Vol State points to Federal study showing high cost of a gap year

A student in the Admissions Office at the Vol State campus in Gallatin, uses the new COVID-19 safety requirements while meeting with counselors.

UPPER CUMBERLAND – Students considering taking a gap year, time off from college due to the pandemic, may want to consider the eventual lost wages- up to $90,000 over their career. 

That’s according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It said that there are sizeable hidden costs in taking even just a year off from college, including a wage gap wedge that could stick with the student throughout their career. Additionally, the study points to new data that shows the unemployment rate is much higher for those without a college degree in the new pandemic economy.

Volunteer State Community College is offering most classes online this fall semester, which allows students to stay in college and stay safe. University students staying home this fall are welcome to apply. Vol State has many general education classes that transfer to universities across the country. Vol State also has new options available for students who may be concerned about taking too many online classes this fall, including parents with kids at home.

The first news comes from TN Achieves, the group that runs TN Promise for students who graduated from high school last spring. TN Promise eligible students, who have completed the requirements, can attend Vol State part-time this fall, if they don’t want to be a full-time online student. Students using the HOPE scholarship would be required to take six credit hours, which is usually two classes. That is versus five classes that TN Promise students usually have to take each semester.

The second announcement is for adult students taking college classes using the tuition-free TN Reconnect program. Parents may be worried about taking the required six credit hours of classes while caring for kids who are not in school. TN Reconnect has changed the requirements for the fall and is allowing TN Reconnect students to take just one class, if they want. An asynchronous online class allows students to do course work whenever they want. Many parents study at night after the kids have gone to bed. There are still assignment and quiz deadlines each week, but it’s a flexible way to start a college career. TN Reconnect is available for most adults who don’t already have a college degree. 

Vol State fall classes start August 24, so people need to act now. All Vol State campuses, Gallatin, Springfield, Livingston and Cookeville, are now open with COVID-19 safety requirements, including a mask and an online screening form, for those who want in-person assistance. Many offices have extra online sessions to help people get ready, including on Saturdays. Visit www.volstate.edu for those details. The entire application process can be completed online at www.volstate.edu/apply.

TN Promise eligible students who have already applied to Vol State can register for classes now. Adults interested in using TN Reconnect should visit: www.volstate.edu/reconnect to fill out the needed applications.

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