First-Generation Students

We proudly welcome students who are first in their families to pursue a four-year degree. At King, we offer our online students the financial aid, academic support, and sense of community they need to succeed in their college experience and beyond.


Upward Bound

Upward Bound is a national program that offers fundamental support to eligible high school students as they prepare for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits. Upward Bound serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate of high school students who graduate and pursue postsecondary education.

Upward Bound projects provide academic instruction in mathematics, laboratory sciences, composition, literature, and foreign languages. The program provides tutoring, counseling, mentoring, cultural enrichment, work-study programs, education, or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students; and programs and activities previously mentioned that are specially designed for students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, students who are in foster care or are aging out of foster care system, or other disconnected students.


Students must be 13 to 19 years old, have completed eighth grade, and have a need for academic support in order to pursue a program of postsecondary education. All students must be from low-income families or be a potential first-generation college student. The program requires that two-thirds of participants in a project must be both low-income and potential first-generation students. The remaining one-third must be either low-income, first-generation college students, or students who have a high risk for academic failure.

Applicants are required to submit an application online through is a single-access point for over 1,000 grant programs offered by the federal government and other grant-making agencies.

America Needs You

The America Needs You (ANY) Fellows Program is an intensive two-year program for high-achieving, low-income, first-generation college students. The program has four components:

  1. Intensive Career Development: ANY follows a best-in-class curriculum focused on professional skills, career exploration, college completion, and personal growth. The program provides 28 full-day workshops over the course of two years.
  2. One-on-One Mentorship: Each student/fellow is matched one-on-one with a mentor coach. Pairs complete 220 hours of mentoring over two years. Mentor coaches provide industry insight and connections as well as help fellows set goals and stay on track academically and professionally.
  3. Robust Networks: Fellows interact with thousands of diverse professionals through workshops, career days (on-site employer visits), and internship/job opportunities. These opportunities allow fellows to grow their professional, academic, and social networks.
  4. Holistic Support: ANY supports fellows in overcoming personal and academic challenges, such as transfer support for fellows enrolled in community college. The program also provides up to $2,000 in grants and in-kind contributions over the two years, including business attire.

Learn more about America Needs You.

Tennessee Promise

Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program focused on increasing the number of students that attend college in Tennessee. It provides students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE scholarship, or the Tennessee Student Assistance Award. Students may use the scholarship at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate degree program.

While removing the financial burden is key, a critical component of Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance each participant receives from mentors as he or she navigates the college admission process. This is accomplished primarily via mandatory meetings for students. In addition, Tennessee Promise participants must complete and submit eight hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain a 2.0 GPA at their respective institution.


For more information about grants and scholarships available for Tennessee students, visit our Financial Aid page.