I want free money for community college. How does it work?

tnAchievesWe were all very excited at the announcement of nashvilleAchieves. Through this program, any Metro high school senior can go to a community or technical college and pay no tuition (as in zero dollars). So how does it actually work? Good question. Let's look at the fine print.

To become a nashvilleAchieves scholar, you must:

  • Apply online by October 4
    • Woah, what?? That's right. You have just one month to apply for this program. So talk to your school counselor and GET TO IT!
  • Communicate with your assigned mentor every 2 weeks
    • Mentors are assigned by nashvilleAchieves. They will work with you over the next several months to get ready for college.
  • Attend mandatory January team meeting
  • File FAFSA by February 1
  • Attend mandatory March team meeting
  • Complete ACT by April 12
  • Apply to one of the approved community colleges or technology centers by February 15
  • Register for classes by July 1
  • Maintain a minimum of 12 semester hours
  • Attend mandatory New Student Orientation
  • Attend mandatory September team meeting
  • Complete 8 hours of community service
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA

Who can become a nashvilleAchieves scholar?

  • All Nashville public high school seniors are eligible, though preference could be given to first generation college students or students with financial challenges.
  • There is no GPA or ACT score requirement

How does the scholarship work?

  • Students can receive up to $4000 annually for four consecutive semesters
  • The amount of money awarded is determined after all other sources of scholarships and financial aid have been awarded.
    • This is what we call a "last dollar" scholarship. Basically that means nashvilleAchieves will look at how much tuition costs, then a how much money students get from all other sources, and then fill in the gap between the two.
  • Money is paid directly to the post-secondary institution
  • Funding begins in the fall semester following high school graduation.

Students will be ineligible for the scholarship if they fail to:

  • Attend all scheduled meetings or submit anonline excuse form prior to meeting
  • Maintain 12 hours and a 2.0 GPA each semester
  • Complete the correct FAFSA by February 1 each year
  • Complete 8 hours of community service each semester

Furthermore, students could be responsible for tuition payments if they decide to drop a class or never attend a class.

So what are you waiting for? If you're a high school senior wondering about college, this is a golden opportunity. Grab it!

Apply for the nashvilleAchieves scholarship online.