Military-Supportive GI Bill® Approved and Yellow Ribbon Program Colleges Online and in Tennessee

tennessee stateTennessee isn’t called the Volunteer State for nothing. The state’s legacy of military service and sacrifice runs deep. In fact, the nickname can be traced back to the War of 1812 when a group of volunteer citizen-soldiers organized under the Tennessee Militia to defend against the British, fighting alongside indigenous allies. Three years after joining the war effort, they contributed to a decisive victory at the Battle of New Orleans, marking the last major stand-off in the war and the beginning of the British drawdown.

Today, we’re generations removed from those historic battles, and living at a time when even the prospect of being sent off to deployments in middle eastern theaters no longer looms as heavy as it did just a handful of years ago. This gives new service members and veterans recently discharged a whole new lease on the American dream, thanks in part to all the benefits that come with military service– chief among them is the ability to access a college education.

Tennessee Department of Veterans Services (TDVS) Military Education Benefits

It’s not just federal programs like the GI Bill® and the Yellow Ribbon program that are making college more accessible to Tennessee’s service members, vets, and their eligible dependents. Tennessee stands behind its vets and military families. Here you’ll find state-level benefits, along with military friendly colleges familiar with the programs in place to cover tuition costs and streamline the transition to college.

The Tennessee Department of Veterans Services (TDVS) has 14 field offices throughout the state, from Chattanooga, Knoxville and Mountain Home to Nashville and Murfreesboro to Jackson and Memphis and beyond, many located in the VA Medical Centers that you may already be familiar with. Each one of those locations has resource officers on-staff to help military members and their families file for the federal benefits they’ve earned. The TDVS also serves as an advocacy group, promoting pro-veteran legislation in Tennessee.

College assistance is counted among the many support and assistance programs that veterans and active duty service members can access through the TDVS. Some run parallel to certain federal programs but are even more generous and state oriented. The scholarship and grant programs are fully in addition to what you are already entitled to through the federal programs.

Tennessee’s Tuition-Based Assistance Programs

Whether you’re a veteran, an active service member, or service member dependent, Tennessee provides in-state tuition rates for all. You’re state of residency is irrelevant; if you’re serving in Tennessee, you qualify for in-state tuition rates and don’t pay any out-of-state fees.

There’s educational assistance for surviving spouses and dependents, too, though this program is only open to Tennessee residents. In the event that an active duty service member dies in the performance of their duties, their spouse or dependent child aged 23 or younger, gets a complete tuition waiver. Even though the program is for Tennessee residents only, the waiver can be used to cover the total cost of tuition and fees at any state-owned college anywhere in the country.

You’ve always heard about how you can turn your military service into college credits to shave years off the time it takes to earn a degree, but you may not have known exactly how it works. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) makes it easy. THEC operates an interactive database – the Servicemember Opportunity Portal – that does the number-crunching for you, converting your military experience into academic credit. You simply input your information, the conversion is made, and you can use the academic credit at any military friendly college in Tennessee that recognizes certain experience as equivalent to college credit.

Tennessee Veteran Grant Programs

There are two large grant programs for service members and veterans in Tennessee: Helping Heroes and Tennessee STRONG (Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen).

The Helping Heroes Grant

This grant is available to current and former service members. Many of Tennessee’s would-be first-time college students easily meet these requirements:

Support, Training, and Renewing Opportunity for National Guardsmen (STRONG) 

If you’re a member of the Tennessee National Guard, or considering becoming one, the Tennessee STRONG program is ideal for you. Tennessee STRONG provides financial assistance to Guardsmen and women pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The requirements are even easier to meet for this program:

Veterans Support Programs

As you transition from military life to becoming a college student, it’s reasonable to expect you may need some support along the way. The Veterans Upward Bound program and the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act are designed to offer you exactly that.

The Veterans Upward Bound program provides pre-college assessment and instruction in core areas like math, literature, and science. It also offers remedial and refresher courses to help veterans prepare for college and to be successful once there. Services provided by the Veterans Upward Bound program include:

The Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act was passed into law in 2014 in recognition that veterans’ needs post-service are unique and separate from that of civilians. The VETS act certifies college campuses that focus on meeting these needs and that prioritize veteran outreach and support programs. Schools that are VETS-certified must meet a high bar of excellence. Requirements include:

Possible Station Assignments and Military Bases in Tennessee

If you’re from Tennessee, there’s a chance you’ll be stationed here eventually, but it’s even more likely you’ll spend most or all your military career in a place you’ve never been to before. It’s not easy to be stationed away from home, or to be on the move at a moment’s notice, but that’s part of what you signed up for.

Whether it’s your first, second, or last duty assignment, Tennessee is a great place to be stationed. If you’re a service member from out of state that finds yourself here, you’ll find you’re eligible for many of the same programs available to Tennessee natives while in service. And if you stick around and settle down here after service, the veterans’ programs available in Tennessee will be yours to take advantage of too.

