee Board of Regents has received $130,000 in grant funding from the AT&T Foundation to divvy up among the state’s 13 community colleges. Each institution was given $10,000.
To qualify for TSU’s scholarships of up to $10,000, transferring community college students have to demonstrate financial need and be fully accepted into the university, which means having at least a 2.5 grade-point average.
Nashville State Community College is trying to enroll more residents into its degree and tech programs ahead of the next school year, while hoping more students will utilize its GRAD program to take advantage of the extra financial and academic support after the pandemic.
Tennessee’s Black and Hispanic students are far from having access to an equal education when compared to their peers. A new report from education nonprofit SCORE shows that the racial inequities seen in K-12 are also apparent in public colleges.
Nashville high schoolers who graduated in 2020 were less likely than their predecessors to immediately enroll in college. The pandemic last fall shut down schools and created new barriers that derailed students from pursuing their post-high school plans.
Tennessee’s community colleges were expecting an increase in enrollment as people struggled to find work this fall. So it came as a surprise when high education leaders saw a 11.5% decrease in students compared to last year.
Tennessee education leaders are making a last-ditch effort to get students signed up for tuition-free mentoring and scholarship program Tennessee Promise.
Private universities were expecting to bear some of the brunt of the coronavirus fallout this year. They anticipated students would choose less expensive, public colleges instead. Enrollment data, however, show a few Middle Tennessee campuses are seeing higher than expected interest.