15 Military Friendly Colleges in Tennessee

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Military Friendly Colleges in Tennessee

Funding for Military Friendly Colleges in Tennessee

There are many military friendly colleges in Tennessee. According to the VA, in 2022, 243 Tennessee schools got Post 9/11 GI bill funds for over 13,000 students totaling over $101 million dollars.

There are six active programs offering benefits for veterans’ education. If eligible, all of these may be used to help fund a college education.

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill
  • All Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program (MGIB-AD)
  • Educational Assistance for Members of the Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
  • Post Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

 

The most-used benefit program is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. At Tennessee colleges, 79% of the beneficiaries used the Post 9/11 GI Bill to help fund their education.

Military Program# of 2023 veterans eaRNING aid at Tennessee colleges
Post 9 / 119,116
MGIB – AD182
MIGB – SR651
REAP0
DEA4,620
VEAP0
TOTAL14,569

 

15 Military Friendly Colleges in Tennessee in 2024

These 15 Tennessee colleges renowned for their military-friendly initiatives are ranked according to the total Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits granted during the 2023/2024 academic year. The data used is sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics. A noteworthy aspect of several of these institutions is their active participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program, an integral component of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Through this program, both the colleges and the VA collaborate to cover tuition and mandatory fees that exceed the GI Bill’s coverage.

1Austin Peay State University
601 College St | Clarksville, TN 37044


Austin Peay State University (APSU) is the first military friendly school in Tennessee on our list. It has over 1,600 students who get GI Bill benefits. The Military Student Center offers programs throughout the academic year. Its goal is to address the unique challenges of military students. Plus, the school participates in VetSuccess on Campus and Green Zone training.

APSU participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers an unlimited number of out-of-state undergrad and graduate students an unlimited max contribution per year.

Veterans are eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 77%. And, the rate for part time students is 72%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $7,560
Grad: $7,101

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 933
Grad: 92

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 77%
Part Time: 72%

2 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
527 Andy Holt Tower | Knoxville, TN 37996


The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) was the sixth school in the nation to get the Purple Heart designation. Its Veterans Resource Center (VRC) helps students adjust to college. That includes active duty service members, veterans, reservists, guardsmen, and family members. Plus, you could get involved in VOLFighters (VOLF). This is the campus chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA).

UTK participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It helps 4 grad students through the Haslam College of Business’s Professional Masters programs. They could get up to $15,000 each, per year. Plus, 1 grad student at the College of Social Work gets up to $3,000 per year.

Veterans are eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 76%. And, the rate for part time students is 30%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $10,823
Grad: $17,867

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 649
Grad: 172

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 76%
Part Time: 30%

 

3Belmont University
1900 Belmont Blvd | Nashville, TN 37212


Belmont University offers nationally ranked academic programs and veterans’ resources. It serves active-duty military service members, and veterans. Plus, military spouses and families. The Bruin Vets Center is a great space to visit on campus. There, students can find camaraderie and friendship with fellow veterans. Resources and support are also offered.

Belmont participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers an unlimited number of undergrad, graduate, and doctoral students an unlimited max contribution per year.

Veterans are eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for both full time and part time students who get military benefits is 100%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $28,049
Grad: $27,305

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 227
Grad: 39

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: 100%

4Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main St | Murfreesboro, TN 37132


Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) has the largest dedicated space for veterans on a Tennessee campus. Also, MTSU built a memorial to honor its veterans and raise awareness in the community. Finally, the school participates in the VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program. 

Veterans are eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 87%. And, the rate for part time students is 67%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $7,943
Grad: $7,408

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 624
Grad: 74

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 87%
Part Time: 67%

5University of Memphis
Southern Avenue | Memphis, TN 38152


University of Memphis (UofM) has a recognized student veteran organization on campus. It also offers Veterans and Military Student Services. These help veterans, service members and their families with the college transition.

UofM participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers an unlimited number of students an unlimited max contribution per year.

Veterans may be eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 81%. And, the rate for part time students is 72%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $7,982
Grad: $8,125

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 312
Grad: 49

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 81%
Part Time: 72%

6Vanderbilt University
2101 West End Ave | Vanderbilt, TN 37240


Vanderbilt University supports military service members and veterans. It does so through several programs and partnerships. Such as, the Bass Military Scholars program. Bass Military Scholars is for on-campus graduate degree programs at Vanderbilt. It awards $25,000 per year toward annual cost of attendance. 

Vanderbilt also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers various awards to undergrad, graduate, and doctoral students based on the school/division.

Veterans may be eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 100%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $22,358
Grad: $17,803

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 28
Grad: 156

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: N/A

7East Tennessee State University
1276 Gilbreath Drive | Johnson City, TN 37614


East Tennessee State University (ETSU) participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers an unlimited number of students an unlimited max contribution per year.

