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HOPE (Lottery) Scholarship

Applying for the HOPE Scholarship

First, complete the FAFSA. UT’s federal school code is 003530. Priority consideration is given to early applicants (after January 1, but before February 15). The deadline for fall semester awards is September 1 of each academic year.

Go to the FAFSA

The HOPE (Lottery) Scholarship is available only to Tennessee residents.

You must list the University of Tennessee as your first choice for the HOPE Scholarship on the Tennessee Student Assistance Corp. (TSAC) Portal to receive payment.


You must also meet the following requirements:

  • Entering freshmen must have a minimum of a 21 ACT (980 old SAT or 1060 new SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests OR
  • Overall weighted minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA) – This 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.
  • Home School graduates – minimum 21 ACT (980 old SAT or 1060 new SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests
  • GED Applicants – minimum 525 and 21 ACT (980 old SAT or 1060 new SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests
  • If a student ceases to be eligible for HOPE, except for the General Assembly Merit Scholarship (GAMS) and the Tennessee HOPE Access Grant, the student may regain HOPE one-time only.
  • ACT/SAT exams must be taken prior to the first day of college enrollment.

Retaining the HOPE Scholarship

You must maintain satisfactory academic progress and achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.75 after attempting 24 and 48 semester hours. After reaching the 72-hour benchmark and beyond, you may retain the award in one of two ways:

  • Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 OR
  • If your cumulative GPA is between 2.75-2.99 and your semester GPA is 3.0 or above in the prior semester, then you may retain the award on a semester-to-semester provisional basis. Under these guidelines, you must maintain full-time enrollment. Your eligibility is checked after each semester except for the summer. However, if you meet these guidelines and enroll full time for the summer, your eligibility will be checked at the end of summer term.

What Terminates the HOPE Scholarship?

Your HOPE Scholarship is only available until the first of the following events:

Check our Chart

Regaining the HOPE Scholarship

If you fail to meet the academic renewal requirements and lose the HOPE Scholarship, you can regain the award one time only by meeting the renewal criteria listed below. You cannot appeal to regain your HOPE Scholarship if your GPA falls below the renewal requirements. You must complete a Request for Review of HOPE GPA form once you have met the renewal criteria.

To regain the HOPE Scholarship, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress and achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.75 after attempting 48 semester hours. After reaching the 72-hour benchmark and beyond, you may regain the award in one of two ways:

  • Achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 OR
  • If your cumulative GPA is between 2.75-2.99 and your semester GPA is 3.0 or above in the prior semester then you may regain the award on a semester-to-semester provisional basis. Under these guidelines, you must maintain full-time enrollment. Your eligibility is checked after each semester except for the summer. However, if you meet these guidelines and enroll full time for the summer, your eligibility will be checked at the end of summer term.

If you lose the award due to a nonacademic reason—such as not maintaining continuous enrollment or changing your enrollment status from full time to part time, or part time to less than part time—you are not eligible to regain the award unless an appeal is approved by the post-secondary institution or TSAC. To appeal for continued eligibility you must complete the Eligibility Appeal form.

Award Amounts

Entering Freshmen Fall 2015 and After

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

      • Award amounts are available for summer enrollment, beginning the summer after your freshman year
      • Class status is determined by the post-secondary institution

If You First Received HOPE in Fall 2009-Summer 2015

Up to $2,000 per full-time enrollment semester; including summer

Please note – eligible part-time students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours, and their HOPE award amount is pro-rated.

General Assembly Merit Scholarship

Up to $1,500 annual supplement ($500 per full-time semester) to the HOPE Scholarship

Get Information and Apply

Aspire Award

Up to $2,250 annual supplement ($750 per full-time semester) to the HOPE Scholarship

Get Information and Apply


Use the HOPE Scholarship for…

Summer School

The HOPE Scholarship may be used to help pay for summer school, provided that eligible students register for a minimum of six hours. Find out more by visiting our Summer Financial Aid page.

Transfers to UT

Transfer students must have an official academic transcript sent to UT admissions from all prior institutions, including the most recent semester you attended. Generally this delays payment of Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) awards during the first semester at UT, especially for mid-year transfer students.

High School Students

The TSAC Dual Enrollment Grant is awarded to students attending an eligible high school and enrolled in college courses for credit at eligible institutions.

Get Information and Apply

More Information

Learn more from the HOPE Scholarship FAQ.

Current recipients of the HOPE Scholarship should read the TELS Program Guidelines at UT for important information.

TSAC also provides additional information on TELS guidelines, criteria, renewals, and requirements.

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