Charles Layne has received $15,000 in scholarship money from a state organization that administers financial aid to students. Because of this, he felt the need to give back, and now serves as a member on the TSAC board of directors.
“Personally, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for this program. I wouldn’t have been able to graduate high school with a year of college done due to the duel enrollment grant,” Layne said. “I definitely wouldn’t be at Trevecca were it not for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award and various other programs. Through the education administration behind these programs, there’s a lot of hope for future generations to come.”
For a large portion of students, attending a university would not be possible without access to scholarships made available through the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, or TSAC. According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Student Assistance Corporation website, the corporation administers over 20 different state student financial aid programs, including the HOPE Scholarship, the Tennessee Promise Scholarship, the Tennessee Student Assistance Award, as well as the dual enrollment grants for those who dual enrolled during their high school careers.
Layne was nominated by the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature to represent private universities for TSAC, and over the summer, he was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to serve on the board.
“I believe my contribution to the board is coming from a unique perspective as a beneficiary of several of these scholarships,” Layne said. “As a private student operation closely with Trevecca’s administration through student government, I bring another level of insight to the table.”
Through this program, Tennessee has become first in the country for the past three years for filing the FAFSA.
TNAchieves, created by the Tennessee Promise, is a program that all Tennessee high school students have to go to in order to remain eligible for the scholarship.
“Part of [TNAchieves] requires that students fill out the FAFSA in an effort to leverage state funds against federal student assistance programs, while also assessing at-risk students. The past three years we have ranked as number one for our FAFSA filing rate because of this,” Layne said.
TSAC works with first-generation college students to send them to community college, or to help provide the extra money needed for them to afford a private university like Trevecca.
“In 2016 and 2017, Trevecca received $1,141,200 for the HOPE Scholarship, and $970,000 for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award, which is a need-based award that’s explicitly through TSAC,” Layne said. “So around $2 million went toward scholarships for people on a need-basis in the last year alone.
“I feel a real sense of responsibility to give back to the programs that gave me the opportunity to be here,” Layne continued. “I think it’s something that we should all be proud of.”