Although the Army has several armory and munitions plants throughout the state, the major military installations here in Tennessee are limited to the Air Force, Navy, and Air National Guard.

Air Force

Arnold AFB is a leading aerospace research and development center and a hub for outdoor recreational activities. Nearby marinas, lakeside beaches, and wilderness areas provide opportunities to kayak, canoe, camp, or just plain get away from it all.

The 164th Airmen out of Memphis ANG Base have collectively flown 18,000+ hours across six continents for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Enduring Freedom. And, for service members stationed here, there’s plenty of community to enjoy – including museums, parks, and zoos.

Both Arnold AFB and Memphis ANG bases are nearby to multiple military friendly, VETS-certified colleges.


The Mid-South Naval Base in Millington has something for everyone. There’s outdoor recreation, crafting classes, movies, and swimming for the family; child development and youth programs for the kids; an on-site veterinary clinic for pets; and voluntary education (VolEd) programs for you. VolEd programs are college-level degree programs offered online and on-base. In fact, there are four large state university branches on-base in Millington.

Military Friendly Colleges in Tennessee that Accept GI BIll® and Yellow Ribbon Program Benefits

Of the more-than 2,000 colleges and universities that participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, only around 500 provide full funding and place no limits on the number of eligible students who can take advantage of it. These schools ensure that every eligible veteran who enrolls can count on full coverage of all tuition costs that exceed GI Bill® limits.

You’ll be glad to know that a number of those military friendly colleges and universities are located right here in Tennessee:

Austin Peay State University

Clarksville, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

College of Arts and Letters

  • Art and Design
  • Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts
  • Communication
  • History and Philosophy
  • African American Studies
  • Languages and Literature
  • Music
  • Theatre and Dance
  • Women’s And Gender Studies

College of Business

  • Accounting Finance and Economics
  • Management Marketing and General Business

College of Behavioral and Health Sciences

  • Criminal Justice
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Leadership and Organizational Administration
  • Military Science and Leadership
  • Political Science and Public Management
  • Psychological Science and Counseling
  • School of Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Sociology

College of Education

  • Educational Specialties
  • Teaching and Learning

College of Graduate Studies, College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

  • Agriculture
  • Allied Health Sciences
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science & Information Technology
  • Engineering Technology
  • Geosciences
  • Geology
  • Geography
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physics Engineering & Astronomy
  • Pre-Professional Health Programs

Honors Program

Belhaven University

Chattanooga/Memphis, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • Accounting
  • Art (Visual)
  • Biblical Studies and Ministries
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Business with Sales Management Specialization
  • Business with Supply Chain Management Specialization
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Education
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice
  • Dance
  • Digital Media
  • Elementary Education
  • Engineering (Dual Degree)
  • English
  • Film Production
  • Global Mathematics
  • Global Psychology
  • Graphic Design
  • Health Administration
  • History
  • Intercultural Studies
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • International Studies
  • Leadership and Coaching
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics with Actuarial Science Specialization
  • Music
  • Nursing: BSN / RN to BSN
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Relations
  • Social Work
  • Sports Management
  • Sports Medicine and Exercise Science
  • Theatre
  • Tradigital
  • Pre-Professional Programs
  • Associate of Arts
  • Associate of Arts in Biblical Studies
  • Associate of Arts in Business
  • Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology
  • Christian Ministries Concentration
  • Criminal Justice Concentration
  • Human Services Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies
  • Human Services Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services
  • Christian Ministries Concentration
  • Criminal Justice Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • IT Management for Business Leaders Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Management
  • Criminal Justice Concentration
  • IT Management for Business Leaders Concentration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN
  • Bachelor of Health Administration
  • Certificate in Accounting
  • Certificate in Biblical Studies
  • Graduate Certificate in Finance
  • Graduate Certificate in Health Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resources
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in Sports Administration
  • Doctor of Business Administration
  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership
  • Entrepreneurial MBA
  • Master of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Finance Concentration
  • Health Administration Concentration
  • Human Resources Concentration
  • Leadership Concentration
  • Project Management Concentration
  • Public Administration Concentration
  • Sports Administration Concentration
  • Master of Education – Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Technology
  • Master of Education in Reading Literacy
  • Master of Education
  • School Leadership and Supervision
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Finance Concentration
  • Human Resources Concentration
  • Master of Science in Information Technology Management
  • Master of Science in Leadership
  • Human Resources Concentration
  • Ministry Concentration
  • Public Administration Concentration
  • Master of Sports Administration
  • Mississippi Teacher Certification
  • Online High Scholars Dual Credit for high school students

Belmont University

Nashville, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • O’More College of Architecture & Design
  • Watkins College Of Art
  • Jack C. Massey College Of Business
  • College of Education
  • Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business
  • Gordon E. Inman College of Health Sciences & Nursing
  • College of Law
  • College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • Thomas F. Frist Jr. College Of Medicine
  • College of Music & Performing Arts
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Sciences & Mathematics
  • College of Theology & Christian Ministry
  • Interdisciplinary Studies & Global Education
  • University College
  • Adult Degree Programs

