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35,000 Tennessee Students Apply For Free Community College

If there’s a single moment that has best captured the rush to attend community college for free in Tennessee, it probably came at Motlow State last month.

The Lynchburg, Tenn., school held what it called “Scholarship Saturday.” In just four hours, more than 1,300 students signed up for Tennessee Promise, the new program led by Gov. Bill Haslam that gives Tennessee’s high school seniors free tuition at the state’s two-year community colleges and colleges of applied technology.

Forty-five minutes before the doors even opened for the one-stop application outing, a line was already meandering out the door of the school’s library.