Bill Haslam — the governor whose successful proposal of the Tennessee Promise has generated national attention — has the wind at his back these days. A recent poll from Middle Tennessee State University found that 79 percent of state residents approve of the program, including a whopping 90 percent of across-the-aisle Democrats.
With such support, Haslam has unveiled several new higher education proposals in his budget, including a $1.5-million pilot program intended for adults who are at least halfway to an associate’s degree. Those who qualify would receive the same benefit as recent high school graduates in the Tennessee Promise.
One of the results of the Promise is that four-year institutions in the state have already announced ways that they are making college more affordable in an effort to attract students who otherwise might be considering a community college option.