TN Reconnect: Get Your Degree


Tennessee Reconnect is Governor Bill 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.

A one-stop website,, tells you how to Get Started, has tips to Choose Your Degree/College Path, helps you Talk to an Advisor, shows ways to Pay For College, and explains how you might be able to Finish Faster.

Going to College for the First Time?

Do you want to increase your earning power? Prepare for a different career? Learn something new?

Going to college as an adult can be a daunting (sometimes even scary), but very worthwhile experience. We all know that there are many talented and accomplished individuals who never went to college or for some reason or another were not able to complete their degree. For many, earning that "piece of paper" can make a significant difference in their professional or personal life (the achievement of a lifelong dream) - but the idea of returning to school after a long absence can present quite a challenge.

Explore ways to help you choose the right school so you can enjoy an ROI that will last a lifetime without regret.

Returning to Finish a Degree?

According to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), approximately 940,000 Tennessee adults have enrolled in a postsecondary institution in the state and achieved some college credit but left before obtaining a degree or credential. Between working full time, taking care of kids, and paying the bills, going back to college can often seem like an unrealistic option for many Tennessee adults.

What is Tennessee Reconnect? The Tennessee Reconnect Grant is a last dollar scholarship to help adult Tennesseans return to or enroll in postsecondary education for qualified individuals. The grant pays the remaining balance of tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied. The Tennessee Reconnect Grant is available for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree, technical degree, or technical diploma at a Tennessee community college or technical college. The Tennessee Reconnect Grant can also be used at an eligible public or private college or university towards an eligible associate degree, but it is not a last-dollar grant.

The Tennessee Reconnect + Complete initiative includes:

  • Comprehensive training for college and university leaders on best practices to serve adult students.
  • A targeted advertising and outreach campaign to reconnect with interested adults and help them return to school.
  • Tools at to assist adult students in connecting with the right college, finding financial assistance and utilizing prior learning experience to receive college credit.

Did you know that adults considering going back to college can also get free advising and other services through Navigate Reconnect? Navigate Recconnect provides advisors to help you navigate the path to college. You can access free advising, career exploration tools, assistance in understanding financial aid and college costs, and assistance in selecting a college and major. The advisors continue to work with you even once you are enrolled. For more information about Navigate Reconnect, visit the reconnect navigator page on the Tennessee Reconnect web site. 

What is Navigate Reconnect? Navigate Reconnect is the outreach arm of the Tennessee Reconnect Grant. Navigate Reconnect is a state initiative focused on providing free, individualized support to help adult learners to and through their college journey. Sometimes we don’t know where to start, what questions to ask, or encounter confusing and challenging times when going back to school. That’s where Navigate Reconnect can step in to help provide a guiding hand to get students to the finish line.

Veteran or Service Member?

Applying to college is not so different for a veteran compared to any other student. There are just a few extra considerations, and luckily, you should have quite a few resources. You may have certain military benefits that can help you get a college education. Check out some great steps to take to get the ball rolling on getting a college degree.

The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services also has a lot of information so you can start your education now.

Learn More About. . . .

College Prep for your kids

Tennessee Postsecondary Institutions of Higher Education

The TNStars College Savings 529 Program