In addition to federal programs such as the GI Bill, there are veterans benefits programs provided by the states. The following are the Tennessee veterans’ benefits programs for education in 2018.
KIA/POW/MIA Dependent/Spouse Free Tuition
A dependent child (under 23 years of age) or spouse in the state is entitled to receive free tuition, maintenance fees, student activity fees, registration fees, and to be admitted without cost to any of the colleges or universities owned, operated and maintained by the State, whose parent (mother or father) was killed or died as a direct result of injuries received or officially reported as being either a prisoner-of-war or missing-in-action while serving as a member of the Armed Forces during a qualifying period of armed conflict.
To be eligible for these benefits,
- the dependent child or spouse must present a certificate from the United States Government, and he/she cannot be receiving benefits under Public Law 634 or such other Federal Laws offering like or similar benefits, and must meet the above requirements.
- Notice of the waiver program must be published in the institutional catalogs and class schedules.
Helping Heroes Grant
The grant will be available each year to as many as 375 eligible veterans on a first-come, first-serve basis and will award $1,000 to students completing at least twelve (12) semester hours each term. Applicants need to have been awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, or the Global War on Terrorism expeditionary Medal.
Tennessee National Guard Scholarship
100% tuition; Starting in 2018 the State of Tennessee offers the TN Strong Act which is a 100% reimbursable tuition program up to your first Bachelor’s degree. The TN Strong act is a last pay state benefit which will cover all tuition not paid by current federal tuition benefits.
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Tennessee Reconnect Program
The Tennessee Reconnect program allows adults to enroll tuition-free this fall 2018 at a community or technical college which means you can hold off on using your earned state or federal veteran education benefits. The Tennessee Reconnect program provides a last-dollar scholarship for adults to earn an associate degree or technical certificate free of tuition or fees.
Tennessee adults can take advantage of Reconnect by:
- Completing application at TNReconnect.gov; Review Veterans & Service members
- Applying to a local community college or eligible Tennessee Reconnect institution;
- Filing for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at http://FAFSA.ed.gov; and
- And enrolling in a degree or certificate program at least part-time.
To be eligible for Tennessee Reconnect, a student must not already hold an associate or bachelor’s degree, must be a Tennessee resident for at least one year, and be determined as an independent student on the FAFSA.
For more information regarding Tennessee veterans’ benefits, please visit – Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs
Related state military and veteran information: