WGU Tennessee offering new scholarships

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG  christy.armstrong@clevelandbanner.com
Posted 3/23/17

Online university Western Governors University Tennessee is one of the latest four-year institutions to begin offering new scholarships in light of the statewide Tennessee Promise scholarship …

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WGU Tennessee offering new scholarships


Online university Western Governors University Tennessee is one of the latest four-year institutions to begin offering new scholarships in light of the statewide Tennessee Promise scholarship program.

Partnering with Cleveland State Community College and the state’s other two-year institutions, WGU Tennessee has announced the “Fulfilling the Promise” scholarship.

“Many students who come to Cleveland State with Tennessee Promise do so with the thought they will continue on to another college for a bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Kimberly Estep, chancellor of WGU Tennessee. “They also are often looking for a way to do this affordably.” 

Tennessee Promise students who graduate from one of the state’s 13 community colleges this spring or summer can apply for up to 20 scholarships of $2,000 each to WGU Tennessee. In addition, the institution is offering a 5 percent tuition discount for all spring and summer Tennessee Promise graduates, along with an extra $200 off for the first semester.

The statewide Tennessee Promise scholarship program, proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam, welcomed its first students in the fall of 2015. The Class of 2017 at Cleveland State and other eligible institutions will include the first Tennessee Promise graduates.

When Tennessee Promise was first introduced, some baccalaureate institutions feared the program would affect their enrollment. The program for students straight out of high school saw many students choosing to go to community college, when they might otherwise have chosen to attend a four-year college.

According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, a total of 33,081 students have enrolled in the state’s community colleges and Colleges of Applied Technology through the Tennessee Promise program since 2015.

While some four-year colleges have seen a slight shift in how many freshmen and sophomores they enroll, Estep said the biggest change is simply that institutions are having to focus more on recruiting transfer students.

“We’re starting to see more transfer students coming through the pipeline,” Estep said. “We at WGU have actually continued to grow, as we market our programs to working adults who, like the Tennessee Promise graduates will be, are looking to complete their bachelor’s degrees.”

WGU Tennessee is an online, nonprofit, competency-based university formed through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University. It offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the business, K–12 teacher education, information technology and health professions, including nursing.

Estep noted WGU is unique in that students can enroll in a degree program at the start of every month — not just in August or January. She added she hopes the new “Fulfilling the Promise” scholarship “will help more adults get on their way to receiving the degrees they need to find success in their careers.” 

For more information on the online college and its new scholarships, visit http://tennessee.wgu.edu/promise.


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