- Associated Press - Thursday, July 13, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Vanderbilt University will help study results from Gov. Bill Haslam’s initiatives to increase the percentage of residents with higher education degrees.

The University of Tennessee says its Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research will study Haslam’s “Drive to 55” alongside Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

The Smith Richardson Foundation’s $400,000 project grant will help establish the Tennessee Postsecondary Evaluation and Analysis Research Lab.

“Drive to 55” aims to boost the percentage of Tennesseans with higher education degrees or certificates from 38 percent currently to 55 percent by 2025.

Some initiatives include free tuition at state community colleges and technical schools for all Tennessee high school graduates and adults without college degrees or certificates.

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