NASHVILLE — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says legislative efforts to make children of people living in the country illegally eligible for in-state tuition "have some merit," but that he has no plans to change his own free tuition proposal to include those same students.
Haslam wants to create the country's first free community college program for all high school graduates by using state lottery reserves to cover the difference between tuition costs and all available aid.
The governor's proposal would require students to exhaust all possible support by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which requires a Social Security number.
Haslam told reporters Wednesday that removing the requirement to fill out that federal form would cause the cost of the tuition plan to become too high for the state.