Online Colleges In Tennessee 2022

Considering online college in Tennessee? Find the best online schools, explore scholarship opportunities, and learn more about tuition costs in Tennessee.

Updated September 6, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Colleges In Tennessee 2022

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Online Schools in TN

Tennessee leaders have worked for several years to increase the number of residents in the state with a postsecondary degree, certification, or credential as part of a larger workforce and economic development initiative. In 2017, the state reported 31.5% of its residents had at least an associate degree, and only 24.9% had earned a bachelor's degree. The Drive to 55 program aims to increased those numbers to 55% by 2025.

Tennessee launched several programs to help make this possible, including last-dollar scholarships for eligible students attending community colleges in the state. Read on to explore the educational opportunities available through the state's public and private colleges and universities in exciting fields of science, in-demand medical and business degrees, and liberal arts schools that develop critical thinking abilities.

Students should consider several factors when choosing the most affordable accredited online colleges in Tennessee. Their decisions will vary depending on their educational goals and personal needs. The ranking below offers information to help narrow the selection, ranking schools according to quality indicators including the number of online degrees available, six-year graduation rates, and student-teacher ratios. It also considers cost factors such as the average net cost of attendance, how many students receive college scholarships or aid, and the average amount provided by that aid.


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Tennessee's Top Affordable Online Colleges

#1

King University

School Information
Location Bristol, Tennessee
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

King University, a leader in online learning, offers a comprehensive catalog of degrees. The school enrolls a total of 1,402 online students. Coursework builds analytical and critical thinking skills. Online learners may need to complete limited on-campus residencies.

Students can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Tennessee school. Learners can complete a bachelor’s in an accelerated time frame. Degree-seekers pay the in-state tuition rate of $28,948 for bachelor’s degrees. Online learners typically complete master's programs in two years. Finishing a doctoral degree typically takes four or more years. Degree-seekers pay a $19,500 graduate in-state tuition rate. The institution reports that 92% of degree-seekers receive financial aid and 67% take out loans.

The institution's website provides details about how to earn credit for experiential learning. Degree-seekers can expect an admission rate of 62%. Prospective students submit school transcripts for admission. Degree-seekers can access the school's student support services, including tutoring, online and in person. King University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

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#2

Freed-Hardeman University

School Information
Location Henderson, Tennessee
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its main campus in Henderson, Tennessee, Freed-Hardeman University offers online and on-campus degrees as a private institution. The school's online programs enroll students countrywide. In-demand degrees in healthcare, business, and STEM are available at the online college, helping graduates reach their professional goals.

Distance learners enroll in undergraduate and graduate programs at the school. Undergraduate programs feature general education courses to give degree-seekers foundational knowledge. Enrollees also take advanced classes in their field of study. Graduate learners gain higher-level skills by taking online classes and attending seminars.

To find out more about admission requirements, application deadlines, and start dates, prospective students can reach out to the school. The accredited institution helps enrollees find opportunities for financial aid.

Freed-Hardeman University Statistics:

Total Online Students: 490

Applicants Admitted: 88%

Graduation Rate: 58%

Transfer Credits Allowed: No

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#3

Carson-Newman University

School Information
Location Jefferson City, Tennessee
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 57%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Online learners at Carson-Newman University receive the same education as on-campus students. A private school, Carson-Newman University enrolls students in 15 online programs. The institution's online degrees rank among the nation’s best. Nontraditional learners can pursue one of many bachelor’s and graduate degrees at the school. Various factors attract students to online degrees.

