Military members or veterans looking for educational options in the state of Tennessee have many options. Depending on your location, military status, and career goals, there are colleges and universities across Tennessee that offer special programs for military members and veterans. Many of these schools come with personalized advising and perks designed specifically for active and retired military members. We will look at five different school options below.
|School Name||Institution Type||Location||Tuition & Fees (in-state 2016)*||Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits|
|Middle Tennessee State University||4-year||Murfreesboro, TN||$8,280||Helping Heroes Grant, Veterans and Military Family Center, VetSuccess on Campus program|
|The University of Tennessee - Knoxville||4-year||Knoxville, TN||$12,724||Yellow Ribbon Program, Military Credits, Pre-College Program|
|The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga||4-year||Chattanooga, TN||$8,544||Yellow Ribbon Program, Out-of-state fee waiver, Concurrent Enrollment|
|Austin Peay State University||4-year||Clarksville, TN||$7,689||Prior credit transfer, Yellow Ribbon Program, VA Work Study|
|Eastern Tennessee State University||4-year||Johnson City, TN||$8,341||Vets Lounge, VA Work Study, monthly veteran's newsletter, in-state tuition, Yellow Ribbon Program, Buc Hero Scholarship, Veterans Upward Bound|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
No matter what public university a military member or veteran attends, they will have access to certain benefits and assistance thanks to the G.I. Bill. However, some colleges and universities offer their own unique benefits to military members and veterans. We will discuss some of them below.
Middle Tennessee State University
Middle Tennessee State University offers veterans access to its Veterans and Military Family Center, the largest center of its kind in the entire state, which offers specialized guidance to the school's student-veteran population of 1,000 students. Students can receive tuition guidance, help completing government paperwork, career counseling, and information about military friendly employment opportunities. To help students adjust to life on campus, the Center and the Veteran's Administration have partnered to offer student-veterans counseling services to help them overcome issues like grief, family issues, and the overall transition process. Students can apply for the Helping Heroes Grant, which is granted to students every semester in the amount of $1,000 as long as they complete at least twelve hours with no failing grade per semester. Also, MTSU is the first university in the state to offer the VetSuccess on campus program, which helps ensure veterans experience success in the academic world by providing them with career and school counseling, tutoring services, and other programs veterans may find useful.
The University of Tennessee - Knoxville
The University of Tennessee - Knoxville participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is part of the GI Bill. The Haslam College of Business offers up to fifteen students a maximum of $10,000 each year towards their tuition. The College of Social Work grants one student a maximum amount of $3,000 per year. Veterans can also potentially receive up to twelve hours of credit in the departments of Physical Education, Military Science, and Leadership, depending on the number of months they actively served. Veterans who have not yet been admitted into college may sign up for UTK's pre-college program, which offers tutoring, help figuring out VA benefits, and admissions counseling. Military students interested in campus life can join VOL Fighters, the local chapter of Student Veterans of America.
The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga
Aspiring students located in Chattanooga or the surrounding area may be interested in attending the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga. This school also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Up to five student-veterans per academic year can qualify for awards of up to $3,000. Students can enroll in any program at UTC to be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Students can also choose to take courses from multiple schools while enrolled at UTC and still qualify for military benefits. UTC is located in the small city of Chattanooga, which offers students access to a thriving city life as well as plenty of outdoor activities and is conveniently located halfway between Atlanta, GA and Nashville, TN.
Austin Peay State University
At Austin Peay State University, students are able to use their military experience to possibly receive school credit, helping them achieve their educational goals more quickly. Austin Peay also offers the Yellow Ribbon Program for student-veterans who are eligible. While the main campus is located in Clarksville, TN, they also have a second location in Kentucky, both of which have Veterans Affairs offices to provide guidance and assistance to veterans. APSU has 2,645 undergraduate students and offers 30 bachelor's degrees along with 9 online master's courses. After a military member has completed a degree program, they will be honored at a special Military and Veteran Graduate Recognition Ceremony.
Eastern Tennessee State University
At ETSU, all student-veterans, regardless of residency, who are using the GI bill qualify for the in-state tuition rate. The school also offers the Yellow Ribbon Program for eligible students. ETSU also allows student-veterans to apply for the Buc Hero Scholarship if they do not qualify for the Yellow Ribbon Program. This scholarship provides assistance to out-of-state veterans who have minimum high school GPAs of 3.0. Students at ETSU also may opt to take a number of online courses if it is more convenient for them. Military veterans who may not yet be prepared for college can participate in the Veterans Upward Bound program at ETSU, which is provided free of charge and offers veterans classes in prerequisite subjects like Grammar, Advanced Math, Spanish, and other courses required for college. ETSU military-students can also enjoy the veterans-only Vets Lounge, which offers students free printing services and free coffee and snacks.