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Admission at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology :

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Policies

Applicable Divisions



This policy establishes admission standards for colleges of applied technology by Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR).


  • Adequate coverage - adequate coverage shall mean that the student's coverage meets or exceeds the level of coverage provided to participants in the TBR's Student/Scholar Health & Accident Insurance Plan.
  • Ability to Benefit (ATB)- The Department of Education established criteria, through a provision of the Higher Education Act, that must be met by a person who does not have either a regular high school diploma or a general high school equivalency credential to receive federal financial aid.


  1. Provisions for Colleges of Applied Technology
    1. Policy Development
      1. Each college of applied technology governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents shall develop an admission policy consistent with the provisions of this policy and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Non-discrimination on the Basis of Handicap) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and submit it to the Tennessee Board of Regents for approval.
      2. Each institution shall include its approved admission policy in its catalog or other appropriate publications.
      3. Dual Enrollment admissions policies should be developed in compliance with TBR Policy Early Postsecondary Opportunities and T.C.A. § 49-6-3111.
    2. Policy Revision
      1. Any subsequent change to an approved admission policy shall, prior to implementation, be submitted to the Tennessee Board of Regents for review and approval.
    3. Medical or Health Information
      1. Each institution shall comply with Rules promulgated by the Board of Regents regarding requirements for immunization against certain diseases prior to attendance at a system institution.  Institutions shall offer reasonable accommodations and exemptions for medical conditions and religious beliefs in accordance with state and federal law.
      2. A copy of Board of Regents promulgated rules is Exhibit 1 to this policy.


  1. General Provisions
    1. Admission of Non-Tennessee Residents
      1. Each college of applied technology may establish minimum criteria for the admission of residents of states other than Tennessee which exceed the minimum criteria established for residents of the State.
    2. Admission to Cohort, Specialized or Limited-Enrollment Programs
      1. Each college of applied technology shall develop specific policy and procedures for admission of students to programs or courses with enrollment limitations and/or specialized curricula.
      2. Such limitations should be based upon selective criteria appropriate to the program or course which apply equally to all prospective students, provided that preference for admission be given to residents of the State of Tennessee. (Incorporates former TBR Policy No. - see TBR Meeting September 30, 1983)
      3. A number of factors such as accreditation and professional certification standards, limited clinical and classroom space, faculty availability, and a concern for appropriate student progress influence the selective admissions process to certain programs.
        1. Students must meet the application criteria, be reviewed and accepted for admission, and make satisfactory progress to be admitted and continue in these academic programs.
        2. Institutions may vary in their admission requirements based on their analysis of student success characteristics.
        3. Admission and progression policies related to selective programs should reflect the likelihood of being admitted to the academic program at the earliest possible point and contain information on grade point average, standardized test scores, and grade expectations in specified high school courses indicative of success in the field.
      4. Admission and progression policies should be clearly displayed in all materials to prospective applicants.
    3. Admission under Ability to Benefit (ATB)
      1. For institutions wishing to participate in the ATB option under Title IV, students must meet the minimum criteria as outlined by the U.S. Department of Education.
      2. ATB allows students to apply for federal financial aid by proving their “ability to benefit” from college, either by taking a test or completing 225 clock hours before placement on ATB.
      3. Institutions which have established ATB processes and procedures must maintain documentation that the programs students enroll in are Title IV eligible and must offer students on ATB the opportunity to also earn a high school credential.
    4. Admission to Medical, Nursing, and Allied Health Programs
      1. Each college of applied technology that offers medical, nursing, or allied health programs shall require that all persons admitted to such programs:
        1. Provide evidence through a health verification form, that at a minimum, establish the applicant’s compliance with the Rules promulgated by the Tennessee Department of Health regarding requirements for immunization against certain diseases, including the Hepatitis B vaccine, and other communicable diseases. Institutions shall offer reasonable accommodations and exemptions for medical conditions and religious beliefs in accordance with state and federal law.
        2. Be, with reasonable accommodation, physically and mentally capable of performing the essential functions of the program as defined in writing by the institution.
    5. Readmission
      1. Each college of applied technology shall develop policies and procedures for the readmission of students.
      2. Readmission policies and procedures for students not in good academic standing shall be consistent with TBR Policy No. (Academic Retention and Readmission at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology).
    6. Application Fee
      1. TBR institutions are prohibited from charging an application fee.
  2. College of Applied Technology Admission
    1. Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology shall admit applicants on a "first-come, first- serve" basis, and the following minimum criteria shall apply:
      1. Applicants not Enrolled in High School
        1. Applicants not enrolled in high school are eligible for admission provided that:
          1. At least eighteen (18) years of age or have a high school diploma or general high school equivalency credential.
          2. Select a program of study.
          3. Complete an admissions application.
          4. Submit program specific materials and complete additional requirements of the chosen program (if required).
    2. Admission of Church-Related and Home School Students
      1. Students who have attended a church-related school or home school as defined by T.C.A. § 49-50-801 and T.C.A. § 49-6-3050 are eligible for admission.
        1. Church-Related or Home School students who do not present valid ACT, SAT, or other approved assessment scores at time of admissions may be subject to program assessments to determine program eligibility.
    3. Admission of International Non-Immigrants
      1. Foreign non-immigrant applicants are eligible for admission if they meet the same conditions required for other applicants as well as the requirements of the U.S. Bureau of Naturalization and Immigration.
    4. Standardized Examination Scores
      1. Colleges of applied technology may use standardized test scores for advisement and placement purposes.



T.C.A. § 49-8-102, T.C.A. § 49-8-203, T.C.A. § 49-7-124, T.C.A. § 49-6-3050, T.C.A. § 49-50-801, and T.C.A. § 49-6-3111

Education Choices in Tennessee
Graduation Requirements
Ability to Benefit
Approved Ability to Benefit Tests
Tennessee State Board of Education High School Policy 2.103 Revised 4.20.18


TBR Meeting, August 16, 1974; September 29, 1978; June 27, 1980, September 30, 1983; December 16, 1983; June 27, 1986; September 16, 1988; December 2, 1988; June 30,1989; December 7,1990; March 20, 1992; March 19, 1993; September 17, 1993; June 23,1994; December 8, 1994; December 15, 1995; March 7, 1997; June 19, 1998; September 22, 2000; April 2, 2004; December 8, 2006; June 28, 2007; June 24, 2010; Revised December 11, 2014

The admission policy was revised in its entirety on September 30, 1983, superseding the previous policy and all amendments thereto. Revised Jan. 1, 2014 per Tennessee Alternative Diploma Act to reflect change from General Educational Development (GED) Certificate to Tennessee High School Equivalency (HiSET) Diploma.

Revised at Board Meeting March 30, 2016. NEW Policy approved at Board Meeting March, 21, 2019 (was previously part of 2:03:00:00 Admissions); Ministerial Changes April 12, 2023; Ministerial Changes July 6, 2023.

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