The school's online platform appeals to learners who need flexibility and affordability. Distance learners can also transfer credits or an associate degree to accelerate degree completion. Degree-seekers need not submit test scores to many schools. E-learners applying to the school can expect a 69% admission rate. Carson-Newman University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Carson-Newman University Numbers:

School Status: Private

Number of Distance Learners: 1,297

Online Degrees Available: 15

Total Bachelor’s Programs Online: 5

Per-Credit Tuition: $650

Annual Undergraduate Tuition In State: $27,600

Annual Undergraduate Tuition Out Of State: $27,600

Admission Rate: 69%

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#4

Cumberland University

School Information
Location Lebanon, Tennessee
Admission Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 43%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 2% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The country's best online colleges include Cumberland University among their ranks. The academic offerings for graduate students include the online school's two online master's programs. A total of 59 distance learners enroll at the school.

Distance learners attend class virtually from across the country. Some student services at the institution are tailored specifically for those enrolled online. Students can take advantage of the academic advising, financial aid counseling, and career services offered by the online school.

Degree-seekers interested in some of the most popular fields have programs available to meet their needs at the online college. The school confers accredited degrees that open the door to roles in many fields. Affordability is one of the institution's top priorities.

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#5

University of Memphis

School Information
Location Memphis, Tennessee
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 53%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students enroll in a total of 181 programs offered by University of Memphis from its Tennessee campus. In addition to its on-campus programs, the public institution offers online programs. Many degree-seekers choose to earn their degree online because of the distance learning programs' flexibility and 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school's top-ranking programs especially appeal to busy students and working professionals.

Remote learners use an online classroom setting to communicate with teachers and peers during an online program. They learn foundational skills and knowledge for their future profession. Classes covering general education requirements allow students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, both in-demand skills in today's workforce. Distance learners at the online school benefit from the support of academic advising, tutoring services, and career counseling. Enrollees graduate with a degree from an accredited institution.

University of Memphis at a Glance:

Total Number of Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Number of Available Online Master's Programs: 16

Acceptance Rate: 85%

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#6

Bethel University

School Information
Location McKenzie, Tennessee
Admission Rate 90%
Graduation Rate 32%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Bethel University ranks as one of the best online schools in the country. At the accredited institution, distance learners can enroll in one of seven online bachelor's programs. Students can also choose from three online master's programs. The school's distance learners total 1,582.

Remote learners across the country attend the institution's classes virtually. The university features student service designed for online enrollees. The online school's students benefit from academic advising, financial aid counseling, and career services.

The online college features programs in many top-choice fields to meet the needs of different degree-seekers. Remote learners leave the school with an accredited degree that meets the requirements for many different career paths. Affordability is a top priority for the institution.

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#7

Lee University

School Information
Location Cleveland, Tennessee
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Cleveland, Tennessee, Lee University is a private institution that ranks among the best online schools. Across its undergraduate and graduate programs, the accredited school teaches a total of 736 learners remotely. Degree-seekers pick from nine online bachelor's programs and five online master's programs at the institution.

The school meets the needs of many different students by offering online programs in top-choice majors such as healthcare, business, and STEM. The online programs use an engaging virtual classroom environment. Typically, virtual learners can fulfill in-person requirements in their local area. Online students can often take advantage of student services such as academic advising, career counseling, and online tutoring.

It generally takes four years for degree-seekers to earn their bachelor's. Credits from prior college experience can help people earn their degree faster. Additionally, prospective enrollees can check out programs with accelerated options.

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#8

Bryan College

School Information
Location Dayton, Tennessee
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 45%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private institution, Bryan College operates a Dayton, Tennessee campus. In addition to on-campus programs, the accredited institution offers multiple online programs. The college has 630 online enrollees. Fully virtual bachelor's programs are available to degree-seekers.

Learners can pursue a college degree in many top-choice fields at the school. A remote learning environment affords degree-seekers flexibility. People looking to move up in their field may benefit from the school's many programs designed for working professionals. The institution offers three online bachelor's programs and four online master's programs for distance learners to choose from.

Most degree-seekers earn their bachelor's in about four years. Transfer students finish their degree in less time by bringing in credits from previous higher education institutions. People interested in applying to the school should visit the website for more information on admission requirements and application timelines.

