News Brief - 3/16/17 Nonprofit university reaches milestone in its first three and a half years NASHVILLE WGU Tennessee a nonprofit, online university formed by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2013 to support the Drive to 55 has awarded more than $1 million in scholarship funding to Tennesseans since its launch. “We’re dedicated to being an affordable education option for working adults, and we’re always thrilled when we’re able to offer scholarships and other incentives to Tennesseans,” said Dr. Kimberly Estep, WGU Tennessee chancellor. “We know from research released by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce that tuition cost is the top barrier for working adults who want to return to college, and as a state-endorsed university we take pride in removing that barrier for many Tennesseans.” Last week, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce released findings from a survey of more than 8,000 Middle Tennessee workers. Around three quarters of respondents with some college but no degree said they were interested in returning to degree programs, but the cost associated with earning a degree was cited as the number one reason for not returning to school, according to the report. For WGU Tennessee a university built for working adults in healthcare, teaching, information technology and business raising awareness of scholarship programs and tuition assistance through partnerships with employers across the state is more important than ever. “When WGU Tennessee was formed through a partnership with the state of Tennessee, we pledged to award a significant amount of scholarship funding to Tennesseans who wanted to return to school to finish degrees,” said Dr. Estep. “Although we are happy to surpass $1 million in awarded scholarship funding, our goal is to continue raising awareness of our programs and scholarships in order to support the nearly 900,000 Tennesseans who have some college but no degree.” More than 1,800 Tennesseans have graduated since the university’s inception, and 3,200-plus are currently enrolled. The online university’s biggest scholarship, the Tenn-K Scholarship, has been a major factor in reaching the $1 million milestone. The Tenn-K awards 10 Tennesseans with $10,000 in scholarship money, which covers more than 80 percent of WGU Tennessee’s already-low tuition of $3,000 per term for most programs. The Tenn-K Scholarship is to be awarded based on the student’s academic record, readiness for online study, and demonstrated financial need, as well as other considerations. The application deadline is March 31, 2017. To learn more about the Tenn-K Scholarship, visit tennessee.wgu.edu/TennK.