CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With a record freshman class, Austin Peay State University wants to continue to make college a reality for high school seniors.

University President Dr. Mike Licari announced any high school senior with a 3.0 grade point average will not only receive automatic acceptance, but also a $1,000 scholarship.

“Two-for-one kind of shot at making sure students out there in the state of Tennessee have a chance to go to school,” Licari said. “We want school to remain as affordable as we can make it.”

According to Inside Higher Ed, 52.8% of high school graduates go to college. This is almost a 10-point drop compared to 2019.

The high cost of tuition has remained one of the main factors for a graduate’s decision on whether to attend college.

“We have the second lowest tuition and mandatory fees in the state, which runs $8,500 a year.” Licari said. “You can get a degree from Austin Peay State University with a pretty minimal investment.” lists the average annual cost for in-state tuition in Tennessee at about $10,000 a year. The cost of tuition plus room and board is about $20,000.

With Austin Peay State University’s new initiative, they hope to attract future Governors.