Nashville GRAD Available to Davidson Co. Residents


Nashville State Community College has announced that Davidson County residents may be eligible to apply for Nashville GRAD, a program that provides free, targeted financial assistance beyond tuition and academic supports to students.

GRAD is available to those students who have applied and will be studying full-time at Nashville State in pursuit of an Associate degree or Technical Certificate. The application deadline for the program is August 11. It is free and easy to complete. Staff are available to assist. The fall semester begins August 23.

Having started in fall 2019, Nashville GRAD is a college completion program modeled after the nationally recognized CUNY ASAP program. GRAD provides wrap-around services that focus on non-academic factors like access to transportation and food, that affect learning.

GRAD students at Nashville State receive:

  • $100 per month for gas and groceries
  • $300 per semester to be used for textbooks
  • A loaner laptop to help with coursework
  • Payment of industry certification fees
  • Dedicated career development support
  • Dedicated advisor support and personalized guidance
  • Chance to build a strong network

“GRAD support goes beyond tuition assistance to provide needed supports so Nashville State students can thrive in College and focus on their studies,” said Dr. Julie Williams, associate vice president of Student Affairs.

Students that are using the tuition-free Tennessee Promise scholarship and Tennessee Reconnect grant are eligible for Nashville GRAD.

GRAD is available through the continued support of several partners: Office of the Mayor of Nashville and Davidson County, Metro Council, Alliance Bernstein, Amazon, Bank of America, HCA Healthcare, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville State Community College Foundation, Piedmont Natural Gas, Tennessee Titans, The Memorial Foundation, SCORE, Southwest Airlines, and Verizon.

“Metro is proud to support Nashville GRAD and its mission to eliminate barriers to academic success,” said Mayor John Cooper. “This innovative, need-based program is already making a difference in our community. And as a city on the rise, it’s a vital part of our workforce development strategy to connect Nashvillians to quality jobs.”

The program’s first cohort of students graduated during the Spring 2021 semester.

“Nashville GRAD provided me with the opportunity to become the college student that I wanted to be,” said Luciano Donati, who earned an Associate of Science in Business Administration Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

In addition to providing direction, a sense of community, and the supportive advising, Luciano leaned on the GRAD’s monetary assistance, saying, “It also provided financial support for moments in time in which life threw obstacles my way, and allowed me to have peace of mind and focus on my coursework. It has meant the world to me to be a part of the Nashville GRAD program.”

Soon after graduating from Nashville State, Donati transferred to and enrolled in Middle Tennessee State University’s Jones College of Business, where starting this fall he will be majoring in Business Administration with minors in Finance and Economics.

Earlier this year, Nashville State received the Tennessee Board of Regents 2021 SOAR (Statewide Outstanding Achievement Recognition) Partnership Award for the Nashville GRAD program.

“Data shows that Nashville GRAD is making a difference for students who are committed to their studies, with the graduate rate nearly twice as high compared to other Davidson County students,” said Dr. Shanna L. Jackson, Nashville State’s president. “We remain committed to providing the highest quality education and being innovative in how we serve our communities.”

To learn more about the program, visit, email, or call 615-353-3655.

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