Northeast State Community College - We're here to get you there

Tennessee Promise

Tennessee Promise is part of the state's Drive to 55 campaign, which aims to increase the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or certifications to 55 percent by the year 2025. Through Tennessee Promise, graduating high school seniors who meet and maintain eligibility criteria can earn an associate degree or certificate free of tuition and mandatory fees. Apply before the November 1 deadline here. Find more information regarding program requirements here, or to download the student handbook, you may go  here.

Current Program Dates and Deadlines

  1. Complete the 2024 TN Promise application by November 1, 2023
  2. File the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on by May 15, 2024. Apply at
  3. Complete mandatory webinar requirement between December 2023 and February 2024 (assigned based on your high school).
  4. Apply to a community or technical college during spring 2024 and connect with your tnAchieves or Ayers mentor.
  5. Complete and report your first eight hours of community service by July 1, 2024. Community service must be completed on or after November 2, 2023 in order to be considered and reported by July 1, 2024. (Eight hours of community service must be completed and submitted every semester.)
  6. If requested by your institutions financial aid office, you must provide documentation to complete FAFSA verification in order to be eligible to receive TN Promise funding.
  7. For more information on current program deadlines or requirements please visit the partnering organization serving your county: tnAchieves (Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Washington) or The Ayers Foundation (Unicoi).  


Featured Community Service Opportunities

Community service hours must be reported to the corresponding partnering organization prior to each deadline. tnAchieves serves Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, and Washington counties. The Ayers Foundation serves Unicoi county.

Tennessee State Parks We need and value all kinds of volunteers. You can volunteer for a one-time, short term project or you can become a regular and return time and time again. Many parks have volunteer projects every month. Tasks include trail work, park beautification projects or lending a hand at one of the annual events. Click here for events in your area. Remember, every effort helps!  

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee needs your help. Each year, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee depends on the countless hours of scores of volunteers to assist in serving the needs of our community. Volunteers from the community took time out of their schedules to help sort and pack food, deliver meals, and much more. If you are in need of service hours for EDUC 1030, Tennessee Promise, or would like to get involved in your community, please consider this opportunity to give back. For more information please contact at

Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect only cover mandatory tuition and fees. Mandatory tuition and fees at NeSCC include undergraduate in-state tuition, student activity fees, campus access fees, technology fees, and international education fees. TN eCampus fees, Health Professions course fees, Nursing fees, Music fees, or other program specific fees are not covered by Tennessee Promise or Tennessee Reconnect and must be paid for by the student or with external scholarship funds. Book costs, access codes, educational supplies, calculator rentals, printing costs, parking fines, and library fines are not covered.

Any external scholarships received by a student are in addition to funds received through the Tennessee Promise or Tennessee Reconnect program. The Federal Pell Grant, the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS), the Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA), and any tuition discounts/fee waivers must be applied to a student’s mandatory tuition and fees prior to receiving Tennessee Promise or Tennessee Reconnect funds. However, external scholarships will not reduce the amount of funding a student receives from Promise or Reconnect. The State and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) consider all aid other than state and federal as "gift aid", so it will not be factored in prior to awarding Promise or Reconnect funds. Northeast State Foundation Scholarships awarded to students are considered "gift aid".

The Mentor Handbook can be found on the tnAchieves website. For more information on mentoring, please contact Graham Thomas at 615.604.1306 or

Mentors are crucial to the Tennessee Promise program. Mentors help students navigate the college admissions process and keep on track with Tennessee Promise requirements in order to receive the scholarship. Northeast State's service area is Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties. 

Who can become a mentor?

  • Be 21 years or older
  • Apply online by December 1
  • Be subject to a background check
  • Complete mandatory mentor training
  • Attend mandatory High School Team Meeting in the spring
  • Attend College Team Meeting in the fall

To become a mentor in your community and help students from your local high schools, sign up with tnAchieves here. For more information, please contact Graham Thomas at 615.604.1306 or Deadline to apply is December 1.

Connect with Northeast State

Northeast State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. For questions or concerns, please contact the Affirmative Action Officer.