Concorde Career College

Memphis, TN

Accreditation: ACCSC

Diagnostic Programs

  • Cardiovascular Sonography
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Polysomnographic Technology

Dental Programs

  • Dental Assistant

Nursing Programs

  • Practical Nursing

Allied Health Programs

  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Office Administration

Patient Care Programs

  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Surgical Technology

Devry University

Nashville, TN

Accreditation: HLC

Associate Degrees

  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • IT and Networking
  • Network Systems Administration
  • Business
  • Healthcare

Bachelor's Degrees

  • Business
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Accounting
  • Liberal Arts
  • Media Arts

Undergrad Certificates

  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Business Essentials
  • Cloud Computing
  • IoT
  • Technology
  • Media Arts

Master's Degrees

  • MBA
  • Accounting
  • Project Management
  • Technology
  • Business
  • Healthcare
  • Public Administration
  • Human Resource Management

Graduate Certificates

  • Human Resources Management
  • Project Management
  • Healthcare
  • CPA Preparation
  • Big Data and Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Supply Chain Management

East Tennessee State University

Johnson City, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • Clemmer College of Education
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business and Technology
  • College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Public Health
  • Gatton College of Pharmacy
  • Honors College
  • Quillen College of Medicine
  • College of Graduate and Continuing Studies

Lancaster Bible College

Memphis, TN

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Bible & Theology
  • Business Administration
  • Church & Ministry Leadership
  • Communication & Media Arts
  • Counseling & Social Work
  • Education
  • Health & Physical Education
  • Music Worship & Performing Arts

Lincoln College of Nashville

Nashville, TN

Accreditation: ACCSC

  • Automotive Technology
  • Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology
  • Diesel and Truck Technology
  • Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technology
  • Welding and Metal
  • Fabrication Technology

Lincoln Memorial University

Harrogate, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • Bachelor of Art (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Conservation Biology
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Communication and Media
  • Exercise and Rehabilitation Science
  • Education
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Special Education
  • Veterinary Medical Technology
  • Veterinary Health Science
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Animal Science (BS)
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Health Industry (BS)
  • Doctoral Law School JD

Lipscomb University

Nashville, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • College of Bible and Ministry
  • College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • George Shinn College of
  • Entertainment and the Arts
  • College of Education
  • Hazelip School of Theology
  • College of Computing and Technology
  • College of Leadership and Public Service
  • School of Nursing
  • College of Business
  • College of Professional Studies

Maryville College

Maryville, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • College of Arts and Sciences

South College

Nashville, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • School of Business
  • School of Computer Science and Engineering
  • School of Physical Therapy
  • School of Pharmacy
  • School of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Allied Health
  • Ministry
  • School of Legal Studies
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Education

Strayer University

Knoxville/Memphis, TN

Accreditation: MSCHE

  • Associate in Arts in Accounting
  • Associate in Arts in Acquisition and Contract Management
  • Associate in Arts in Business Administration
  • Associate in Arts in Information Technology
  • Associate in Arts in Marketing
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Management
  • Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Certificate of Education in Corporate Learning
  • Certificate of Education in Educational Administration
  • Diploma in Acquisition Contract Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Digital Entrepreneurship
  • Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Finance and Accounting for Entrepreneurs
  • Graduate Certificate in Marketing and Branding for Entrepreneurs
  • Jack Welch MBA
  • Jack Welch Management Institute Executive Certificates
  • Jack Welch Management Institute Graduate Certificates
  • Joe Gibbs Performance Management Certificate
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Education
  • Master of Health Services Administration
  • Master of Human Resource Management
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Science in Information Security and Assurance
  • Master of Science in Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Management

Tennessee Technological University

Cookeville, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • College of Agriculture and Human Ecology
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of Graduate Studies
  • College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Whitson-Hester School of Nursing
  • Honors College
  • ROTC

Trevecca Nazarene University

Nashville, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • School of Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
  • School of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Music and Worship Arts
  • Skinner School of Business
  • School of Education
  • Millard Reed School of Theology & Christian Ministry

University of Memphis

Memphis, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Communication and Fine Arts
  • College of Education
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Professional & Liberal Studies
  • Fogelman College of Business & Economics
  • Herff College of Engineering
  • Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management
  • Loewenberg College of Nursing
  • School of Communication
  • Sciences and Disorders
  • School of Public Health
  • Helen Hardin Honors College
    Graduate School
  • Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Accreditation: SACSCOC

  • Law School
  • Owen Graduate School of Management

Webster University

Memphis, TN

Accreditation: HLC

  • Advertising and Marketing Communications
  • Counseling
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Analytics
  • Education
  • Educational Leadership
  • Health Administration
  • Human Resources Development
  • National Security Studies
  • Management & Leadership
  • Marketing
  • MBA
  • Media Communications
  • Nurse Anesthesia Practice
  • Procurement and Acquisitions Management