Tennessee Student Aid Alliance Purpose
The Alliance is a collection of various business and educational organizations who have agreed to speak out in support of critical student aid programs designed to increase access to Tennessee's higher education institutions. The percentage of Tennesseans holding a college degree is among the lowest in the United States. This affects the State's ability to attract new businesses and improve the overall quality of life.
The Alliance focuses on State student aid programs that are funded through general appropriations and not lottery revenue. Consequently, the Alliance does not address issues related to the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarships, but does encourage the Tennessee General Assembly to increase its support for the following programs:
Tennessee Student Assistance Award - This is a non-payback need-based program designed to assist the most financially-needy, academically-qualified Tennesseans attend college. The grant program may be applied for by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Ned McWherter Scholars Fund - This is a non-payback merit-based program designed to keep the best and brightest Tennessee high school graduates in Tennessee. Applications are available through the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation website. Applications must be submitted before February 15.
Tennessee Teaching Scholars Program - This is a forgivable loan program for those accepted into an accredited teacher licensure program. The recipient must satisfy a service requirement by teaching in a Tennessee school in order to avoid pay-back requirement. Applications are available through the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation website. Applications must be submitted before April 15.
The three programs are funded by state appropriations and are designed to address key educational and training needs of Tennessee. The funds provided by these programs give students the freedom to choose either a public or private college or university. It is the Alliance's goal to increase the funding for each of these programs in an attempt to better serve the citizens of Tennessee.