UT System Interim President Randy Boyd interacts with faculty and staff members from the University of Tennessee at Martin during a recent UT employee appreciation event in the Skyhawk Dining Hall.

UT kicks off statewide tour touting free tuition with stops in West Tennessee

The University of Tennessee’s statewide UT Promise tour will begin Monday, Sept. 23, in West Tennessee – the first of a three-day tour promoting the innovative, free-tuition program.

“One of the most effective ways to spread the word about UT Promise is to go directly to the people it will impact the most – students,” said UT Interim President Randy Boyd. “I’m so excited to be spending time in our public schools talking with students about how UT can help them achieve their dream of a college degree.”

“This program will ensure that all qualified Tennessee students will have access to a four-year degree. The UT Promise will help our region by equipping current and future students with the means to chase their dreams,” said UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver.

UT Promise is a last-dollar scholarship program that guarantees free tuition and mandatory fees for qualifying Tennessee undergraduate students with a family household income of under $50,000 after other financial aid is received (such as Pell Grants, HOPE Scholarship or other institutional scholarships) at UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, UT Martin and the UT Health Science Center. Students must qualify for the Tennessee Hope Scholarship and meet the academic qualifications for the institution to be eligible for this new scholarship. To help ensure success, students will be matched with volunteer mentors and will complete eight volunteer service hours each semester.

Boyd will make 14 stops from Sept. 23-25 in Fayette, Madison, Obion, Shelby, Cumberland, Davidson, Hamilton and Knox counties. The West Tennessee schedule is:

  • Monday, Sept. 23:
    • 8 – 8:30 a.m. – Memphis Central High School assembly
    • 10 – 10:45 a.m. – Fayette Ware High School assembly
  • 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Community luncheon (invitation only, UT Martin Somerville Center)
  • 1:30 – 2:15 p.m. – South Side High School assembly
  • 5:30 – 7 p.m. – Community reception (invitation only, West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 24:
    • 7 – 8 a.m. – Community breakfast (invitation only, Center Point Business Solutions in Union City)
    • 8:30 – 9:15 a.m. – Obion County Central High School assembly (UT Martin Chancellor Keith Carver participating)

Boyd will speak with high school juniors and seniors during school visits, while community events will include elected officials, UT alumni and high school counselors and principals, among other key stakeholders.

The University of Tennessee Foundation launched its UT Promise Endowment campaign when the Vols played the UT Chattanooga Mocs in an inter-system football game last week. Since UT Promise was announced in March 2019, $17.5 million has been raised toward the $100 million goal.

UT Promise will welcome its first class in the fall of 2020, and the scholarship program will include those students who were previously enrolled in college when the program begins in 2020. Qualifying Tennessee residents who meet the criteria for UT Promise can transfer from any institution. UT Promise is an expansion of scholarship offerings and does not replace existing scholarships.

UT Promise will be another tool in the state’s Drive to 55 workforce development initiative, which aims to have 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025.

More information about UT Promise is available at tennessee.edu/ut-promise/.



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