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Financial Aid - Tennessee Promise

Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship and mentoring program that covers community college tuition and fees for graduating high school seniors. Students who participate in the program are paired with mentors and must be enrolled in an associate degree program full-time (at least 12 credit hours). Tennessee Promise students also must complete and submit 8 hours of community service each semester and maintain a 2.0 GPA. If you fail to meet any of these requirements, you will lose the Tennessee Promise scholarship.


  1. Apply for the Tennessee Promise Scholarship.

Students must apply for the Tennessee Promise scholarship during their senior year of high school. Seniors create an account on the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) portal, available at www.tnpromise.gov, and complete their application by November 1 of their senior year of high school.

Students should check their TSAC student portal frequently for updates and to ensure your Tennessee Promise funding goes to the correct institution.


  1. Fill out the FAFSA.

After you’ve applied to Pellissippi State, fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (also called the FAFSA).

Tennessee Promise students have a mandatory deadline to complete the FAFSA by February 1 of your senior year of high school. If you miss the FAFSA completion deadline, you will not qualify for Tennessee Promise.

The FAFSA helps determine if you qualify for federal and state financial aid, scholarships and grants. Remember, some funds tied to the FAFSA are first-come, first-served. For that reason, it’s best to fill out the FAFSA as early as possible. The FAFSA opens in October each year. If you intend to enter college in fall 2020, you would fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible after it opens October 1, 2019.

Our financial aid experts can help you answer questions about the FAFSA, and the U.S. Department of Education answers many common questions online. We also have a FAFSA Checklist (PDF) to help you through the process. Use the provided Data Retrieval Tool to help complete the financial portion of the FAFSA.

What happens if I’m selected for FAFSA verification?

The Department of Education selects some students for verification. This simply means that we at Pellissippi State must verify the information you provided on the FAFSA before we can issue your financial aid award.

If you’re selected for verification, we’ll alert you in myPellissippi under the “Financial Aid” tab. It’s incredibly important that you submit or complete any documents we request as soon as you can. Delays in completing the verification process may mean delays in your financial aid package.

The most common requirements during a verification are to clarify or verify your citizenship, marital status, income status, dependent status, child support status or degree status. Often, a verification requires a tax or wage transcript, which you can request from the IRS.

The priority deadline to submit all FAFSA verification requirements is July 1.


  1. Update your eligible institution.

When you file your FAFSA, you need to make sure you select the Tennessee Promise eligible institution you plan to attend as your first choice. You need to update the first college listed in two places: on the FAFSA and in the TSAC Student Portal. Be sure that you have updated your first choice in the TSAC Student Portal by July 15 of the year you will start college. Tennessee Achieves has full instructions for changing your institution in the FAFSA and the TSAC Student Portal in your Tennesee Promise Student Handbook, which is available as a PDF download on their site.


  1. Apply for Pellissippi State scholarships.

Pellissippi State has dozens and dozens of private scholarships for students of all types. Fill out our scholarship application, and we will match you to any scholarship for which you qualify. There are no guarantees that a scholarship fits you, but it’s a great idea to apply. If we can help you pay for college, we will.


  1. Check your myPellissippi account for financial aid disbursements and alerts.

Once you’ve completed your applications for financial aid, we’ll contact you through myPellissippi about your financial aid awards, any requirements you must meet and upcoming deadlines. Don’t forget to check frequently for updates.

One last reminder: Tennessee Promise students are required to enroll and attend full-time (at least 12 credit hours). If you withdraw from or stop attending class and drop below 12 credit hours, you will lose Tennessee Promise. Other financial aid could also be affected if you withdraw or stop attending.

Always talk to Financial Aid before you withdraw from or stop attending class.


  1. Confirm your schedule and pay tuition & fees.

Once all of previous steps are completed — including registering for classes — all students must confirm their schedule and pay tuition and fees. After any financial aid awards you receive appear on the confirmation screen in myPellissippi, you must confirm your schedule and pay any remaining tuition and fees. If your financial aid covers the cost of tuition and fees, you still must confirm your schedule. Students who do not confirm their schedules run the risk of having their schedules deleted. 

If you were selected for FAFSA verification and are not able to complete verification by the Schedule Confirmation and Fee Deadline, you will need to set up a payment arrangement with the Cashier or risk being dropped from class.


  1. Maintain Tennessee Promise

Tennessee Promise students are required to complete community service for each semester they attend college. If you do not complete and submit community service hours to tnachieves.org by the deadline, you will lose Tennessee Promise. Deadlines are specific for each semester:

  • Fall Semester — July 1
  • Spring Semester — December 1
  • Summer Semester (eligible for TN Promise funding for full-time students only) — April 1

Tennessee Promise students must maintain a full-time enrollment (at least 12 credit hours) and a 2.0 GPA. If you withdraw from class, or simply stop attending class, and drop below 12 credit hours, you will lose Tennessee Promise. Any other financial aid you may receive could also be affected.

If your enrollment drops below full-time, or if you have an official or unofficial withdrawal date due to a documented personal hardship or medical reason, you may submit an appeal to keep Tennessee Promise to the Institutional Review Panel. A dependent or independent student whose appeal is based on financial reasons must provide all supporting documentation attributable to the student. A student cannot appeal for missing the GPA requirement. To appeal, students must submit an appeal form in myPellissippi and provide professional documentation that supports their appeal. If documentation is not provided, your appeal will be denied.

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