NASHVILLE, Tenn. - This school year marks the first year for the Tennessee Promise scholarship program at the state's community colleges and technical schools.
State officials say thousands of high school seniors have applied, but many have not met the requirement to help in their communities.
On July 18, 2015 Bicentennial Mall and other Tennessee State Parks will host community service days for students who have applied for the Tennessee Promise.
State officials hope to see many students, because right now only a quarter of the scholarship program's applicants have met the requirement.
The deadline is August 1st.
Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 Executive Director Mike Krause said, "Don't let community service be the barrier between you and attending college. At this point students have been in the mix for the Tennessee Promise for almost a year."
The Tennessee Promise is a two year scholarship.
For high school seniors it's free tuition to any of the state's community colleges and technical schools.
To get the scholarship students must perform 8 hours of community service before the beginning of each semester.
Finding a place to volunteer has really not been that hard.
We found several Volunteer State students volunteering their time at an animal shelter in Sumner County.
The shelter is Safe Place For Animals in Gallatin.
Gallatin High School graduate Alexis Roman wants to use the scholarship so she can start working toward a degree in psychology.
Right now she's analyzing puppies.
Roman said, "Basically cleaning. When we're not cleaning we play with them. Well, I play with them."
Wilson Central High School graduate Bridgett McCrary wants to be a nurse.
It's a step up from cleaning up after cats at the shelter.
"I think whether you're into school or not you should at least go for two years and have something under your belt whether you have a good job or not you'll always have something to fall back on," said McCrary.
Other students are waiting until the last minute, which may not be a good idea.
Krause said, "This is something a little planning does have to go into, so we're really trying to emphasize July 18th is an opportunity for students to go to any state park and fulfill all 8 hours of their requirement."
Krause added it's a fair request to be able to attend a community or technical college for free.
The community service day is Saturday, July 18th.
For more information go to, www.tennesseepromise.gov.