Students with a family household income under $50,000 will have fees and tuition paid in full at the University of Tennessee at Martin under the new “UT Promise” financial aid program announced March 14 by UT System Interim President Randy Boyd during his State of the University address in Nashville.
“It is critically important that we take a lead role in ensuring students can achieve their dream of obtaining an undergraduate college degree,” said Boyd. “It is our mission and responsibility to do everything we can to ease the financial burden for our middle- and working-class families, and UT Promise is an ideal conduit to achieve that.”
The program will take effect in the fall 2020 semester and serve as a last-dollar scholarship for qualifying Tennessee residents enrolled at the UT campuses in Martin, Chattanooga and Knoxville. Both incoming students and eligible current students will be able to receive the additional funding. Financial aid from the UT Promise program will become available after all other financial aid is received, including the Hope Scholarship, Pell Grants and other institutional scholarships for which the student may be eligible.
Students must qualify for the Hope Scholarship and meet UT Martin’s academic qualifications to receive UT Promise assistance. To help ensure individual success, each participating student will be matched with a volunteer mentor and complete four hours of service learning each semester. UT Promise is an expansion of current scholarship offerings and does not replace existing scholarships.
“I’m proud that the University of Tennessee System is offering this opportunity to families in our state, and I look forward to seeing the new doors that will open for students here in West Tennessee,” said UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver. “UT Martin is committed to supporting this region and our state by preparing students to enter a highly educated workforce, and I’m glad that will now be a reality for more Tennessee families.”
The University of Tennessee Foundation will launch the UT Promise Endowment campaign next year to help fund this initiative. In the interim, the University of Tennessee System will cover the cost. Currently 46 percent of UT students graduate without debt, and UT Promise seeks to make higher education more accessible and affordable for Tennessee residents.
While the UT Promise program is only available to Tennessee residents, UT Martin already provides the Explorer Out-of-State Scholarship and the Explorer Transfer Out-of-State Scholarship for those students attending from other areas. This award provides $5,000 per year for up to four years and requires students to live in on-campus housing and purchase a campus meal plan each semester. First-time students seeking this award must be admitted with at least a 22 ACT score and a 3.0 high school grade point average, and transfer students must have more than 12 college credit hours and a 2.0 cumulative grade point average.
For more information on the UT Promise program, contact Tiffany Carpenter, associate vice president for communications and marketing for the University of Tennessee System, at 865-974-8184. For more information on UT Martin-specific scholarships, contact the UT Martin Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 731-881-7040.