Program provides funding to enhance veteran success in higher education

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the 11 colleges and universities selected to receive the Veteran Reconnect Grant, a competitive grant focused on improving the success of student veterans enrolled in Tennessee colleges and universities.


“From 2008 to 2013, we saw a 200 percent increase in the number of veterans enrolling in our Tennessee colleges and universities,” Haslam said. “Our Veterans Education Task Force has been working to address the unique needs that our service men and women have when they come home and go back to school, and these competitive grants will help 2-year and 4-year schools develop initiatives specifically designed for veterans to be successful in earning a degree or certificate.”


Haslam included in his FY 2015-2016 budget amendment and the General Assembly approved $1 million for the Veteran Reconnect Grant.


A Request for Proposals (RFP) was released in May. Proposals were due July 2 and reviewed by a committee of higher education and veteran service leaders.


Recipients of the Veteran Reconnect Grant include:

Belmont University, $95,000
Chattanooga State Community College, $92,000

Columbia State Community College, $92,797

East Tennessee State University, $95,000

Jackson State Community College, $94,151

Lipscomb University, $80,415

Maryville College, $82,257

Middle Tennessee State University, $90,999

Northeast State Community College, $94,600

University of Memphis, $93,374

Volunteer State Community College, $89,104


The Veteran Reconnect Grant is part of the governor’s Drive to 55 initiative aimed at increasing the number of Tennesseans with a certificate or degree beyond high school. By 2025, 55 percent of the jobs in Tennessee will require a post-secondary credential, and currently only 33 percent of Tennesseans qualify.