TN Promise students offered scholarship for transfer to UT

3/28/2017

The University of Tennessee Knoxville is offering a new scholarship for transfer students in an effort to attract graduates of the Tennessee Promise program.

Funding for the Volunteer Transfer Scholarship, like other merit scholarships and need-based financial aid, will come through a tuition-based model and could benefit between 15 and 20 percent of UT’s student population, said Larry Long, an assistant director in undergraduate admissions who works with transfer students.

“The first group of students who took advantage of the Tennessee Promise program are now completing their community college studies and will be looking at four-year universities to complete their bachelor’s degrees,” Long said in a news release Thursday from UT. “We want Tennessee Promise students and other outstanding transfer students to continue their education at UT.”

Tennessee Promise is the state’s program that allows high school seniors who maintain a certain GPA to attend community college tuition-free for two years. Since its launch in 2014, the program has helped more than 33,000 students enroll in college and contributed to an increase in the number of transfer students seeking to continue their education at four-year universities.

Last fall, 1,367 transfer students enrolled at UT. Between 15 and 20 percent of the student population at any given time is made up of transfer students, Long said in an interview.

Transfer students, from both in and out of state, who want to continue their education at UT don’t need to apply for the new scholarship. It will be applied automatically for up to four semesters or two years, the university said in its release.

Students must have at least a 3.25 UT calculated GPA and an associate degree from a Tennessee Board of Regents community college to be eligible, and they must enroll in the fall or spring semester immediately after completing their associate degree. They also must maintain a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA while at UT to be eligible for the awards of between $1,500 and $5,000 annually.

The University of Tennessee at Martin also began offering a similar scholarship in fall 2016 for transfer students with at least 12 college credit hours and a minimum 3.0 GPA, Director of Admissions Destin Tucker said. She also said the scholarship was inspired by Tennessee Promise and that UT Martin has 20 percent more transfer students admitted for fall 2017 than for fall 2016.

In general, Long said he thinks four year institutions in Tennessee are seeing a change in the nature of the transfer student, with more traditionally-aged students seeking to transfer because of Tennessee Promise.

“We want to recognize our transfer students and make sure we’re showing them they’re important on our campus,” Long said. “There are great students at community college, so it made sense to have a merit based scholarship model for transfer students.”

“We want Tennessee Promise students and other outstanding transfer students to continue their education at UT.”

Source: Knoxville News Sentinelby RACHEL OHM

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org

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