TENNESSEE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP (Application)

Entering freshmen must meet one or more of the following requirements:

  • Apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at www.fafsa.gov. Applications must be received by September 1st for fall semester, February 1st for spring and summer semesters. Early application is recommended.
  • Have been a Tennessee resident for one year by September 1 of the application date. For students beginning spring and summer terms, residency determined by February 1 as of application date,
  • Graduate from a TN eligible high school
    • Exceptions may be granted to TN residents who graduate from high schools located in states other than Tennessee.  They include: 
      • High schools located in bordering out-of-state counties
      • High schools in which dependents of active duty military members or civilian workers of the US Department of Defense, Tennessee National Guard on active duty may attend
        • Members of the Armed Forces or TN National Guard must have Tennessee as the Home of Record at the time of entry into military service.
      • 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)
  • Enroll in one of the Tennessee public colleges, universities, or private colleges. Click Here for listing.
  • Entering freshmen must achieve a minimum of a 21 ACT (980 SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests OR
  • Overall weighted* minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA)
  • Home School graduates – minimum 21 ACT (980 SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests
  • GED ® recipients – minimum 21 ACT (980 SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests and qualifying GED ® score.  Minimum GED ® score will be determined by the Tennessee General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session
  • HiSet recipients – minimum 21 ACT (980 SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests and qualifying HiSet score.  Minimum HiSet scores will be determined by the Tennessee General Assembly during the 2015 legislative session
  • ACT/SAT exams must be taken on a national test date or state test date and prior to the first day of college enrollment after high school graduation.  The ACT Residual test is not accepted.
  • Must enroll within 16 months following high school graduation at any postsecondary institution. However, enrollment at an ineligible postsecondary institution during the 16 months will make the student permanently ineligible.

*Weighted 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.


AWARD AMOUNTS FOR THE TENNESSEE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP

For entering freshmen beginning with fall 2015 and thereafter

Four-Year Institutions and two-year institutions with on-campus housing: Up to $1,750 per full-time enrollment semester as a freshmen and sophomore; then up to $2,250 per full-time enrollment semester as a junior and senior

Two-Year Institutions: Up to $1,500 per full-time enrollment semester as a freshman and sophomore

  • Award amounts are available for summer enrollment
  • Class status is determined by the postsecondary institution

For students who first received HOPE in fall 2009 through summer 2015

Four-Year Institutions and two-year institutions with on-campus housing:  Up to $2,000 per full-time enrollment semester; including summer

Two-Year Institutions:  Up to $1,000 per full-time enrollment semester; including summer

TENNESSEE HOPE RENEWAL CRITERIA

For students who first received the HOPE Scholarship in fall 2009 and thereafter

  • The student must have a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA at the end of the semester in which the student attempted 24 and 48 semester hours.
  • The student must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of the semester in which the student attempted 72 and 96 semester hours.
    • If the student’s program of study is greater than 120 semester hours in length (not to exceed 136 semester hours or the number of semester hours required to earn the degree), the student must have a minimum 3.0 at the end of the semester in which the student attempted 120 semester hours.
  • If the student does not have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of the semester in which the student attempted 72 and 96 semester hours, then the student must:
    • 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 and 96 semester hours. The student’s continued eligibility will be determined on a semester-by-semester basis and must maintain full-time enrollment.
  • 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.
  • Must be continuously enrolled at an eligible postsecondary institution in the fall and spring semesters and maintain satisfactory academic progress

TERMINATION CRITERIA FOR THE TENNESSEE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP

For students who first received the HOPE Scholarship in fall 2009 and thereafter

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

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

  • Student has earned a baccalaureate degree; or
  • Five (5) years have passed from the date of initial enrollment at any postsecondary institution; or
  • Student has attempted 120 semester hours or has received the HOPE Scholarship for eight (8) full-time equivalent semesters at any postsecondary institution; whichever occurs later. 

Note:  The eight (8) full-time equivalent semesters begin in fall 2015.

A student who is enrolled in a program of study that exceeds 120 semester hours in length may receive the HOPE Scholarship until the first of the following terminating events:

  • Student has earned a baccalaureate degree; or
  • Five (5) years have passed from the date of initial enrollment at any postsecondary institution; or
  • Student has attempted at any postsecondary institution the lesser of the number of semester hours required to earn the baccalaureate degree or a total of 136 semester hours or the student has completed eight (8) full-time equivalent semesters.

Note:  The eight (8) full-time equivalent semesters begin in fall 2015.

Medical Disability - A 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.

ELIGIBILITY OF TRANSFER STUDENTS FROM COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES OUTSIDE OF TENNESSEE

A student who is otherwise eligible for the HOPE Scholarship but instead enrolls in an out-of-state regionally accredited postsecondary institution either immediately following high school graduation or up to 16 months immediately following high school graduation may transfer to an eligible Tennessee postsecondary institution as a degree seeking student and receive the HOPE Scholarship as described in TCA 49-4-929.

At the point of enrollment at the out-of-state institution, the student must maintain continuous enrollment and meet renewal requirements as described above without the HOPE Scholarship. All requisite eligibility requirements must be met while attaining the appropriate cumulative GPA at the corresponding benchmark.

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.  Visit http://www.tn.gov/collegepays/mon_college/tels_appeals_exception.html for more details.  Please note, grades earned at the out-of-state postsecondary institution cannot be appealed.