What is Tennessee Reconnect? 

Tennessee Reconnect is a last-dollar scholarship that provides a tuition-free opportunity for adults to attend a community college. It is Governor Haslam’s initiative to help more of our state’s adults enter higher education to gain new skills, advance in the workplace, and fulfill lifelong dreams of completing a degree or credential.

There has never been a better time for Tennessee adults to complete a college degree or certificate. The Tennessee Reconnect grant makes Columbia State tuition-free for eligible adults and opens the door to new job opportunities for adults who earn an associate degree or technical certificate. Don’t wait. Complete the 2019-2020 Reconnect Grant application today to get started.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Haven't earned an associate or bachelor’s degree.
  • Have been a Tennessee resident for at least one year.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be determined as an independent student.
  • Be admitted to Columbia State and enroll in a degree or certificate program.
  • Must attend at least part-time (6 credit hours).
  • Participate in a college success program through a Reconnect Community.

 To maintain Tennessee Reconnect, students must maintain continuous enrollment and a 2.0 GPA

link to apply to TN Reconnect     link to apply to Columbia State


Sign up for an upcoming Information Session below.

TN Reconnect Information Session and Cafe

Information Sessions

Attend one of our information sessions to learn more about Tennessee Reconnect and what it takes to go back to school as an adult.

Topics will include:

  • Tennessee Reconnect eligibility requirements
  • How to apply
  • Academic programs and length
  • Transfer credit
  • Prior Learning Assessment
  • University transfer
  • Career Outlooks
  • VETS Campus 

Get Started Now:

Apply for Tennessee Reconnect:

  1. Apply for the Tennessee Reconnect grant
  2. Complete the Reconnect Success Program survey.

Apply to Columbia State:

  1. Apply to Columbia State Complete the online application
  2. Apply for Columbia State scholarships Columbia State offers a variety of scholarships each academic year. Priority deadline: March 15. Visit www.ColumbiaState.edu/Scholarships to download the application.
  3. Know Your Options Carefully review the types of financial aid available, including federal grants and state, institutional and Columbia State Foundation scholarships. To be eligible for both federal and state financial aid a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  4. Create you FSA ID Get started by creating an FSA ID and password. You will need this ID in order to complete your FAFSA. Create your FSA ID online at www.fsaid.ed.gov.
  5. File Your FAFSA Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 each year. Your FAFSA will tell you how much and what kind of aid the U.S. Department of Education may award you. Submit the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

    Complete the 2018-2019 FAFSA for spring and summer 2019 semesters. Complete the 2019-2020 FAFSA for fall 2019, spring 2020 and summer 2020 semesters. Columbia State’s Federal School Code: 003483
  6. Submit transcripts and test scores
    1. ACT code: 3953 • SAT code: 1081
  7. Provide immunization and proof of citizenship information as needed.
  8. Follow Up On Your FAFSA Once processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) by mail and/or email. Review your SAR for corrections and/or updates. Typically, you will be able to access your SAR within a few days of filing your FAFSA.
  9. Once You’re Admitted Check your ChargerNet student account for important information. 
  10. Attend Right Start Orientation and register for classes.
a woman with a question

Prior Learning Assessment

If you have experience in subjects offered by Columbia State, you may be able to gain credit for what you've already learned. It's called Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).

Credit for PLA may include learning acquired from work and life experiences; civic, community, or volunteer work; individual study; and in-service training sponsored by associations, business, government, and industry, including the military.  

Smiling Army Guy


As a designated VETS Campus, Columbia State is here to provide the support and resources you need to earn a degree. 

Columbia State is designated as a VETS Campus, which means we are here to provide support and access to resources to help you navigate earning a degree.

Learn more about support and resources on our Veterans page.

A Great Place To Start. Invest in Columbia State.

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