Tennessee Reconnect

Vol State Reconnect logoTN Reconnect at Vol State

Tennessee Reconnect is a state program, beginning in the fall semester of 2018, which 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’s not enough to just attend college- you need to do well in college. It may have been years since you attended high school or achieved your high school equivalency. We’re experts at getting adult students up to speed in math and English. We’re here to help you succeed.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for TN Reconnect, you must:

  • Not already have an associate or bachelor degree
  • Have been a Tennessee resident for at least one year preceding the date of application for the grant
  • Fill out a TN Reconnect Application
  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Be deemed an independent student. An independent student is defined as one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. See complete list here.
  • Apply to Vol State, be admitted, and enroll in a degree or certificate program at least part-time (6 semester hours).

In order to maintain the TN Reconnect grant, you must enroll in classes leading to an associate’s degree or certificate, maintain a 2.0 GPA, and maintain continuous enrollment.

Adults who meet all the requirements will receive a last-dollar scholarship, which is equal to the difference between tuition and fees and any gift aid (grants and scholarships) that a student receives.

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".
  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 Internet Explorer (Version 6 minimum).
  7. Check out our Prior Learning Assessment program -- you could get academic credit for previous learning.
  8. We also have an Academic Fresh Start program for students who attended Vol State in the past and may not have done so well.

If you have questions at any point in the process, we’re here to help.

Adult Learners & Veterans Affairs

The Office of Adult Learners and Veterans Affairs (ALVA) serves the adult learner population especially through being the primary contact for those students receiving the TN Reconnect scholarship.  Additionally, the office provides direction for the adult learner population concerning accessing the needed resources for attending college and subsequently being academically successful. ALVA also has the responsibility for certifying students who are eligible for VA benefits in order for them to receive those benefits and provide information about military training credits.  The physical location of the office 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

Adult students 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 also have considerable homework and assignments. Successful students make time to do the class work. We have advisors who can walk you through returning to school. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. We are glad to listen and help you find solutions. Perhaps the best source for advice are students who have done it successfully.