Big news for families in Tennessee who are sending their kids to college next year.
Thousands of students will be eligible to go to the University of Tennessee at no cost.
The average U.T. Knoxville student graduates with more than $20,000 in debt.
Tuition alone costs $13,000 a year.
U.T. Interim President Randy Boyd wants to cut the cost for some people to nothing. He calls it the U.T. Promise.
“So the U.T. promise is an opportunity for those students that have all the academic qualifications to be able to have the right to go to our universities, but maybe they don’t have the financial means,” said Boyd.
The U.T. Promise will cover the costs left over after other financial aid. It will be open to families whose household income is under $50,000 per year.
“One of the reasons that students drop out is because of finances. At least we can reduce that for many of the students.”
And the university hopes to set up students for success by pairing them with mentors.
“Many of them are going to be first-generation college students and what that means is they can’t go back to their family and get the guidance they need. We the University of Tennessee family are going to step up and make up for that.”
The U.T. Promise starts in Fall 2020 for new and current students.
U.T. says it will initially cover the cost. It plans to raise money to fund the program long-term.