Tennessee Promise provides Tennessee high school graduates the opportunity to attend a community or technical college free of tuition and mandatory fees. Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program.
It will provide students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or TSAA funds. Students may use the scholarship at any of the College System of Tennessee’s 13 community colleges or 27 colleges of applied technology.
While removing the financial burden is key, a critical component of Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance each participant will receive from a mentor who will assist the student as he or she navigates the college admissions process. In addition, Tennessee Promise participants must complete eight hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress (2.0 GPA) at their institution.
Any high school senior who graduates from a Tennessee eligible high school or completes a Tennessee home school program can apply for the Promise.
Students will apply in early fall of their high school senior year and begin working with a mentor and attending mandatory meetings in their counties by January.
While the Tennessee Promise is available to all students regardless of socioeconomic status, partnering organizations will work with high school guidance counselors to target at-risk students who would otherwise not pursue any education beyond high school.
To receive Tennessee Promise, a student must:
- Participate and meet all requirements of a Tennessee Promise partnering organization.
- Apply senior year and meet established application deadlines.
- Attend all scheduled team meetings and a mandatory college orientation.
- Begin at the postsecondary institution in the fall directly following high school graduation and remain at an eligible institution for consecutive semesters. (A student may begin at his/her postsecondary institution in the spring or summer directly following high school graduation; however, the student will be responsible for incurred tuition and fees until fall.)
- Maintain at least 12 hours each semester.
- Attend a postsecondary institution for consecutive semesters. (If a student withdraws from all classes during the semester, he/she will no longer be eligible.)
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 1st of each year beginning in high school and throughout his/her postsecondary experience
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress. At most institutions, this is the equivalent of maintaining a 2.0 GPA each semester.
- Complete at least eight hours of community service each semester.