tnAchieves expands college coaching and non-tuition funds to TN Promise students

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, June 28, 2022

As Tennessee seeks to reverse negative college-going rate trends due to the pandemic, tnAchieves will expand its nationally celebrated college success model, Knox Promise, statewide. Launched in 2019 as a pilot program supported by the Haslam Family Foundation and TN SCORE, Knox Promise created additional layers of support for TN Promise students in Knox County as they transitioned from high school to a college credential.

In only three years, Knox Promise has increased the likelihood of an economically disadvantaged student retaining in college by 156 percent. With the foundation of TN Promise and the expansion of student-level supports, tnAchieves experienced a 2-percentage point increase in its college graduation rate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to Gov. Bill Lee and the General Assembly, tnAchieves will provide a full-time proactive coach to every economically disadvantaged TN Promise student. The expansion, known as COMPLETE, also allows eligible students to access up to $3,000 dollars in non-tuition funding during an academic year. tnAchieves will address barriers such as food, housing and technology insecurities as well as ensure eligible students have access to the books, tools, class fees and computers needed to successfully earn a college degree via access to COMPLETE grants.

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“The 9 percentage point drop in Tennessee’s college-going rate created a renewed sense of urgency at tnAchieves,” said Krissy DeAlejandro, President and CEO of tnAchieves. “We believe in the resiliency of our students but understand it is our responsibility to level the playing field so that ALL students can find success in college. You cannot be hungry and focus on your classwork. We plan to boldly and compassionately address these issues to not only help our students but also to ensure the economic viability of our state and communities.”

Students from the graduating Class of 2022 will not only have access to their tnAchieves volunteer mentor but also to their tnAchieves COMPLETE coach in August 2022. tnAchieves will also make COMPLETE grants available to students in August 2022.