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#9

Southern Adventist University

School Information
Location Collegedale, Tennessee
Graduation Rate 55%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The highly ranked online programs at Southern Adventist University make it one of the top-ranking online schools. Virtual learners choose from the private institution's programs in business, healthcare, STEM, and social science. Many programs let students earn a college degree entirely remotely. Doing class assignments from home lets remote enrollees skip commuting to the Collegedale, Tennessee, campus.

When earning a degree remotely, distance learners communicate with teachers and peers in an online classroom space. The institution's experiential learning opportunities prepare participants to enter the workforce. The school supports distance learners through academic advising, financial aid counseling, and career counseling.

The accredited online institution's undergraduate- and graduate-level programs meet the needs of a diverse group of students. Degree-seekers benefit from the flexible format, meeting graduation requirements more easily.

Southern Adventist University Numbers:

Total Number of e-Learners Enrolled: 918

Total Number of Online Master's Programs: 1

Percentage of Learners Receiving Aid: 99%

Students Awarded Loans: 53%

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#10

The University of Tennessee at Martin

School Information
Location Martin, Tennessee
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Tennessee at Martin is one of the best U.S. online colleges. Graduate students enjoy an academic catalog that includes six online master's programs. The number of learners enrolled online at the school totals 2,147.

An average of 653 degree-seekers enroll at the public school. Remote learners across the country attend their classes virtually. Those enrolled at the institution online benefit from remote student services designed for them. The online school makes academic advising, financial aid counseling, and career services available to its students.

The online college meets the demands of today's degree-seekers with programs available in many of the most popular fields. The school's accredited degrees meet the requirements for diverse career paths. Affordability is prioritized at the institution.

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#11

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

School Information
Location Knoxville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students enroll in a total of 312 programs offered by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The public institution delivers programs using both in-person and online formats. The distance learning programs feature a flexible format and a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Working professionals and busy students benefit from top-ranking programs at the school, designed just for them.

Online programs feature virtual learning environments where remote learners communicate with teachers and peers. They learn foundational skills and knowledge for their future profession. In general education classes, students develop in-demand critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Distance learners at the online school get access to academic advising, tutoring services, and career counseling. Enrollees receive a degree that meets accreditation standards.

University of Tennessee, Knoxville at a Glance:

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Number of Online Master's Programs: 10

Price per Credit: $1,313

Percent of Applicants Accepted: 79%

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#12

Johnson University

School Information
Location Knoxville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 53%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

One of top online schools, Johnson University offers some of the best online programs. Business, healthcare, STEM, and social science are programs that the private institution's distance learners can choose from. Students earn a college degree 100% remotely through many programs. Doing class assignments from home lets remote enrollees skip commuting to the Knoxville, Tennessee, campus.

Learners in online programs use virtual classroom settings to interact with peers and teachers. Programs offer hands-on learning experiences so participants can practice skills needed for their future careers. Distance learners benefit from the school's academic advising, financial aid counseling, and career counseling.

The accredited online institution's undergraduate- and graduate-level programs meet the needs of a diverse group of students. Completing graduation requirements is easier for degree-seekers because of the flexible format.

Johnson University Numbers:

Total Online Learners: 496

Online Bachelor's Programs Available: 7

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Percentage of Learners Awarded Financial Aid: 97%

Learners Receiving Student Loans: 64%

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#13

Middle Tennessee State University

School Information
Location Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Admission Rate 94%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Middle Tennessee State University is one of the best schools for online degrees. The university offers a variety of degree programs. Online learning appeals to students with children or full-time employment. Prospective students can explore the institution's comprehensive catalog of degrees.

The institution offers a robust catalog of degrees for undergraduate and graduate students.

