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.
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.
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).
Entering Freshmen Beginning with 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.
Up to $1,500 annual supplement ($500 per full-time semester) to the HOPE Scholarship
Up to $2,250 annual supplement ($750 per full-time semester) to the HOPE Scholarship
Use the HOPE Scholarship for…
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.
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.