Getting Started

Choose a major

The first step is to consider your career interests and goals. Within TBR institutions, there are more than 600 academic programs, from computer engineering to the culinary arts and business management to combination welding. Or you may simply choose to complete your first two years of college before transferring to a university as a junior to complete a bachelor’s degree. Whatever your interest, you are sure to find a program that will prepare you for a satisfying career. 

Choose a college

Once you decide a course of study, review the colleges offering that program to decide where you’d like to attend classes. With 46 main campuses and 115 teaching locations, you are sure to find a location that is convenient to you. You may also consider online courses if they are offered in your area of interest.

Apply for admission

Next, apply for admission to your chosen college. Most colleges offer an online application process. You may expect to pay a small application fee. Be prepared to provide requested transcripts and testing scores, as well as health forms. The school will notify you when your application is accepted.

Apply for financial aid

Generally, more than half of college students receive some sort of financial aid to pay for college. 

Apply for financial aid using FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which takes factors like your family's financial status into consideration. The FAFSA also serves as your application for the Tennessee Education Lottery (HOPE) Scholarship.

If are planning to attend a community college or a college of applied technology, you also need to apply for the TN Promise scholarship and mentoring program, which provides students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or Tennessee Student Assistance Awards funds. 

Become a college student

Once you are accepted and have your financial aid in place, you’re ready to meet with an advisor, register for classes and take the final steps to becoming a college student. Congratulations!