Tennessee college’s virtual Fridays cut student gas costs

August 12, 2022 GMT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Southwest Tennessee Community College has found a novel way to help cash-strapped students. The school has made all Friday classes virtual this summer, allowing students to save money on gas.

Southwest is the only majority Black public community college in the state. A large portion of students use Pell grants to help pay for school, and many are adult learners who have to work.

“We knew that as food cost increased, as rent increased, as the cost of gas increased, that for some of our students the decision was going to be fairly easy to stop college,” Cory Major, the vice president of student affairs, told WPLN-FM.

The Memphis-based school has an obligation to help struggling students stay in school, he said. While individual students learn skills and get diplomas, their success also feeds the larger local economy, Major said.

School officials are deciding whether to continue virtual Fridays through the fall semester.