Veterans may be eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 79%. And, the rate for part time students is 20%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $9,248
Grad: $6,908

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 181
Grad: 25

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 79%
Part Time: 20%

8 The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave | Chattanooga, TN 37403


University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC) knows the college experience for veteran and active duty students isn’t exactly traditional. So, it offers the tools to help students succeed. Veteran Student Services provides the best possible support. Active duty service-members, veterans, reservists and their family members can use these services.

UTC participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers 5 students up to $3,000 each, per year.

Veterans are eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 73%. And, the rate for part time students is 40%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $8,396
Grad: $8,740

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 192
Grad: 29

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 73%
Part Time: 40%

9Nashville State Community College
120 White Bridge Rd, Nashville, Tennessee 37209-4515


Nashville State Community College offers degree programs and certificates as well as online learning. Veterans and eligible dependents of veterans may apply for educational benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA). The Records Office at NSCC will evaluate your military transcripts for course credit.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $8,457
Grad: N/A

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 219
Grad: N/A

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 74%
Part Time: 64%

10Tennessee Technological University
1 William L. Jones Drive | Cookeville, TN 38505


At Tennessee Technological University (TNTECH), be sure to check out the Student Veterans Organization (SVO). It is made up of Veterans representing all services, as well as military family members attending TN Tech.

Tennessee Tech participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers an unlimited number of students an unlimited max contribution per year.

Veterans are eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 85%. And, the rate for part time students is 100%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $8,375
Grad: $4,090

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 175
Grad: 15

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 85%
Part Time: 100%

11 Bethel University
325 Cherry Ave | McKenzie, TN 38201


Bethel University, like other military-friendly colleges in Tennessee, Bethel participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers 15 undergrad students at the Clarksville location up to $1,800 each, per year. Plus, 5 undergrad students at the College of Liberal Arts in McKenzie get up to $2,500 each, per year.

Veterans are eligible for transfer credit of military training. The retention rate for full time students who get military benefits is 100%. And, the rate for part time students is 93%.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $4,698
Grad: $6,291

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 94
Grad: 22

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: 93%

12The University of Tennessee-Martin
554 University Street, Martin, Tennessee 38238


The University of Tennessee at Martin offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. As a new or returning student, you could find out how to use your VA education benefits towards your studies.

Beyond the financial aspect, UTM has resources and support for the military learner. You could join the student led organization Skyhawk Veterans Association. It serves all veterans on campus and in the community.

There is also a veteran’s lounge in Gooch Hall room 131 across from the Veterans Services office. The space is for veterans, active duty, reservist, national guardsmen, retirees, R.O.T.C. students, and family members who attend the university. Here there is a mini refrigerator, microwave, and a dining area to allow you to work on homework or to relax and unwind with fellow students.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $8,273
Grad: $8,157

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 91
Grad: 10

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: N/A

13Strayer University-Tennessee
1050 Union University Drive | Jackson, TN 38305


At Strayer’s Thousand Oaks campus, you could take on-site classes and receive personalized support from staff. The university offers programs at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels as well as certificates. Many are available in the online format. Options could include business, criminal justice and IT to list a few. Eligible students may receive federal financial aid to offset the costs of tuition.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $9,188
Grad: $9,306

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 72
Grad: 5

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 88%
Part Time: 71%

14Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd, Nashville, Tennessee 37209-1561


Tennessee State University is a Carnegie Designated “high research” school. Founded in 1912, it is the only state-funded HBCU in TN.

TSU noe offers 77 majors. There are also online and on campus programs. Plus, options for both undergraduate and graduate learners.

Military students may feel warmly welcomed. The Office of Veterans Services at Tennessee State University is there to assist service members and their families in using their VA Educational Benefits.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $7,187
Grad: $7,896

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 55
Grad: 11

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 64%
Part Time: 50%

15Pellissippi State Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, Tennessee 37933-0990


Pellissippi State Community College offers certificates and associate degree programs. The college offers some online and evening class options as well.

Veteran students could find the school welcoming. Pellissippi State is a certified veterans friendly campus through the state of Tennessee’s Veterans Education Transition Support Act, and has Veterans Services to help you with any questions you have about college.

Apart from using eligible benefits, there are many private scholarships. Once you fill out their scholarship application, they match you to any scholarship for which you qualify, even though there are no guarantees.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $2,398
Grad: N/A

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 150
Grad: N/A

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 84%
Part Time: 63%

Is ETSU military-friendly?

Certainly. ETSU has earned the Military Friendly designation for 11 consecutive years, showcasing its dedication to providing the best possible experience for Military Affiliated Students.

What GPA is needed for ETSU?

The minimum test score requirement is a 25 ACT Composite and the minimum GPA is a 2.5. Procedures: Submit the application for admission. Pay the application fee.

Does the military cover 100% of college expenses?

Absolutely. The program is accessible to active duty, National Guard, and Reserve Component service members, covering up to 100% of college tuition. This includes undergraduate and graduate degrees, vocational and technical programs, as well as distance learning classes.

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