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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tennessee high school students are breaking records when it comes to receiving scholarships.

Governor Haslam said more students than ever applied for the Tennessee Promise scholarship.

Christopher Miller says he’s thriving in his first year of college at Southwest Tennessee.

“I love it so far,” said Miller. “I like all my classes. I like all my professors. It’s been real good for me.”

He’s one of thousands of students taking advantage of the TN Promise scholarship.

Around 61,000 students applied for it this year, making a new record.

8,600 of those who applied were from Memphis.

“What an incredible feeling to, I mean not only to have a scholarship, but to earn a scholarship to go to college,” said Claire Brulatour, assistant director of student success at TNAchievement.

The scholarship allows high school graduates to go to a community college or technical school for two years for free.

“I think it’s incredibly important,” said Brulatour. “I think a lot of our students might not be academically ready to start at a four-year university, so this is kind of offering them an opportunity to start fresh, start again.”

Only being two years old, program leaders are impressed with its progress.

They’ve gained about 1,500 students each year and pride themselves on not being out of reach.

“Not having a prerequisite that intimidates,” said Brulatour. “Maybe my grades weren’t great in high school, didn’t make that ACT score — We’re not looking at stuff like that.”

Rather, students are expected to meet program deadlines and do community service.

“This program has helped me a lot actually educationally because it has given me certain morals to do my hardest and get my best and it’s made me a better person,” said Miller.

They still need about 900 program mentors in Memphis.

To volunteer to mentor, click here.