The Tennessee Higher Education Commission is designating January 18-21, 2022 as “Finish the FAFSA Week,” and is encouraging all high school seniors and their families to complete the FAFSA to remain eligible for up to two years of tuition-free college with the Tennessee Promise.

Students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are more likely to enroll in higher education, persist in their college coursework, and obtain a degree.

Tennessee students are currently lagging behind the FAFSA completion rate from previous years, at just 45%. In 2021, nearly 76% of Tennessee Promise applicants finished the FAFSA. This means Tennessee families are leaving hundreds of thousands dollars of free financial aid on the table by not completing the FAFSA.

THEC is teaming up with Tennessee Promise, The Ayers Foundation, tnAchieves, high school counselors, and many others to boost the FAFSA completion rate with Finish the FAFSA Week.

To help commemorate the week, several landmarks across Tennessee will be lit up in green for Finish the FAFSA Week, including this growing list of sites:

  • Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge in Nashville (January 18)

  • The Eiffel Tower in Paris, TN (January 18-21)

  • The Grand Hyatt Nashville (January 18-21)

  • Rutherford County Courthouse in Murfreesboro (January 18-21)


“Completing a FAFSA opens the door for thousands of dollars in state and federal financial aid for Tennessee’s students,” said Dr. Emily House, executive director of THEC and TSAC. “Our goal is that every eligible Tennessee high school senior has the opportunity to complete a FAFSA, especially before the Tennessee Promise deadline.”

Filing a FAFSA is the first step students must take to apply for most state and federal financial aid for college. To assist in navigating the FAFSA process, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation have curated a number of resources for students and schools to support Tennessee’s FAFSA completion efforts. Student resources include step-by-step FAFSA-filing instructions and videos. School resources include guides focused on helping high schools strengthen their FAFSA completion numbers.