Middle Tennessee State University Facts:

Average Net Price With Aid: $11,964

Learners Receiving Financial Aid: 96%

Percentage of Students Receiving Loans: 45%

Transfer Credits Allowed: No

The institution's website provides details about how to earn credit for hands-on learning experiences. Distance learners can expect a 94% admission rate. Applicants submit school transcripts. Test scores may strengthen students’ applications. Middle Tennessee State University has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

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#14

Tennessee Technological University

School Information
Location Cookeville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Tennessee Technological University, a public institution located in Cookeville, ranks among the best online schools in the nation. Online enrollment for the accredited school's undergraduate and graduate programs totals 7,149.

The school meets the career goals of all kinds of students by offering virtual programs in many top-choice disciplines, such as healthcare, STEM, and business. Virtual learning environments help participants engage with the online program material. Programs generally allow online learners to complete in-person requirements locally. Student services such as academic advising, career counseling, and online tutoring are often available to distance students.

Most students complete a bachelor's degree in four years. People can earn their degree in less time by transferring credits from another higher education institution. Additionally, prospective enrollees can check out programs with accelerated options.

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#15

Lipscomb University

School Information
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students enroll in a total of 181 programs offered by Lipscomb University from its Nashville, Tennessee, campus. The private institution features programs delivered either in person or remotely. Degree-seekers in distance learning programs benefit from a flexible, accessible format and a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school features many top-ranking programs designed with busy students and working professionals in mind.

Remote classroom spaces let distance learners interact with teachers and peers in their online program. They gain foundational and advanced skills within their major. Classes covering general education requirements allow students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, both in-demand skills in today's workforce. The online school's distance learners receive support through academic advising, tutoring services, and career counseling. The degree that enrollees receive upon graduation meets accreditation standards.

Lipscomb University Statistics:

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Total Available Online Master's Programs: 3

Student Acceptance Rate: 63%

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Why Choose Tennessee for Online Higher Education?

Higher education students in Tennessee may choose from 13 community colleges, 11 public colleges and universities, and 34 private schools with hundreds of degree opportunities. Data shows more than half of all high school students in the state enroll immediately in a postsecondary school. However, the state ranks 38th in public university graduation rates. Public and private schools worked to expand access to online degree programs to help these students continue their education while balancing responsibilities as parents or full-time workers. Many schools broadened their graduate degree offerings, as well, allowing individuals to develop their credentials and progress in their careers.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost of Attending an Online College in Tennessee

Online colleges in Tennessee offer students an affordable option for earning or completing a degree, especially for residents of the state attending a public, two-year or four-year school. The sticker price for enrolling with an in-state, four-year university averages $8,932 and $3,940 at two-year schools. Those rates rise to $24,554 for out-of-state students at four-year schools and $15,346 for two-year colleges. However, those published tuition prices do not consider generous state financial aid programs or institutional scholarships that often reduce costs. Tennessee determines a student's residency by looking at where the person lived the year before they enrolled in college and the home address of their parents. Students living in counties bordering the state or seeking certain eligible degrees may request in-state tuition rates from their school.

In-state tuition

$8,932 – public, four-year institution
$3,940 – public, two-year institution

Out-of-state tuition

$24,554 – public, four-year institution
$15,346 – public, two-year institution

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Tennessee students pay close to the national average in tuition costs, but they may find significant savings in areas such as room and board, books, and fees.

Attending an online university in Tennessee also offers cost-saving opportunities for students. Some schools may offer discounts for online students, reducing mandatory campus fees like parking or student activities. Students find the most significant savings at public, two-year colleges, but per-credit costs can vary from major to major and from undergraduate to graduate courses. Fees below represent in-state costs for undergraduate students per credit.

Considering a Tennessee School as an Out-of-State Student

Thousands of out-of-state residents choose to pursue an affordable online degree in Tennessee each year. Many take advantage of special discounts, including border grants, military waivers, or participation in an Academic Common Market (ACM) program. Tennessee schools offer more than 100 fully online degrees that prepare graduates for in-demand careers. Several accredited online colleges in Tennessee provide degree completion programs for students looking to complete their studies, whether they need a few credits or several semesters of coursework.

