Frequently Asked Questions
How much does TOPS cost?
Nothing. We are a public school. We do charge a non-refundable $125 application fee to pay for people to process the applications we receive. After you're accepted, there are no other fees or tuition to attend TOPS.
Do you accept students from anywhere in TN?
Yes, as long as you can prove that you live in the state of TN.
What grades does TOPS serve?
We serve students in grades 9-12.
Is there an age limit?
We do not enroll students who turn 18 before their senior year.
Do students receive a diploma?
Yes, students receive a TN state diploma or an official TOPS diploma depending on credits earned.
Are you accredited?
Yes, we are accredited by AdvancED and NCAA.
Are you a credit-recovery program?
No, we don't offer credit recovery.
I am coming from a school that is on a year-long schedule. How does that affect my credits?
If enrolling in August, this should not affect your credits much. The counselor will meet and discuss your options with you, if accepted. If enrolling in January, the student will be given a schedule similiar to what they were taking at their previous school. The student cannot transfer over half-credits in the middle of the semester. The entire credit must be earned at either the previous school or at TOPS.
Can students learn at their own pace?
With limits. We have weekly deadlines students must meet for attendance purposes.
How many courses can students take a year?
Students can take a maximum of eight courses per year. We are on a 4x4 block system where students take four courses per semester.
Are you a homeschool program?
No, we are a public school.
What curriculum do you use?
All of our curriculum is created by licensed TN teachers who teach for TOPS. We follow the Tennessee State Standards.
Do students have to show up in person?
Yes, students must show up in person to take TNReady/ End of Course and ACT/SAT tests. We have testing sites in Bristol, Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis. These tests are required in order to be remain a student at TOPS.
What software do you require?
We provide all software free of charge to the students. It is possible to use an iPad or Chromebook.
Do you offer any sort of accelerated courses?
No, we do not. We believe that our courses are too rigorous to be accelerated and still help the student have a happy, healthy life outside of school.
If I attend TOPS, will I be eligible for the HOPE scholarship or TN Promise?
Why do you charge an application fee?
The reason we charge an application fee is to fund our application software, people to process the applications, and to ensure we receive applicants who are serious about attending TOPS. In the beginning we did not charge an application fee and we would receive hundreds of applications while only a small portion of those were from serious applicants. We would still have to process this high volume of applications during a time when we are not fully staffed (during the summer) requiring us to purchase enrollment software and some extra staff. To pay for this, we determined the best approach was to charge an application fee. Since we don’t charge to attend TOPS, purchase books, or purchase any software, we feel that this one-time fee is fair. Additionally, we will waive the fee based on federal poverty guidelines – we don’t want this fee to keep anyone out of TOPS, but we do only want to deal with serious applicants who are committed to attending our school.