Why This Matters

  • 33 TWO-YEAR ASSOCIATE DEGREE PROGRAMS IN TENNESSEE

    College Navigator has documented 33 two-year associate degree programs across Tennessee.

  • $4,639 AVERAGE IN-DISTRICT TUITION & FEES

    According to data from College Board, the average Tennessee student paid a tuition of $4,639 at in-district community colleges for the 2022-23 school year.

  • 80.6% OF STUDENTS ENROLLED IN U.S. INSTITUTIONS RECEIVED FINANCIAL AID

    The National Center for Education Statistics revealed that 452,493 students attending two-year institutions in the United States received some sort of financial aid, such as scholarships and loans, for the 2019-20 school year.

Our Research

This list features some of the best community colleges in Tennessee. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included small, midsize, and large colleges as well as trade, technical, and vocational programs. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.The colleges on our list are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), a reputable organization that examines objectives, quality and overall effectiveness of education programs in the southern United States.We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 25 Community Colleges in Tennessee

Best Community Colleges In Tennessee Badge 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Walters State Community College
01
Best for Adult Learners
Motlow State Community College
01
Best for Communications
Northeast State Community College
01
Best for Environmental Studies
Roane State Community College
01
Best for Working Professionals
Columbia State Community College
01
Best for Fine Arts
Pellissippi State Community College
01
Best for Veterans
Volunteer State Community College
01
Best for Career Seekers
Southwest Tennessee Community College
01
Best for Industry Training
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Northwest
01
Best for Practical Nursing
Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro
01

Dyersburg State Community College
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Hohenwald
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Livingston
01

Chattanooga State Community College
01

Cleveland State Community College
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Jackson
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Elizabethton
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Dickson
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Shelbyville
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Morristown
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Memphis
01

Nashville State Community College
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Nashville
01

Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Knoxville
01

Jackson State Community College

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 2021, the highest paying jobs that require an associate degree in Tennessee were air traffic controllers, hydrologic technicians, funeral home managers, nuclear technicians, and radiation therapists.

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), paralegals and legal assistants, physical therapist assistants, computer network support specialists, and radiologic 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 geological technicians, desktop publishers, and human resources assistants (excluding payroll and timekeeping).

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.