Out-of-State Undergraduate Students Studying Exclusively Online in Tennessee: 2,311

Out-of-State Graduate Students Studying Exclusively Online in Tennessee: 1,777

Tuition Discounts

Tennessee belongs to the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and participates in several programs that allow out-of-state students to seek a degree from affordable, accredited online universities in Tennessee. The ACM offers more than 130 degree programs at 152 schools. This program allows students who live in one of the 16 member states to pursue a degree in another state at in-state tuition rates. To qualify, students must pursue a degree unavailable their home-state schools. In 2017, 132 students participated in this program in Tennessee, saving an average of $13,609 on tuition costs. The Regional Contract Program promotes study in professional healthcare fields by offering in-state tuition at public universities and reduced tuition at private schools.

State Authorizations for Online Learning

Each state must authorize the schools providing educational services to students living within its borders. The rise of online learning, however, led to regulatory burdens on schools and states. Tennessee joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement to expand access to online colleges in Tennessee and increase opportunities for students in the state. Also, the Electronic Campus of SREB contributes a collaborative marketplace of accredited online degrees in Tennessee and other member states, with more than 5,300 programs offered.

Check with an admissions or financial officer.
Tuition rates are ultimately program- and institution-based. Ask someone from a prospective program about what rates apply to you specifically as a potential member of a specific program.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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One-Stop College Research Resources for Tennessee's Online Schools

The questions and answers below can help students choose the best online school in Tennessee to meet their needs. Read on for information on how to begin the next part of your educational journey, including ways to get started quickly on a degree and the number of eligible transfer credits.

Do Online Credits Cost More or Less in Tennessee?

Though many top online colleges in Tennessee offer affordable tuition options, the cost per credit varies from school to school and even program to program. Some schools charge the same rate per credit for online and in-person classes or may add a technology fee to the online course. The public, two-year Roane State Community College offers in-state students a base tuition of $164 per credit. Online students through the TN eCampus pay an additional $66 per credit. Tennessee Technological University, a four-year public university, charges undergraduate tuition of $312 per credit for on-campus courses and an extra $125 per credit for online courses.

Many schools, however, offer significant discounts for online-only students. The private liberal arts school Bryan College, in Dayton, sets its residential undergraduate tuition at $13,950 per semester for up to 19 credits, or about $735 per credit for students taking the maximum number of courses. Online students pay $365 per credit, a $65 technology fee per semester, and often benefit from reduced living and commuting costs, as well as the ability to continue working while taking classes.

Which Tennessee Schools Accept the Most Transfer Credits?

Online universities in Tennessee accept transfer credits for college-level work completed at regionally accredited institutions. Two-year colleges may only allow 30 credits toward a 60-credit associate degree, while four-year universities may take up to 90 credits toward a bachelor's degree. Every school sets its residency requirements, or the number of credits a student must earn at the school to earn a degree. Often, colleges require students to enroll in their upper-division coursework in the major. Students must have passed the course with at least a 2.0, and the admitting school also must offer an equivalent class.

Transfer and articulation agreements make this process much easier, but students transferring their credits from out-of-state schools may need to submit syllabus and course information. Applicants with significant work history or military training may also consider a prior learning assessment. Schools evaluate training programs, professional certifications, and a work portfolio to award academic credit. Most colleges charge a price for the evaluations, but that fee often offers a discount over tuition costs. The prior learning assessments also reduce the time necessary to complete a degree and ensure students do not spend their valuable time in unnecessary classes.

Will Any Online Colleges in Tennessee Accept a GED?

Several online colleges in Tennessee offer open admissions, which do not require specific high school courses or specific scores on college entrance exams for admission. The school takes all applicants who meet basic eligibility requirements. Individuals who earn a General Educational Development (GED) must submit proof of passing the official exam, and graduates younger than 21 also need to take the ACT or SAT. While many schools do not set a minimum score, a student's performance on the test indicates if they need learning support classes in English or math.

