Cumberland University

Tennessee Promise

Earn an Associate Degree at a 4-year University for FREE!

And easily transition into one of our many Baccalaureate programs.



Important Dates:

  • Find Your Mandatory Meeting Dates 
    To find your meeting date by county CLICK HERE. Clear your schedule now for both dates to ensure you stay on track.
  • Starting September 9, 2017
    Register and take the ACT. Make certain to have your scores sent to Cumberland University.
    School code:  3954
  • By November 1, 2017
    Apply to the Tennessee Promise program.
  • By January 16, 2018
    Apply to Cumberland University to reserve your spot.

    File your 2018-2019 FAFSA at Make certain to have your FAFSA sent to Cumberland University. School code:  003485
  • April 1, 2018
    Confirm with Cumberland's Office of Admission that your application has been received.
  • July 14, 2018
    Last date to take the ACT! Make certain to have your scores sent to Cumberland University.  
  • July 1, 2018
    Complete and report first 8 hours of community service.


Tennessee Promise » 2 years tuition free » Easily transition to 4-year program

Tennessee Promise students from across the state are choosing Cumberland University over community colleges. They are drawn to our unique campus environment, numerous resources that connect students to careers, and outstanding university professors. Cumberland's Tenn » 2 » 4 program makes transitioning from an associate degree program to one of our baccalaureate degree programs seamless and simple.

Cumberland University and the Tennessee Promise scholarship allow students to earn a 2-year associate degree, tuition free. Cumberland also makes it easy for you to transition directly into a 4-year baccalaureate degree program.

Once a student has earned an associate degree they are automatically admitted into a baccalaureate degree program at Cumberland University.

Why choose Cumberland University?

Cumberland offers an excellent education. When people think of Cumberland University, they think about a community that has a reputation for transforming learners into leaders. CU is a contemporary liberal arts university focused on creating leaders that are ready to advance any field of their choosing. WE foster a culture of entrepreneurial thinking and are dedicated to helping you discover possibilities that extend beyond the imagination.

Our graduates are prepared for successful careers in fields like nursing, business, criminal justice, and education to name a few. A Cumberland education will take you places. Come and Learn What's Possible.

Cumberland University offers the following Associate Degrees:  

  • Associate of Arts 
  • Associate of Arts in Business 
  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice 
  • Associate of Arts in Education 
  • Associate of Arts in English
  • Associate of Arts in History
  • Associate of Arts Music 
  • Associate of Science 


Have questions? Check out these FAQs:

Who is eligible for Tennessee Promise?

Any high school senior who graduates from a Tennessee eligible high school or completes a Tennessee home school program can apply for the Promise Scholarship. While the Tennessee Promise is available to all students regardless of socioeconomic status, partnering organizations will work with high school guidance counselors to target at-risk students who would otherwise not pursue any education beyond high school.  

At what schools can you use Tennessee Promise?

Students can use the Tennessee Promise scholarship at any of Tennessee’s 27 colleges of applied technology (TCATs), 13 community colleges or any in-state independent or four-year public university offering an associate’s degree.

Is Cumberland University a recognized Tennessee Promise participant?

Yes, Cumberland University is a recognized participant in the program and will offer Associate Degree programs to incoming, qualified high school graduates who entering in the fall semester or a student transferring from another institution that utilizes the Tennessee Promise.

How will a student enroll in Tennessee Promise?

High school graduates who are planning to enter college for the fall semester should apply now on Tennessee Promise website by November 1.

Can a Tennessee Promise student participate in athletics at Cumberland University?

Cumberland University is a member of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and a member of the Mid South Conference. Cumberland University allows only students who are baccalaureate degree seeking students to participate in intercollegiate athletics. Students who wish to utilize the Tennessee Promise may participate in intercollegiate athletics once they are no longer on the Tennessee Promise Scholarship.


STUDENT REQUIREMENTS: What are the student requirements?

To receive Tennessee Promise, a student must:

  1. Participate and meet all requirements of a Tennessee Promise partnering organization.
  2. Apply senior year and meet established application deadlines.
  3. Attend all scheduled team meetings and a mandatory college orientation.
  4. Begin at the postsecondary institution in the fall directly following high school graduation and remain at an eligible institution for consecutive semesters. (A student may begin at his/her postsecondary institution in the spring or summer directly following high school graduation; however, the student will be responsible for incurred tuition and fees until fall.)
  5. Maintain at least 12 hours each semester.
  6. Attend a postsecondary institution for consecutive semesters. (If a student withdraws from all classes during the semester, he/she will no longer be eligible.)
  7. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the established deadline of each year beginning in high school and throughout his/her post-secondary experience. 
  8. Maintain satisfactory academic progress. At most institutions, this is the equivalent of maintaining a 2.0 GPA each semester.
  9. Complete at least eight hours of community service each semester. Failure to complete a requirement will result in loss of eligibility.


Is Tennessee Promise available for non-traditional students too?

No. The Tennessee State Legislature has decided that the Tennessee Promise funds will be for Tennessee residents who are high school seniors and who graduate from an eligible high school or home school program and anyone who completes a GED® or HiSET® diploma before 19 years of age.

Do Non-Citizens qualify for the Tennessee Promise?

No. In order to qualify for the Tennesse Promise you must be able to complete the FAFSA as well as be a U.S. Citizen and Tennessee resident.

What type of degree can I pursue with the Tennessee Promise?

Tennessee Promise will only cover technical certificates, diplomas and two-year degrees. There are several reasons why Tennessee Promise is focused on certificates and two-year degrees. The primary reason is that forecasts show that much of our increased workforce demand will be in skills provided at our Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) and Community Colleges.

How will the Tennessee Promise be funded?

The Tennessee Promise will be funded within existing resources by interest from the newly established Tennessee Promise endowment and by changing the HOPE award for students attending community colleges from $2,000 per year to $3,000 per year, while reducing the award amount at the four-year institutions for freshmen and sophomores from $4,000 per year to $3,000 per year. The endowment will continue to grow as any net lottery proceeds above the general shortfall reserve will be added to the Tennessee Promise endowment.

What does Tennessee Promise fund?

Tennessee Promise is a last-dollar scholarship that funds any leftover tuition and fees at TCATs, two-year, and four-year schools offering associate’s degrees once all other aid, with the exception of loans and work-study, has been applied. Tennessee Promise funds cannot be used for books or cost of attendance fees. Cost of attendance fees include costs like travel and gas expenses.

How will the funds be administered?

After students meet all Tennessee Promise requirements and all other financial aid, with the exception of loans and work-study has been exhausted, the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) will send the funds directly to the institutions. The process for payment will be very similar to the distribution of TSAA grants and lottery scholarships.

When does the student get the cash for the scholarship?

Students never directly receive funding from Tennessee Promise. The partnering organizations will provide a final list of Promise students to TSAC. TSAC will then send the funds directly to the colleges each semester.

When do I apply for college admission?

Can I use Tennessee Promise if I attend a four-year program first then transfer to an eligible Tennessee Promise college

No. You must begin your college enrollment at an eligible Tennessee Promise college and in an eligible program. For complete details on Tennessee Promise, visit