If you’re going to college in Tennessee, the state has several grants, scholarships, and financial aid programs for students attending 4-year colleges and universities, 2-year colleges, technical schools, and others. What a way to help pay for college! Keep reading to see if you qualify and to find out where you can get more information about these college financial aid awards in Tennessee and others.
Tennessee State Grants for In-State College Students
1. Tennessee HOPE Scholarship
The Tennessee HOPE Scholarship awards up to $2,850 per semester for students attending a 4-year college (or a 2-year school with on-campus housing) and up to $1,600 for those attending a 2-year school. This scholarship is available for some summer semesters and the amount you receive can be on the higher end of the scale if you are a junior or senior in college.
In order to apply, students must meet the following criteria:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Attend college full-time in Tennessee.
- Be a Tennessee resident and graduate from an eligible high school in the state or meet one of the exceptions for high school graduation.
- Achieve a minimum 21 on the ACT or a 1060 on the SAT OR have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
- Enroll in college with 16 months of high school graduation.
The HOPE Scholarship can be renewed as long as the student has met academic requirements and completed the FAFSA every year.
For students who meet the Hope Scholarship requirements and have an adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less, there is also the Aspire Award which can grant up to $750 per semester.
2. General Assembly Merit Scholarship
For students who have a high GPA and SAT/ACT results and qualify for the HOPE Scholarship, there is also the General Assembly Merit Scholarship. This Tennessee state grant for college gives students up to $500 per semester.
To be eligible, students must complete their FAFSA and have a 3.75 GPA or higher with a minimum score of 29 ACT or 1330 on the SAT.
3. Tennessee Promise Scholarship
The Tennessee Promise Scholarship is an award that helps cover the financial gap between the total cost of attendance and current financial aid. Only some schools in the state participate.
In order to apply, students must:
- Complete the application in the TSAC Student Portal
- Complete the FAFSA
- Attend mandatory meetings
- Participate in a mentoring program
- Plan to attend college full-time
- Participate in 8 hours of community service prior to the award semester(s)
4. Tennessee Reconnect Grant
For students who are 23 years of age or older or qualify as independent on the FAFSA, there is the Tennessee Reconnect Grant. The award varies depending on financial aid already granted and the cost of attendance.
Students interested in applying should:
- Complete the FAFSA.
- Be pursuing an associate degree or certificate.
- Not previously have earned a degree.
- Be attending college for at least 6 credit hours.
- Maintain a 2.0 GPA.
- Participate in a college success program.
- Be attending a participating college.
5. Ned McWherter Scholars Program
Another award dedicated to students in Tennessee is the Net McWherter Scholars Program. High school seniors in their final semester of high school may apply and could receive $6,000 to help them afford college.
- Be attending a participating college in Tennessee and be a Tennessee resident.
- Have a 3.5 GPA or higher.
- Have a minimum score of 29 on the ACT or the equivalent on the SAT.
A competitive award, showcasing leadership and academic rigor could give students an advantage on their application. The program is also renewable as long as the applicant maintains a 3.0 GPA and continues attending college full-time.
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6. And More
Tennessee is home to a number of other scholarships and college grant programs including:
- Tennessee Student Assistance Award
- Dual Enrollment Grant
- Minority Teaching Fellows Program
- Graduate Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program
- Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant
- Dependent Children Scholarship Program
- Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship
- Helping Heroes Grant
- Reduction in Force Tuition Assistance Benefit
- VBP Tuition Assistance Benefit
- Middle College Scholarship
- Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant
Where Can You Find More Information on Tennessee State Grants?
Tennessee residents planning to attend college within the state should head over to the TN Higher Education Commission & Student Assistance Corporation website. There students and parents can learn more about Tennessee college grants, financial aid programs, scholarships, the FAFSA, and more. The TSAC Student Portal is also found on the site and is a requirement for some award applications.
Tennessee has numerous awards that can help make college more affordable for its students! If you’re planning on applying for any of these, make sure to note any award requirements, deadlines, and renewal qualifications before you submit your application.
Going to college out of state? Or want to know what other scholarships are available to you? Using a scholarship database like College Raptor’s Scholarship Search tool can help you find the awards you qualify for and submit a well-rounded application. Get started for free here.