Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed HB 2010/SB 1529 into law today, allowing students to use the HOPE Scholarship for summer courses.
"The HOPE scholarships retain the best and brightest students in the state, and working to ensure we have a highly-trained and educated workforce is the most important step we can take to attracting high quality jobs to Tennessee," Haslam said.
Last year, the General Assembly passed the Complete College Tennessee ACT (CCTA) with the goal of raising educational attainment rates in our state by promoting and incentivizing college completion.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) and Rep. Jim Coley (R-Bartlett), sponsored the legislation that passed the Senate in a vote of 27 to 1 and the House 96 to 0.
This new law will bring the state's largest financial aid program into alignment with the goals of the CCTA in terms of degree efficiency and productivity.
"Extending summer eligibility makes the scholarship more user-friendly for students while allowing higher education institutions to better utilize their buildings and campuses throughout the course of the year," Haslam added. "We worked hard to make this legislation as student-friendly and fiscally responsible while making sure we created the right incentives to improve time-to-completion and to graduate more Tennesseans."
This law also provides for a 120-hour cap on the number of hours a student can use the scholarship money, excepting certain majors. It also applies to students who enrolled in the fall of 2009 but does not affect students enrolled before that time.