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Cost and Financial Support

The cost of the FUTURE program is the standard University of Tennessee tuition and fees plus an additional $2,500 per semester to cover the services that FUTURE provides. This comes to approximately $8,800 per semester. There are many financial support options available to assist with FUTURE payments. Click the tabs below to learn more.

The US Department of Education awards more than $120 billion a year in grants, work–study funds, and loans to more than 13 million students. Federal student aid covers such expenses as tuition and fees, books and supplies, and transportation. Aid also can help pay for other related expenses, such as a computer and dependent care. We recommend every applicant fill out a FAFSA application by January 16, 2019. If you do not complete it by then, you can still fill it out before June 30, 2019, for the 2019–20 academic year. To apply, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

In order to be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, you must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The federal government provides grant funds for students attending colleges, career schools, and universities. Grants, unlike loans, are sources of free money and do not have to be repaid. These are awarded to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial need and who have not earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree. For more information, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

The Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship is a program designed to assist students with intellectual disabilities who have completed high school and enroll in an individualized program of study of up to four (4) years at an eligible postsecondary institution. Students will receive $1,750 per semester. Students and parents must complete the STEP UP Scholarship application and mail the completed application to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC). In addition, recipients must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) once per academic year. For more information, visit the Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship website.

Tennessee Promise is a scholarship and mentoring program focused on increasing the number of students that attend college. It provides students a last-dollar scholarship, covering part of the cost of tuition and fees not covered by Pell Grants, the STEP UP scholarship, or Tennessee Student Assistance Award. Each participant will be assigned a mentor to help them navigate the college admission process. In addition, participants must complete and submit eight (8) hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress while in college. While the application deadline has already passed for the 2019-2020 school year, it is a great resource for future students that are interested in our program. Below you can find this year’s checklist for an idea of what to expect. 



November 1, 2018

Apply to the Tennessee Promise scholarship program. A local partnering organization will contact you to help you complete your requirements.

February 1, 2019

File the 2019–20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


Attend a mandatory meeting coordinated by your assigned partnering organization. Additional details will be sent in the future regarding these meetings. Find your meeting date by high school.

Spring 2019

Apply to a community or technical college.

July 1, 2019

Complete and report your first eight hours of community service.

Fall 2019

If selected, provide requested documentation to complete FAFSA verification.

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program (VR) provides a variety of individualized services to persons with disabilities in preparation for their employment in the competitive labor market. VR advocates employment outcomes for clients that are consistent with their individual strengths, resources, abilities, capabilities and informed choice. Most of our students receive this funding through Transitional Services.

Ruby’s Rainbow is a scholarship program for individuals with Down Syndrome who are pursuing postsecondary education. The program serves students from all over the country who have a desire to be lifelong learners.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Individuals living with Down Syndrome in the United States who are 18 years of age or older
  • Desire and intent to attend postsecondary education program or class
  • High school diploma, transcript, or something of the equivalent nature
  • Can apply for multiple school years

To apply, visit the Ruby’s Rainbow website.

While FUTURE does not provide transportation services for students, there are many options available. Many of our students drive themselves or get dropped off by their parents/guardians. To see other transportation options, check the list below.

  • East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (ETHRA)—You may schedule one-time or reoccurring rides with ETHRA. It should be noted that these rides do require a payment. An application is available on their website.
  • Knoxville Trolley—The Knoxville Trolley is a free program that serves downtown Knoxville and the UT area. Check the different routes to see if they could fit your needs.
  • Knoxville Area Transit Disability PassThe KAT bus system will also provide one-time or occasional pickups. You must fill out an application and pay for this service.