Clarksville, TN – On Monday, June 17th, 2019, Austin Peay State University (APSU) and the Tennessee Army National Guard announced they’re partnering on a special tuition deferment program for Guard members.
The program is an extension of the Tennessee STRONG Act, which provides Guard members tuition funding toward a first-time associate or bachelor’s degree.
In the agreement, Austin Peay State University will cover the up-front tuition of eligible students, and the National Guard will reimburse APSU through the Tennessee STRONG Act.
“These events are the kinds of things I’m thankful for, to be at a really unique institution in a really unique community at a really unique time,” Dr. Alisa White, APSU president, said to several Guard members who attended the ceremony. “We have 2,600 military-connected students. If you count every military-connected student at every other Tennessee university, public and private, we have more.
“Our hearts are in it,” she added.
The Opportunity To Come Here
Lt. Col. John Rigdon, commander for the Recruiting and Retention Battalion of the Tennessee Army National Guard, echoed White’s comments.
“I’m the new battalion commander, and when I got in here, the first thing I heard was about what you’ve got at APSU,” he said. “I have heard nothing but wonderful thing after wonderful thing.”
“This is a special place in my heart,” he said. “I love the Govs. I love their program. Now that we have the STRONG Act, we can bring National Guardsmen to go to school here.
“That’s a big relief,” Hancock added. “It’s going to give more people the opportunity to come here.”
You Make Us A Better Campus
The Tennessee STRONG Act stands for Support, Training and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen and funds up to 120 credit hours for an associate or bachelor’s degree. The act also supports the Drive to 55 goal of equipping 55 percent of Tennesseans with a degree or certificate by 2025. Former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the act in April 2017.
“You all really mirror what we believe as educators,” White told the Guardsmen. “You are lifelong educators, you are lifelong learners, and the folks who sign up to the National Guard really make a lifelong commitment to serve and to lead with continuing education and expertise.
“For that, we want more of you,” she continued. “Because you make us a better campus. You make us a better student body. You make us better faculty. You make us better administrators.”
For more about the Tennessee STRONG Act at Austin Peay, visit www.apsu.edu/admissions/tn-strong/index.php