HOPE (Lottery) Scholarships

The HOPE Scholarship, also known as the Lottery Scholarship, is funded by the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Program. It is available only to Tennessee residents. To receive TELS funding, students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

How to Complete and Submit the FAFSA

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.

Get HOPE Scholarship Forms

Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Entering freshmen must have 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) – 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 SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests
  • GED Applicants – minimum 525 and 21 ACT (980 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.
  • Here is more information on TELS guidelines, criteria, renewals, and requirements from the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC).
You can update your first-choice college/university for the HOPE Scholarship on the TSAC Student Portal.

Award Amounts

All awards are divided equally between fall, spring, and summer semesters. Awards to part-time enrolled students are prorated.

First HOPE Scholarship in Fall 2009 or After

Up to $6,000 per year at an eligible four-year post-secondary institution or a two-year eligible post-secondary institution that offers on-campus housing – Up to $3,000 per year at an eligible two-year post-secondary institution.

General Assembly Merit Scholarship

Up to $1,500 supplement to the HOPE Scholarship

Aspire Award

Up to $2,250 supplement to the HOPE Scholarship

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 webpage.

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 TELS awards during the first semester at UT, especially for mid-year transfer students.

High School Students

Learn more about the TSAC Dual Enrollment Grant Program.

More Info

HOPE Scholarship FAQ

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

How to Keep Your HOPE Scholarship

Find out about the requirements you need to meet to keep receiving your HOPE Scholarship.