Skip to Content

Title IV-E BSW/BSSW Tuition Assistance Program

Home l Title IV-E BSW/BSSW Tuition Assistance Program
Title IV-E MSW/MSSW Tuition Assistance Program
Employee Graduate Tuition Reimbursement Program
Certification Program
Public Higher Education Fee Waiver l University Business Offices
University Financial Aid Offices

Quick Links

Program Overview
Eligibility Requirements
Program Guidelines
Important Dates
Forms and Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Applying for Case Manager Positions with the Department of Children’s Services (ppt)
Contact Information
Participating Universities

Program Overview

The Title IV-E Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) / Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW) Tuition Assistance Program provides financial support for selected social work majors who have interests in and made a commitment to working with children and families immediately after graduation. The Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) administers this program to better meet the challenges of child welfare by professionalizing its workforce with frontline staff trained in social work.

The program provides full-time undergraduate students with tuition and financial assistance to aid with textbook, travel, and living expenses for up to four (4) semesters. In addition, DCS pays graduates of this program a higher starting salary than their non-participating counterparts. In return, participants must work for DCS for 18 to 24 months (depending on the amount of assistance received) immediately upon graduating with their BSW degree.

>> Back to Top

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply for admission to the Title IV-E BSW/BSSW Tuition Assistance Program, students must:

  • be a U.S citizen or, if a qualified alien, provide documentation of their eligibility for work in the U.S. for the duration of their study and corresponding employment obligation to DCS prior to receiving Title IV-E tuition assistance
  • possess a valid driver's license, automobile insurance, and reliable transportation
  • undergo a background check and fingerprinting
  • have been admitted into an accredited Social Work Program at a participating university
  • have no more than (4) semesters remaining before graduating with an undergraduate social work degree
  • possess a strong desire and commitment to work as a front-line case manager with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) immediately upon graduation with a BSW degree

>> Back to Top

Program Guidelines

To remain in good standing, program participants must:

  • remain in good-standing at their university
  • maintain and receive passing grades for the minimum number of courses required for full-time enrollment status for each semester of aid received
  • complete the necessary university requirements for their undergraduate social work degree within four (4) semesters
  • maintain an overall GPA of 2.6 in social work courses for each semester of aid received
  • successfully complete and receive a minimum grade of “B-” for the Child Welfare I & II courses offered by their university
  • successfully complete the university field placement requirement, which must include a field placement of a minimum of 370 hours in a Tennessee DCS Regional Office
  • observe all important dates and deadlines (see below)
  • submit DCS all requested information and documentation (e.g., class schedules, grades, and status updates)

>> Back to Top

Important Dates

To ensure good standing in the program and timely issuance of tuition/related fees and financial assistance, program participants should carefully observe deadlines. Failure to complete the following activities by these dates could result in disqualification from the program, administrative obstacles, and/or delayed payments:

  • April 20: Deadline to email your schedule for SUMMER*
  • July 20: Deadline to email your schedule for FALL*
  • November 20: Deadline to email your schedule for SPRING*

*Please note that these are deadlines for registration to be observed for your participation in the Title IV-E BSW/BSSW Tuition Assistance Program and they do not necessarily correspond to those of the university (which might be sooner or later than these listed). Please consult and abide by your university's academic calendar.

>> Back to Top

Forms and Information

Title IV-E BSW/BSSW Tuition Assistance Program Application Process
  o For prospective program participants seeking admission into the program

Deferral Request-Title IV-E Tuition Assistance Program
  o For current program participants requesting a break in participation from a Title IV-E program (granted only in extenuating circumstances)

Incident Report-Title IV-E Tuition Assistance Program
  o For current program participants to report an incident that has or could affect his or her time frame for completion or ability to successfully complete the Title IV-E program

>> Back to Top

Contact Information

You might find the following contact information for participating universities helpful--as either a current or a prospective participant of the Title IV-E BSW/BSSW Tuition Assistance Program:

DCS Title IV-E Tuition Assistance Program Manager: 
Department of Children’s Services
Title IV-E Tuition Assistance Program
c/o Sirena Bragg – Program Manager
Cordell Hull Building 7th Floor
436 6th Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37234
Send Email

University Business Offices
University Financial Aid Offices

>> Back to Top

Participating Universities

Austin Peay State University
East Tennessee State University
Freed-Hardeman University
Middle Tennessee State University
Tennessee State University
Union University
University of Memphis
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
University of Tennessee at Martin


>> Back to Top