Phoenix Promise | Cumberland University

Phoenix Promise

Phoenix Promise

Helping You Rise to a Debt-Free Degree

At Cumberland University, we believe that every student deserves access to higher education, which is why we're removing some of the barriers from earning a four-year degree.

We have been a proud partner of the Tennessee Promise program since its inception, allowing graduating high school students around the state earn an associate degree, tuition free. We're now implementing the Phoenix Promise to assist eligible students in completing their bachelor's degree. The Phoenix Promise scholarship now allows eligible students to complete their four-year degree, for the same out of pocket costs as they were using the Tennessee Promise program.

We believe that access to a college degree should not be limited by financial restrictions, and we're doing what we can to ensure our students are graduating without formidable student loan debt to prepare for successful futures.

How does it work?

The Phoenix Promise is a last-dollar scholarship, which means that after considering all funding and grants a student is eligible for, the Phoenix Promise covers the remaining balance of tuition and access fees. This means that eligible students will pay little or no costs out-of-pocket for tuition and access fees.


The Phoenix Promise is only available to eligible students beginning at the sophomore level. However, we encourage high school students and freshmen students to consider this as an option when planning out degree paths and financial aid. 

To be eligible to receive the Phoenix Promise scholarship, you must:

  • Have a valid FAFSA with an estimated family contribution (EFC) of 3500 or below. This information is available on your Student Aid Report (SAR) after you fill out your FAFSA.
  • Have a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA on all college level work at the 24 attempted credit hour benchmark and the 48 attempted credit hour benchmark (typically at the end of your freshman and sophomore years)
  • Be a current CU student or a transfer student at the rising sophomore or junior level
  • Be a Tennessee resident
  • Not be a student athlete, nursing major or fine arts performing student

If you have questions about eligibility requirements, or if you qualify, contact The Office of Financial Aid at 615-547-1399 or

Next Steps

Current Cumberland Students

If you're a current Cumberland student and believe you are eligible for the Phoenix Promise scholarship, contact The Office of Financial Aid at 615-547-1399 or

Transfer Students

If you are a student planning to transfer to Cumberland, and believe you meet the eligibility requirements for the Phoenix Promise:

  1. Apply to Cumberland at
  2. Fill out your FAFSA application at and use school code 003485 to send your FAFSA straight to CU.
  3. Submit all admissions materials, including transcripts
  4. Once admitted, meet with The Office of Financial Aid to explore your options, including the Phoenix Promise and other scholarship opportunities

Have Questions? Check out these FAQs: