If you are unaware of the financial aid resources available to you, figuring out how to fund your college education can seem like an overwhelming process.
Fortunately for Tennessee residents, many federal and state resources exist to help fund your college education, and you don’t have to be the high school valedictorian or demonstrate extreme financial need to qualify for all of them, either.
Let’s discuss the four steps all Tennessee residents should take to fund a college education.
Your financial aid journey starts when you fill out the FAFSA. FAFSA stands for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it’s your gateway to federal student financial aid, as well as many forms of state financial aid.
The FAFSA can be a tricky form to fill out, which is why the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) held a FAFSA Frenzy Day in January of 2017. That event allowed high school students and parents to meet with qualified volunteers to help them fill out the FAFSA. High school students and parents should re-visit the THEC website to confirm the date for the upcoming school-year.
If you need help with your FAFSA right now, you can also check out our handy, free online guide.
Once the FAFSA is completed, you will be automatically evaluated for eligibility for:
You’ll want to fill out the FAFSA sooner rather than later in order to be considered for scholarships and grants that have application deadlines.
It is also a good idea to apply for state-sponsored scholarships and grants that you may not be eligible for under the FAFSA alone. Luckily for Tennessee residents, there are a lot of options to choose from.
Tennessee grants include:
Tennessee scholarships include:
Check out the full list of Tennessee scholarships and grants here.
If you’re a current high school student, scheduling an appointment with your guidance counselor can also be beneficial. Your counselor can help you find local scholarships and grants, as well as assist you in the application process.
Try writing a note on the fridge, or setting a reminder in your phone, so that you don’t forget to stop by the office.
You can also conduct searches online, by visiting websites geared towards finding scholarships, such as CollegeScholarships.com.
Tennessee residents can use CollegeforTN.org to search for scholarships based on personal characteristics such as talent, religion, ethnicity, and family background.
Some other scholarship resources that you might want to check out include:
Sallie Mae's Scholarship Search, a database of constantly updated scholarships.
If you’re all out of options, or are in need of more aid, a private loan can help you make up the difference that you’ll need to fund your education.
Before committing, you can use our NitroScore tool to look up how easy your loans will be to repay.
The tool will calculate your total costs, salary after graduation, and potential loans needed based on your school of choice and intended major. It will then provide you with a score detailing how easy those loans will be to repay based on the projected salary.
You can customize the results with info about scholarships, grants and savings — and even compare different college/major combinations.
From there, take a look at our trusted and highly vetted loan partners to see who can give you the best rate.
Click here to see the best banks for a private student loans.
Tennessee residents should have access to a college education. Start planning for your future today.
|Lender||Rates (APR)||Loan Types||Terms||Eligible Degrees||Eligible Loans|
|4.50% - 16.33%1||Variable & Fixed||10 - 15 years||Undergrad||Students|