Students over 21 must take an academic placement test. Learning support or remedial courses help prepare students for the rigor of college-level courses. However, students earn no academic credit toward their degree and must pay tuition for those credits. Accelerated bridge programs or retaking entrance exams can display proficiency in those subjects and allow students to begin credit-bearing coursework.

How Many Academic Terms Per Year Do Online Colleges in Tennessee Offer?

Many online programs in Tennessee follow the traditional three-semester format, with 15-week fall and spring semesters, in addition to accelerated summer sessions. Schools often welcome students to start working on their degree with at the onset of any semester. Some specialized programs, like nursing or education, may utilize a cohort model and only allow students to begin coursework once a year. Many schools, however, have adopted accelerated class schedules, where students focus on one or two courses every eight weeks. This course structure not only allows learners to focus on fewer classes each semester and earn more credits over a year, but it also provides more start dates for new students.

Western Governors University, which offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in areas of business, healthcare, education, and technology, offers rolling admissions throughout the year, with start dates every month. The school also uses a competency-based instructional method. Students enroll for six months at a time and complete as many credits as they can. They move on to the next course once they have shown mastery of knowledge and skills in a class.

Lipscomb University's College of Professional Studies provides a unique one-day learning assessment that allows students to earn up to 30 college credits for prior learning. From there, students choose a competency-based program or an accelerated, semester-based program to complete their degree.

Which Online Colleges in Tennessee Will Accept the FAFSA?

All online colleges in Tennessee that accept federal student aid funds recognize the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must complete the form annually to qualify for the state's financial aid programs: Tennessee PromiseTennessee Reconnect, and Hope Scholarships. Both Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect bridge the gap between the cost of required tuition and fees and a student's federal financial aid, using lottery proceeds to make up the difference. These programs assist in-state students attending a public two-year college right after high school or adult learners returning to complete a postsecondary degree.

Both public and private institutions rely on the FAFSA to distribute need-based grants and scholarships that make attending an online school in Tennessee affordable. Students should note any deadlines for scholarship or aid applications, which may be earlier than the state programs deadlines. The FAFSA application period opens Oct. 1 each year.

Are There Any Free Online Classes I Can Take From Tennessee Colleges?

Johnson City's East Tennessee State University (ETSU) offers a limited number of free online classes, with sessions available in U.S. History, Introduction to Music, and Introduction to Psychology. The courses provide students with the chance to enroll in a college-level course online to determine if they possess the technical skills and personality to succeed in distance learning. ETSU offers the eight-week classes at no charge to anyone interested in the subject, not just admitted students. Students can earn college credit for completed courses at a fee of $335. The cost represents a savings of two-thirds the in-state fee for a three-credit course at the school.

Other online universities in Tennessee offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through a variety of partner organizations, such as edX or Coursea. These classes also help students gain experience and confidence in online learning, but the schools do not offer an option to earn college credit. Lipscomb University and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville both offer a selection of special-interest classes through partnering MOOC sites. Lipscomb's offerings include a teacher preparation course that also provides professional development to current teachers looking to implement new state academic standards.

How Can I Find the Online Program Options at Tennessee Colleges?

Tennessee's eCampus offers a consolidated look at the online programs in the state. Students can search by program to identify fully online degree opportunities available from public two-year and four-year colleges within the Tennessee Board of Regents system. With the ability to search a consolidated catalog of online courses to take a class they need from any of the partner schools, students enjoy a more streamlined transfer process between schools. All participating programs maintain regional accreditation through the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools.

The site offers resources to help students be successful in their studies and connects them to financial aid and employment resources. Each course qualifies for financial assistance through federal student aid and the state's education grants, including the lottery-funded Tennessee Promise, Hope Scholarship, and Tennessee Reconnect. Out-of-state students enrolling exclusively in online courses may apply for the state's eRate, set at 150% of the schools undergraduate or graduate maintenance fee.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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