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Earn Money for Higher Education with the HOPE Scholarship

Tennessee’s HOPE Scholarship program is a merit-based program designed to encourage academic achievement among students seeking a degree at one of the state’s postsecondary institutions.

The Award Amount

For entering freshmen beginning with fall 2015 and thereafter, the award amount for four-year postsecondary institutions and two-year postsecondary institutions with on-campus housing is up to $1,750 per full-time enrollment semester as a freshman and sophomore; then up to $2,250 per full-time enrollment semester as a junior and senior. For two-year postsecondary institutions, the award amount is up to $1,500 per full-time enrollment semester as a freshman and sophomore. Award amounts are also available for summer enrollment.

Awards to part-time enrolled students are prorated. Class status is determined by the postsecondary institution.

Who is Eligible?

Funded through the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program, the HOPE Scholarship includes specific academic and grade point average eligibility requirements, residency requirements, and postsecondary requirements.

When and How to Apply

To apply for the HOPE Scholarship, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov. It becomes available on October 1 each year. (The FAFSA must be received by Sept. 1 for fall, or Feb. 1 for spring and summer.) Based upon information submitted in the FAFSA, post-secondary institutions determine eligibility for their enrolling students.

A parent and the student must have FSA ID usernames/passwords to be able to complete the FAFSA application. Parents and students are encouraged to create their FSA ID usernames/passwords at fsaid.ed.gov prior to beginning the FAFSA.

Visit this checklist of documents you will need to be able to complete the FAFSA application.

Academic Requirements:

  • For high school graduates- a minimum 21 ACT composite (or concordant equivalent score on the SAT), excluding the essay and optional subject area battery tests, OR
    Overall minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA*).
    • *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.
  • For home school graduates- a minimum 21 ACT composite (or concordant equivalent score on the SAT), excluding the essay and optional subject area battery tests, AND enrolled in a home school program for one year preceding graduation and registered with a Tennessee local school district.
  • For GED/HiSET students- a minimum 21 ACT composite (or concordant equivalent score on the SAT), excluding the essay and optional subject area battery tests, AND a minimum score of 170 on the Revised GED/15 or the HiSET.

Residency Requirements:

  • Be a Tennessee resident one year prior to application deadline—Sept. 1 for fall, or Feb. 1 for spring and summer. (Dependent children of full-time religious workers, U.S. military or Tennessee National Guard members on active duty who maintain Tennessee residency while stationed out of state also may be eligible.)

Postsecondary Requirements:

  • To apply and to renew the scholarship each year, complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov. (Applications must be received by Sept. 1 for fall, or Feb. 1 for spring and summer.)
  • Enroll in an eligible postsecondary institution within 16 months following graduation from a Tennessee high school or completion of a Tennessee home school or GED/HiSET program. (Students graduating from some out-of-state schools may be eligible. For more information, call the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation at the number listed below.)
  • Be enrolled in at least 6 hours.
  • Award amounts for part-time enrollment will be prorated, based on attempted hours.

NOTE: Never drop a course without first talking to your financial aid office about how it may impact your lottery scholarship eligibility.

Learn More Today

To learn more about the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program and other financial aid programs administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), please visit www.TN.gov/collegepays or contact TSAC at 800-342-1663.