Tennessee Reconnect

Vol State Reconnect logoTN Reconnect at Vol State

Tennessee Reconnect is a state 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 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

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 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.

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
  • Maintain continuous enrollment (attend each consecutive Fall and Spring semester)
  • Re-apply for both the FAFSA and TN Reconnect Grant each academic year (before each new Fall semester)

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.

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 are here to help.

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.

Adult students can connect on Vol State social media pages. The college communicates important information and tips for doing well in college on Twitter and Facebook pages. The college Facebook page also has a Group Discussion section where students can ask questions and seek advice from each other. If you like the main Facebook page you will be able to join the discussion group once you are accepted.