Tennessee Reconnect

Vol State Reconnect logoTN Reconnect at Vol State

Tennessee Reconnect is a state financial aid program, which began in the fall semester of 2018, and allows eligible adult students to earn a college degree tuition-free. Vol State is one of the participating community colleges.

Why Vol State?

We know that it is not enough to just attend college- you need to reach your academic and career goals. It may have been years since you attended high school or achieved your high school equivalency. We are experts at getting adult students up to speed in math and English. Our goal is to help you succeed.

Eligibility Requirements

TN Reconnect eligibility requirements and information can be reviewed at TN Reconnect for Associate Degree INFO.

To be eligible for TN Reconnect, you must:

  • Not already have an associate or bachelor’s degree
  • Be a U.S. citizen (or eligible non-citizen) and a Tennessee resident
  • Qualify as an independent student on the FAFSA or be 23 years old. An independent student is defined as one of the following: at least 23 years old, married, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor, or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. See FAFSA independent/dependent information.
  • Not be incarcerated – currently incarcerated individuals (if eligible) may work with Re-Entry Navigators to prepare for TN Reconnect upon release.
  • Apply to Vol State, be admitted, and enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part-time (6 semester hours minimum).
  • No minimum or maximum income is required to be eligible for TN Reconnect.
  • Eligibility is not determined by number of members in the household.
  • To be considered for eligibility, the student must complete the FAFSA and TN Reconnect Scholarship applications – See Get Started steps below.

In order to maintain the TN Reconnect grant: 

  • You must enroll in 6-credit hours - courses that are required for your degree or certificate program
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA
  • Maintain continuous enrollment (attend each consecutive Fall and Spring semester - enroll in & complete the minimum 6-credit hours)
  • Summer term is not required, but is optional. If students use TN Reconnect for their Summer, then the 6-credit hour minimum (enroll & complete) applies
  • Re-apply for the FAFSA each academic year (before each new Fall semester)

If eligible, TN Reconnect provides:

  • Adults who meet all the requirements will receive a last-dollar state grant (TN Reconnect) covering tuition and allowable fees. Last-dollar means the tuition amount remaining after other grants and scholarships are applied.
  • Tuition and allowable fees 5 years – which is considered 10 Semesters (if attending consecutive Fall and Spring) OR 15 Semesters (if attending consecutive Fall, Spring, Summer) Degree Completion (if degree is completed prior to utilizing the 5 years, students are no longer eligible for TN Reconnect)

Get Started

  1. You can apply to Vol State online. There is no application fee.
  2. Start the FAFSA process.
  3. Complete the Tennessee Reconnect Grant application by creating a login on the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) portal.
  4. Select "Apply for Scholarships" on the TSAC portal, and then choose "Tennessee Reconnect Scholarship" for the appropriate academic year.
  5. Fill out the application and submit it.
  6. Your personalized Reconnect Success Plan will be generated. Make sure you review it and print it out or save it to your computer.
    ATTENTION: Mobile devices and Macs are not fully supported. To create an account and/or submit an online application, use a laptop or desktop computer with Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers.
  7. Email reconnect@volstate.edu if you have any TN Reconnect application or requirements questions.
  8. Check out our Prior Learning Assessment program -- you could get academic credit for previous learning.
  9. We also have an Academic Fresh Start program for students who attended Vol State in the past and may not have done so well.

Adult Learners & Veterans Affairs

The Office of Adult Learners and Veterans Affairs (ALVA) serves the adult learner population at Vol State. We are the primary contact for those students receiving the TN Reconnect scholarship. Additionally, the office provides direction for the adult learner population through academic advising, accessing resources, and providing added support for student success. The Office of Adult Learners and Veterans Affairs (ALVA) also assists veterans and their dependents by certifying students who are eligible for VA benefits so that those benefits can be received and providing information about military training credits. The physical location of the office also serves as the Veterans’ Center where VA students can utilize the space for studying, working on assignments using the available computers, or building camaraderie with other VA students who have had similar experiences.

Challenges and Support

We understand that adult learners often have to juggle family, work, and college. That can be tough. Traditional classes require quite a bit of work. While online classes offer flexibility, students need to be aware that online classes require much self-discipline and have the same amount of homework and assignments. Successful students attend class and make time to do the class work. We have advisors who can walk you through returning to school. Never hesitate to ask for help as we are glad to listen and help you find solutions.

Feel free to reach out to reconnect@volstate.edu with TN Reconnect application or requirement questions OR alva@volstate.edu if you have general student questions. We can either assist or guide you to other campus resources that best help your needs.