Help Finding Tennessee Colleges

Where to Start Looking for Tennessee Colleges

Tennessee Highway SignFamilies interested in searching for Tennessee colleges should start with sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. It includes self-assessment tools, timelines, a basic college search, financial aid information, and a portfolio option. Students can use the system to apply to a college or just practice a college application. They can also request a transcript through the system and have their portfolio sent to selected colleges.

For more detailed financial information, families need to visit College Pays by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. The site provides a general overview of financial aid as well as information on the Dual Enrollment Grant the Tennessee Education Lottery HOPE Scholarship. You can also download a worksheet to help budget for the costs of college.

If you’re looking for in-person help with your financial aid application, College Goal Tennessee provides information on College Goal Sunday Events. These are Sundays in January and February where families can get professional assistance filling out the FAFSA form.

Some Numbers to Help You Find Tennessee Colleges

There are 34 four-year Tennessee colleges with 500 or more full-time undergraduates according to the Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System. Approximately 40 percent of students attend one of the 27 private colleges while 60 percent of students attend one of the 7 state institutions.

The private colleges have an average four-year graduation rate of 38.5% and the public universities have an average five-year graduation rate of 37.6%. Seven schools meet the DIY College Rankings 50-50 profile requirements.

In Tennessee, the average Composite ACT score was 19.8. The English scores was 19.6 and the Math score was 19.2. The 75th% Composite score was 23, English was 24, and Math was 23. A total of 29 Tennessee colleges ACT 75th% Composite scores were at or above this level.

The top 20 colleges ACT test takers applied to:

  • University of Tennessee-Knoxville
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
  • Tennessee Technological University
  • University of Memphis
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Austin Peay State University
  • University of Tennessee-Martin
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Tennessee State University
  • Belmont University
  • Carson-Newman College
  • Lipscomb University
  • Chattanooga St Comm Coll
  • Pellissippi State Technical Comm Coll
  • Walters State Community College
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College
  • Western Kentucky University
  • University of Alabama
  • Roane State Community College

List of Tennessee Colleges

In the following table, the four-year graduation rate is used for private colleges and the five-year rate for public colleges. The data are based on the data available from IPEDS in September of 2014 which are available on the DIY College Search spreadsheet.

Tennessee Colleges with Graduation Rates and Test Scores

Avg 4/5
Net Price
Austin Peay State UniversityPublic565430865405602410296
Belmont UniversityPrivate511755806406302927285
Bethel UniversityPrivate340411515105052215846
Bryan College-DaytonPrivate114141386006002515337
Carson-Newman UniversityPrivate165841675755802614191
Christian Brothers UniversityPrivate10234447279735
Cumberland UniversityPrivate105618475405302315022
East Tennessee State UniversityPublic968234865505502513537
Fisk UniversityPrivate5884043044018
Freed-Hardeman UniversityPrivate126241926005702716821
Johnson UniversityPrivate78151555605702412887
King UniversityPrivate204343645605602517158
Lane CollegePrivate15342249510530169091
Le Moyne-Owen CollegePrivate8791231711338
Lee UniversityPrivate383033926005802711620
Lincoln Memorial UniversityPrivate11852705005402712764
Lipscomb UniversityPrivate259037536506502820240
Martin Methodist CollegePrivate10163028324
Maryville CollegePrivate113241735505502616425
Middle Tennessee State UniversityPublic173813770580570249148
Milligan CollegePrivate88458685835832615840
Remington College-Memphis CampusPrivate82170
Rhodes CollegePrivate201480586906803125540
Sewanee-The University of the SouthPrivate158074606706503023851
Southern Adventist UniversityPrivate234821386005802519376
Tennessee State UniversityPublic5356266624
Tennessee Technological UniversityPublic914044936006502611308
Tennessee Wesleyan CollegePrivate98826715105402411585
The University of Tennessee-ChattanoogaPublic906630785905902512730
The University of Tennessee-KnoxvillePublic1981062726406502913758
The University of Tennessee-MartinPublic59274477257773
Trevecca Nazarene UniversityPrivate101640775905702616038
Tusculum CollegePrivate178616725205202315689
Union UniversityPrivate217250746806702923727
University of MemphisPublic1231931686006002510111
Vanderbilt UniversityPrivate676487137807903418993


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