Why This Matters


    College Navigator has documented 31 two-year associate degree programs across Tennessee.


    According to data from College Board, the average Tennessee student paid a tuition of $4,641 at in-district community colleges for the 2020-21 school year.


    The National Center for Education Statistics revealed that 437,899 students attending two-year institutions in the United States received some sort of financial aid, such as scholarships and loans, for the 2018-19 school year.

Our Research

To create a comprehensive list of the learning opportunities and job training available in Tennessee, we reviewed private and public community colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. We looked at programs that are offered online, in-person, or in a blended format. Other elements we considered are the cost of tuition and the minimum number of credits needed to graduate.

We focused solely on accredited colleges, which helped confirm that each program is of high quality. Most of the schools listed are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which is a regional organization recognized by the United States Department of Education. We also reviewed schools accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education (COE), which guarantees the quality, integrity, and effectiveness of higher education programs.

  • 41hours to write this article
  • 59universities and colleges we assessed
  • 118education programs we compared

The Top 50 Community Colleges in Tennessee

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What You Should Know About Graduating From Community College in Tennessee

While pursuing higher education, you should consider your career potential and desired salary. As of May 2020, the highest paying jobs that require an associate degree in Tennessee were air traffic controllers, radio and cellular equipment installers, nuclear technicians, radiation therapists, and nuclear medicine technologists.

Job seekers with an associate degree should also review which careers typically have the most job openings. In the state of Tennessee, these occupations are preschool teachers (excluding special education), physical therapist assistants, paralegals and legal assistants, dental hygienists, and industrial engineering technicians.

In addition to reviewing jobs that have positive employment outlooks, job seekers should keep in mind which occupations are projected to see a decline. Careers expected to have the greatest decline for associate degree holders in Tennessee are avionics technicians, desktop publishers, forest and conservation technicians, human resource assistants (excluding payroll and timekeeping), and radio and cellular equipment installers.

What’s Next?

Every student should take into account the cost of higher education. To help with the process of finding financial aid opportunities, we’ve assembled a list of federal and state resources that connect associate degree students to scholarships and grants across Tennessee.

  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission helps students obtain funding for their degrees by providing information about in-state tuition, loans, and financial aid.
  • Federal Student Aid. The U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid supports students every year by offering $120 billion in scholarships, grants, and loans. You can determine your eligibility at the FAFSA4caster, and you can apply with the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. This site, sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, helps students find scholarships and grants available in their state. After filtering their search by degree level and location, students will receive a full list of scholarships, as well as their associated award amounts, qualification requirements, and deadlines.