PULASKI, Tenn. – Martin Methodist College has announced a grant program that takes Tennessee Promise to the next level. Because the college still offers an associate of arts degree, it is eligible to participate in the state’s Tennessee Promise program, which will offer $3,800 per year to each high school graduate who wishes to enroll in a two-year curriculum beginning in 2015. Now, Martin Methodist is sweetening the financial pot by offering a matching grant to those students.
MMC’s Promise Plus grant will add $3,800 per year of additional funding, making each student’s financial package at least $7,600 per year. In addition, Martin Methodist will continue to offer that matching grant for two more years should the recipient decide to continue on to a bachelor’s degree.
President Ted Brown made the announcement at the college’s annual Benefactors Luncheon, in which scholarship donors get to visit with many of the recipients of those funds. “Many believe that Tennessee Promise program is restricted to our state community colleges, but the truth is that Martin Methodist College is a Tennessee Promise institution, and you can bring your $3,800 Tennessee Promise grant here if you are pursuing our associate’s degree,” he said. “I am delighted to announce today that Martin Methodist is introducing its Promise Plus.
The college will now match that $3,800 grant with Martin scholarships and we will extend those matching dollars to you an additional two years if you stay at Martin to complete your baccalaureate degree.
“So please pass that word to your friends and neighbors that Martin Methodist is doubling Tennessee’s Promise and extending the grant for an additional two years for the ultimate benefit of our students,” he said.
Brown said he hopes that Promise Plus will help to counteract the widespread concern that the Tennessee Promise program will divert students otherwise headed to four-year degree programs into the public community college system.
“There is no question that a continuous four-year degree program on one campus is more effective from an educational perspective, especially in terms of retention and graduation rates,” Brown said. “There has also been some misleading information circulating about employability and salary scales for associate’s degree versus bachelor’s degree recipients. While there are short-term exceptions with a few specific career paths, the long-term national statistics don’t lie. The baccalaureate degree clearly carries enormous advantages.”
According to the United State Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate is 1.4 percent higher for those with associate’s degrees compared with those with bachelor’s degrees. In terms of earnings, the national average for the associate’s degree is $777 per week compared with $1,108 for bachelor’s degrees, or an additional $331 per week. Over a lifetime, that results in an additional $1,125,295 in earnings for those with the baccalaureate degree over those with the associate’s degree.
For more information about the college’s Promise Plus scholarship program contact Robby Shelton, vice president for campus life and enrollment management, at 931-363-9890.