KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A mom and daughter are attending the same college and enrolled in two different sections of the same course thanks to Tennessee grant money. 

Kristi McMahan and Reagan Majors are just a few weeks shy of calling each other classmates.  They are both enrolled online in Introduction to Art at Roane State Community College. 

“So, I’m a couple weeks ahead of her and she asked me if she could have my notes when I’m done,” said McMahan. 

Majors is a senior at Clinton High School in Anderson County. This is her second year taking dual enrollment courses at Roane State, which provides a cost-effective way for high school students to earn college credits for free. 

Meanwhile, Tennessee Reconnect is helping McMahan earn an associate degree in accounting. 

“This is exactly what we want to see across the state is for more high school students to go to college and more adults to either change careers or just to go back and finish something that they started earlier. This is perfect, this is ideal for us,” said Duane Gregg, the Director of GEAR UP TN. 

McMahan said her children inspired her to pursue a traditional college degree. 

“I thought that how can I tell them that college is important without having a degree myself? I just felt like I couldn’t force them or encourage them to go without that as my background as well,” said McMahan. 

Now, she is building a bond in learning with her daughter. 

The mother-daughter duo is encouraging others to go back to school and take advantage of the state-funded grant assistance programs which allow Tennesseans to attend school free of tuition and mandatory fees. 

“I would say go for it! Like if you have something you want to do, if you know there’s a career you want to do, go back and get the credits for it. I mean I think it’s worth it to do what you really want to do,” said Majors. 

State leaders want people to know these programs go beyond financial support. They also offer advising and mentoring. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated.