The HOPE Scholarship is established and funded by the state lottery’s net proceeds and is awarded to entering freshmen who enroll in an eligible postsecondary institution within sixteen (16) months of graduating from a TN-eligible high school.
The HOPE scholarship is only available to Tennessee residents and is funded by the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) program. This scholarship is also known as a “Lottery” or “TELS” scholarship.
Level/Field of Study
This Tennessee HOPE scholarship is only available to students vying for or pursuing their bachelorette.
Criteria for the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship
You must first complete the FAFSA to be eligible.
In order to receive payment, you must also list UT as your first choice for the HOPE Scholarship on the Tennessee Student Assistance Corp. (TSAC) Portal.
You must also meet the requirements below.
Required Supporting Documents to Apply for Tennessee HOPE Scholarship
- Entering freshmen must have a minimum of a 21 ACT (980 old SAT or 1060 new SAT), excluding the essay and optional subject area battery tests, OR a minimum of a 21 ACT (980 old SAT or 1060 new SAT).
- Overall weighted minimum 3.0-grade point average (GPA)—This is a grade point average on a 4.0 scale calculated with additional internal quality points awarded for advanced placement, honors, or other similar courses in accordance with the State Board of Education’s Uniform Grading Policy.
- Home School graduates must have a minimum of 21 ACT composite scores on a single test date (980 old SAT or 1060 new SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests, or complete at least two (2) dual enrollment classes while enrolled in the home school program totaling at least six (6) semester hours and achieving a minimum 3.0 college GPA in each of the two (2) dual enrollment courses and achieving a minimum 3.0 cumulative college GPA in all dual enrollment courses.
- GED applicants must have a minimum of 525 and 21 ACT (980 old SAT or 1060 new SAT), excluding the essay and optional subject area battery tests.
- Except for the General Assembly Merit Scholarship (GAMS) and the Tennessee HOPE Access Grant, a student may regain HOPE only once.
- The ACT/SAT exams must be obtained prior to the start of college enrollment.
After attempting twenty-four and forty-eight HOPE attempt hour benchmarks, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress and achieve a cumulative HOPE GPA of 2.75. After reaching the 72-hour mark and beyond, you can keep the award in one of the following ways:
- A cumulative HOPE GPA of at least 3.0 is required.
- If your cumulative HOPE GPA is between 2.75-2.99 and your semester GPA is 3.0 or higher in the semester in which you meet the 72, 96, 120, or 144-hour benchmark, you may keep the award provisionally from semester to semester. To receive payment, you must maintain full-time enrollment under these guidelines. Your payment, however, will be prorated based on Course Program of Study (CPOS) hours. Summer Provisional students are not required to be full-time students. To receive prorated payment, students must have a minimum of 6 CPOS hours.
- Provisional students will be reviewed for continued eligibility at the end of each semester.
Your scholarship can be terminated if any of the following occurs
- The student has a baccalaureate degree; or
- Five (5) years have passed since the first day of classes at any postsecondary institution.
Application Process for the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship
Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available at www.fafsa.gov. Applications for the fall semester must be received by September 1st, and applications for the spring and summer semesters must be received by February 1st. Try as much as possible to apply early.
As a freshman and sophomore, you can earn up to $2,250 per full-time enrollment semester; as a junior and senior, you can earn up to $2,850 per full-time enrollment semester.
Beginning the summer after your freshman year, award amounts are available for summer enrollment.
The postsecondary institution determines class status.
How to use the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship
High School Students
The Dual Enrollment Grant is given to students who attend an eligible high school and are enrolled in college courses for credit at eligible institutions.
The HOPE Scholarship can be used to help pay for summer school if eligible students enroll in at least six Course Program of Study (CPOS) hours. Visit the Summer Aid page to learn more.
Transfer students must have an official academic transcript from all previous institutions, including the most recent semester, sent to UT admissions. This generally causes a delay in the payment of Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) awards during the first semester at UT, particularly for mid-year transfer students.
Have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 – 2.99 and 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 after that.
Your enrollment status as of the institution’s census date, whether full-time (12+ hours) or part-time (6-11 hours), is the enrollment status you must maintain throughout the semester. Dropping a course(s) without a documented medical or personal reason may result in you losing your HOPE Scholarship eligibility indefinitely.
A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is required. If your cumulative GPA is between 2.75-2.99 and your semester GPA is 3.0 or higher in the previous semester, you may keep the award semester after semester. You must maintain full-time enrollment under these guidelines.