Complete to Compete Passed in Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee; Calendared for Next Week

Category: Higher Education

UT student graduating.

The “Complete to Compete” initiative included in the Haslam Administration’s agenda was heard this week in the House Education Administration & Planning Subcommittee.

This legislation’s intent is to ensure that students remain on track for timely graduation by restructuring the financial aid requirements for the Tennessee Promise and the HOPE scholarship.

The initiative would require students receiving the Tennessee Promise or HOPE scholarships to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours in a 12-month period. Currently, to be a “full-time” student, students are required to take a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester. However, in recent years, UT campuses have encouraged, but not required, students to take 15 credit hours per semester to better enable a path to a bachelor’s degree within four years.

Higher education stakeholders, including the University of Tennessee, are continuing to analyze the impact this legislation could have on students and have concerns based on early analysis. Some legislators also have expressed concerns, mostly centering around students who work full or part-time, students studying hard sciences and health sciences who need to take a smaller course load, and students participating in leadership, internship, or co-op experiences.

The legislation was passed out of the House Administration & Planning Subcommittee and will be heard on Tuesday by the full Education Administration & Planning Committee at 9:00 a.m. CT and on Wednesday by the Senate Education Committee at 2:30 p.m. CT. A much more robust conversation is expected in both committees. UT plans to work with all involved parties on this legislation to secure an outcome that best benefits our students.

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