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Tennessee Promise

Tuition-Free COLLEGE

If you are a Tennessee high school graduate, or plan to be one, you might be eligible for five college semesters of free tuition. Sound too good to be true? It is a fact with the Tennessee Promise scholarship.

What Tennessee Promise Covers

This is a last-dollar scholarship. The scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell Grant, the HOPE Scholarship, or the Tennessee Student Assistance Award. The scholarship may provide you with the opportunity to attend Motlow tuition-free.

Priority Processing Deadline: June 1

Complete your financial aid requirements by June 1 to receive the Tennessee Promise before the school semester begins.


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Gap Year Information

Eligibility Criteria

Tennessee Promise now allows for a gap year for TN Promise applicants from the class of 2020 who initially met the following criteria:

  • Submitted an initial application on or before 11/1/19
  • Submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA on or before 2/7/20
  • Did not enroll at any institution in the 2020-2021 academic year

Next Steps

In addition to these criteria, students must then meet the following requirements to be eligible for a potential award beginning in the fall 2021 semester:

  • Complete a Motlow admissions application
  • Submit a 2021-2022 FAFSA on or before 7/1/21
  • Login to MyMotlow Student Account (at least two (2) days after submitting your 2021-2022 FAFSA) and click REVIEW FINANCIAL AID REQUIREMENTS. Select the 2021-2022 Aid Year and click Submit. Read the instructions to complete all requirements listed in the Unsatisfied Requirements table by June 1st. (Students who complete their financial aid requirements after June 1st may still be eligible; however, the financial aid office cannot guarantee that your aid will be processed before the start of the Fall 2021 semester).
  • Monitor your Motlow student email account (Office 365 Mail) for eligibility updates.  If any requirements are not completed successfully, you will receive an email to direct you back to MyMotlow to correct and resubmit requirements. If it has been at least three (3) weeks since you completed all Financial Aid Requirements, double-check your status in MyMotlow and then email [email protected] if you need assistance.
  • Complete and submit 8 hours of community service on or before 7/1/21. Students who previously submitted hours for any of the currently waived deadlines would not be required to submit an additional 8 hours.
  • Register for classes before August 23rd – Eligible TN Promise students must register for at least 12 credit hours to be eligible to receive the TN Promise Scholarship for the Fall 2021 term.

Tennessee Promise Information


The Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program. It provides you a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or TSAA.

A critical component of Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance you receive from your mentor. Tennessee Promise students are required to complete eight (8) hours of community service per term enrolled and maintain a 2.0 GPA. You should enroll in and complete at least 12 credit hours each fall and spring semester to remain eligible for the Tennessee Promise Scholarship.


The Tennessee Promise Scholarship is available to all students who meet all Motlow and tnAchieves deadlines.

  • Must enroll at an eligible Tennessee Promise institution the fall semester immediately following high school graduation
  • Must be a Tennessee resident for at least 12 months
  • Graduate from an eligible Tennessee high school
  • Complete a Tennessee home school program
  • Obtain a GED or HiSET diploma before age 19
  • Be a dependent of Tennessee military parents stationed outside of Tennessee 
  • If TN Promise is lost, students will need a Successful Appeal to have it reinstated


Current Tennessee high school seniors must meet the following requirements and deadlines:

  • November 1: Deadline to Complete the TN Promise Application
  • February 1: Deadline to Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  • March: Suggested date to complete and submit Motlow State admissions application and submit the following additional Motlow State admissions requirements during senior year of high school:
  • April - August: Check your Motlow email and MyMotlow account regularly for important information about how to sign up for New Student Orientation, admissions requirements, financial aid requirements, etc
  • Fall/Spring: Attend mandatory meeting coordinated by tnAchieves. To find your meeting date, time, and location, visit or ask your guidance counselor.”
  • June 1: VERY IMPORTANT - Log into your MyMotlow account student account and have all Motlow financial aid requirements completed by this date. Students who do not complete their Motlow financial aid requirements will not receive ANY financial aid, including TN Promise. Not completing your financial aid student requirements in a timely manner will result in a delay in receiving financial aid, including TN Promise
  • May - August: Sign up for New Student Orientation and register for classes. Tennessee Promise students must enroll in and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester
  • July 1: Deadline to complete and submit 8 Hours of Community Service online

Current Motlow Tennessee Promise students maintain eligibility by meeting the following requirements and deadlines:

  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA by the end of each summer term
  • Complete 8 hours of community service: by July 1 for Fall, by December 1 for Spring, and by April 1 for Summer, and submit proof
  • Complete the FAFSA between October 1 and February 1 every year and continue to complete the Motlow State financial aid requirements by June 1
  • Enroll in and complete at least 12 credit hours each Fall and Spring semester

TN Promise can also cover the cost of one summer of classes (five total semesters). However, you must complete eight (8) hours of community service by April 1 and be enrolled full-time


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