Tennessee hopes scholarship: The hope Scholarship is given to entering freshmen who are enrolled at an eligible postsecondary institution within sixteen (16) months of graduating from a TN-qualifying high school. It was established and is funded by the net revenues of the state lottery.

Tennessee Hope Scholarship Four-Year Institutions and two-year institutions with on-campus housing:

Freshmen and sophomores may pay up to $2,250 per full-time enrollment semester; juniors and seniors may pay up to $2,850 per full-time enrollment semester.

Two-Year Institutions:

For freshmen and sophomores with full-time enrollment, up to $1,600 per semester

There are award amounts for summer enrollment.

The postsecondary institution determines a student’s class standing.

Important details:

  • Under the HOPE Scholarship program, only courses leading to a student’s qualified program of study (an associate’s or baccalaureate degree program) may be funded.
  • There are award amounts for summer enrollment.
  • The postsecondary institution determines the class status.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

Entering freshmen must meet the following criteria:

1. Be a resident of Tennessee as determined by the Tennessee Board of Regents; in accordance with TCA 49-8-104,

2. Pass a TN-eligible high school graduation exam

Residents of Tennessee who graduate from high schools in other states might be given an exception. They consist of:

  • High schools in neighboring counties that are outside of your state
  • High schools open to Tennessee National Guard members serving on active duty and families of US Department of Defense civilian employees
  • Armed forces personnel and members of the Tennessee National Guard must have Tennessee listed as their home state at the time they enlist in the military or, by the FAFSA application deadline, must fall under the definition of an in-state student under rules established by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
  • High schools in which dependents of full-time religious workers in foreign nations may attend
  • Out-of-state boarding schools that are regionally accredited or accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)

3. Enroll in one of the Tennessee public colleges, universities, or private colleges. Click Here for listing.

4. Entering freshmen must achieve a minimum of a 21 ACT or a minimum of 1060 SAT, exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests (concordant equivalent score) OR

5. Overall minimum 3.0-grade point average (GPA*)

6. Home School graduates – Click the link to learn more about the HOPE Scholarship for home school students.

7. GED ® recipients – minimum 21 ACT exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests and qualifying GED ® score. The minimum average Revised GED ® score is 170.

8. HiSet recipients – minimum 21 ACT exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests and qualifying HiSet score. The minimum average HiSet score is 15.

9. ACT/SAT exams must be taken on a national test date or state test date and prior to the first day of college enrollment. The ACT Residual test and the ACT Superscore are not accepted.

10. Must enroll within 16 months following high school graduation at any postsecondary institution.

*Grade point average means a grade point average on a 4.0 scale calculated with additional internal quality points awarded for advanced placement, honors, or other similar courses according to the Uniform Grading Policy adopted by the State Board of Education.

Eligibility Criteria of Transfer Students

From Colleges and Universities outside of Tennessee

1. In order to transfer to an eligible Tennessee postsecondary institution as a degree-seeking student and be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship under TCA 49-4-929.

A student who would otherwise be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship but enrolls in an out-of-state regionally accredited postsecondary institution must do so within 16 months of high school graduation or immediately afterward.

2. The student must keep up a continuous attendance schedule and satisfy the renewal conditions as outlined above without the HOPE Scholarship at the point of enrollment at the out-of-state institution.

All necessary eligibility conditions must be satisfied, and the cumulative GPA must be at the proper threshold.

3. If at any time the student drops from full-time enrollment to part-time enrollment or withdraws from the out-of-state regionally accredited postsecondary institution, the student will no longer meet the minimum requirements as described in TCA 49-4-929.

However, upon transferring to an eligible TN postsecondary institution, the student may appeal the ineligible status in order to restore hope Scholarship eligibility if the change in enrollment status was due to a documented medical or personal reason.

Renewal Scholarship Criteria

Tennessee Hope Scholarship

1. At the conclusion of the semester in which the student tried 24 and 48 semester hours, the student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.

2. The student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 at the conclusion of the semester in which they attempted 72 semester hours and each subsequent multiple of 24 semester hours.

3. The following requirements must be met by the student if, at the end of the semester in which they tried 72 semester hours and any subsequent multiple of 24 semester hours, they did not have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0:

  • Have a minimum 2.75 – 2.99 cumulative GPA and have a semester GPA of at least 3.0 at the end of the semester in which the student attempted 72 semester hours and any multiple of 24 semester hours thereafter.
  • The student’s continued eligibility will be determined on a semester-by-semester basis and must maintain full-time enrollment.

4. If a student ceases to be academically eligible for the HOPE Scholarship, the student may regain the award one time only.

The award may be re-established once the student meets any of the above criteria and maintains continuous enrollment and satisfactory academic progress at an eligible postsecondary institution without the HOPE Scholarship.

5. The student must re-apply each year by completing the FAFSA and be continuously enrolled at an eligible postsecondary institution in the fall and spring semesters and maintain satisfactory academic progress.

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Application Details

Apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at www.fafsa.gov. Applications must be received by September 1st for the fall semester, and February 1st for the spring and summer semesters. Early application is recommended.

Scholarship Termination Criteria

1 All attempted hours after high school graduation, including remedial and developmental studies courses, are included in the total attempted semester hours.

2. A student may receive the HOPE Scholarship until the first of the following terminating events:

3. The student has earned a baccalaureate degree; or

4. Five (5) years have passed from the date of initial enrollment at any postsecondary institution

5. Medical DisabilityA student with a documented medical disability and certified by a licensed physician and can only enroll part-time may appeal to TSAC for an extension to the five (5) year limit as long as the student continues to meet all applicable academic and nonacademic requirements for the Hope Scholarship and ten (10) years have not passed since the student’s initial enrollment at a postsecondary institution.

For students who have first received the HOPE Scholarship in Fall 2009 and thereafter, a documented medical disability extension may be appealed once the sum of years has exceeded the five (5) year limit, a receipt of the HOPE Scholarship or HOPE Scholarship for nontraditional students has exceeded eight (8) full-time equivalent semesters, or the total semester hours have been exceeded.

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