Scholarship FAQs

Scholarship FAQs

Do you have questions about UT scholarships? Read below for answers to some frequently asked questions!

How competitive are UT scholarships?

UT offers a variety of scholarships for students. Scholarship eligibility can be based on criteria including academic merit, service and community engagement, financial need, and more!

How do I apply for first-year scholarships?

Submit your admission application and answer the competitive scholarship questions on the application by November 1 to be considered for the most institutional and competitive scholarships available.

Submit your admission application by December 15 for full consideration for institutional scholarships like the Volunteer and Tri-Star scholarships.

The Tri-Star scholarships also require a FAFSA submission by the UT Priority Filing Date every year.

Apply through the UT Vol in Progress (VIP) system or through the Common Application. The scholarship questions for the Common Application are part of the UT supplement. 

How do I apply through Go Vols?

Register for a Go Vols account and then complete your application.

  • Create your Go Vols account
  • Complete your admissions application
    • The required scholarship questions appear as a new tab after you submit the admission part of the application. This option is only available if you meet the early admissions deadline of November 1. Your Go Vols Portal will show you campus updates and status information.

What is considered for scholarship eligibility?

Your completed application for admission is used to apply for all merit/academic scholarships awarded on a competitive basis to entering first-year students by UT Knoxville. Recommendation letters and additional

Your eligibility for additional scholarships, including HOPE Scholarship, are based on your completed FAFSA every year.

Are recommendations required for my application?

Recommendation letters (academic, professional, or personal) are optional for the admissions application. Any recommendation letters you provide will also be used for scholarship consideration.

If I am awarded a scholarship, how do I accept and receive the funds?

You do not have to accept most scholarships and grants. They will be automatically accepted for you. (Some exclusions apply, but you will receive communications for any aid you need to manually accept.)

Your state and federal financial aid is automatically applied toward tuition and fees for the academic year you receive it. Half of the aid amount will apply toward fall semester, and the other half toward spring semester.

Through your MyUTK account, you can: 

  • Track pending financial aid and potential excess funds
  • View your charges and fees, including tuition, fees, on-campus housing and more
  • Make online payments
  • See fee waiver and discount information
  • Access fines and past-due amounts

Federal regulations allow you to voluntarily authorize financial aid that can be used to pay for non-tuition and fees during the current year.

Am I eligible for scholarships after my first year?

Eligibility for most scholarships continues throughout your time at UT as long as you still meet the criteria for that scholarship. Many scholarships are renewable based on fund availability and academic performance.

We also encourage continuing students to apply for Continuing Undergraduate Student Scholarships every year, no later than March 1.

How do I find out about unclaimed scholarships?

Most unclaimed scholarships are from external sources. Some scholarships with very restrictive criteria may not be awarded until future years.

Will UT match scholarship and financial aid offers from other institutions?

We are dedicated to providing you with an accurate financial aid offer so you can make the choice that is best for you. UT cannot match scholarship or aid offers from other institutions. Learn more about other resources for additional aid here.

Terms and Conditions

Students must meet the following requirements to receive financial aid and scholarships:

Financial Aid Eligibility

  • Federal regulations state you must be a degree-seeking student in order to qualify for federal grants, Federal Work-Study, and student loans.
  • Your UT financial aid offer is based on your full-time enrollment and will be reduced if you are not enrolled full time. Full-time enrollment is considered 12+ credit hours for undergraduate students and 9+ credit hours for all graduate programs.
  • Some financial aid offered may be awarded for less than full-time enrollment. Students must be enrolled at least part-time (6 credit hours for undergraduate / 5 credit hours for graduate students) to be eligible for student loans. Undergraduate students may be eligible for Pell Grant funding for less than 6 credit hours based on federal funding guidelines.
  • All colleges and universities are required to monitor the enrollment level of financial aid recipients. UT will check your enrollment level for financial aid eligibility on the 14th day after classes begin. If your enrollment level has changed, your financial aid offer will be adjusted accordingly, and you will be required to repay any funds you are no longer eligible to receive.
  • Students must attend all courses for which they are receiving financial aid.
  • All financial aid offers are subject to change pending the availability of federal, state, and institutional funding and regulatory verification. If you are selected for verification, you must complete the process before any aid will pay towards your student account.
  • If any of your awards are listed as ESTI (estimated), we are still verifying your eligibility for the award and the amount.

Tennessee HOPE Scholarships

The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Program is administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC). If you have been awarded any one of the HOPE Scholarships, it is your responsibility to be aware of the guidelines and information governing the TELS Program.

HOPE Scholarship Guidelines

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Students must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to remain eligible for financial aid. You are expected to always be aware of your SAP progress.

SAP Guidelines

Enrollment Requirements

Changing the number of hours you take during the semester could impact your financial aid.

Students Who Drop Courses But Remain Enrolled

We encourage you to talk to your academic advisor and a One Stop counselor to understand how dropping courses will impact your academic progress and your financial aid.

Your credit hours and enrollment status can impact your financial aid amount. Adjustments to financial aid will be made based on your enrollment status (defined by credit hours) on the dates published on the official university timetable/financial deadline calendars.

  • If you drop classes before close of business on the published date, you must repay any financial aid that you are no longer eligible to receive.
  • If you drop classes after this day and maintain enrollment for the semester, you will not be required to repay financial aid funds. Please not that different requirements apply to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  • Dropping courses after this day without prior permission may lead to permanent loss of the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship.

Students Who Withdraw from All Courses

  • Federal Return of Title IV Finds (R2T4) calculations must be performed for students receiving federal Title IV aid who officially withdraw from all courses, drop all courses, fail all courses, are dismissed, take an unapproved leave of absence, or fail to return from an approved leave of absence.
  • If you drop all courses on or after the first day of class, you may be required to repay all federal student aid.
  • If you drop all courses after the first day of class, you will be subject to the Federal R2T4 calculation. Although you may not be charged any tuition after withdrawing from courses, you may still be responsible for repaying some (or all) of your federal student aid.

Withdrawal and Repayment Information

If you withdraw from the university, it is important to be aware of the impact the R2T4 policy will have on the aid disbursed and your continued eligibility. In several scenarios you may be required to return part or all of the financial aid you have been awarded. Learn more here.

Students Who Fail All Courses

Due to regulations from the US Department of Education, institutions are required to complete a Federal R2T4 calculation for financial aid recipients who fail to meet course objectives in all courses attempted for the semester. These students are considered by the federal government to have “unofficially withdrawn” from the university.

  • The refund calculation determines how much of the federal financial aid you received for the semester was actually “earned” and how much must be “repaid” by you to the appropriate financial aid program.
  • The amount is based on your last documented date of attendance. If no documented date of attendance exists, the midpoint of the term will be used as the last documented day of attendance.

Additional terms & conditions for all federal and state awards:

  • Students must have a valid Social Security Number
  • Be a citizen of the United States or eligible non-citizen
  • UT institutional and state scholarships require EVEA compliance
  • Cannot be in default on a federal student loan or owe repayment from a federal grant
  • Financial aid offers not accepted within 90 days are subject to being cancelled and will only be reinstated pending the availability of funds
  • Other requirements may also apply