Tennessee Financial Aid
There are over 200 colleges and universities in Tennessee. Two of these colleges, the University of Tennessee – Knoxville and Vanderbilt University – Nashville are ranked among the top colleges in US News’ annual report. Students attending Tennessee colleges or universities are at an advantage because they will be surrounded by eight other states, all rich in American culture. Regardless of which school a student attends, she will have full access to financial aid to help ease the costs of the tuition. Tennessee financial aid is offered in the form of scholarships, grants or student loans.
Tennessee scholarships and grants are an important part of the educational landscape for Tennessee students. Use the Campus Explorer Scholarship Search to find scholarships in Tennessee that will help you get the education you need.
The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation administers several scholarship, grant and loan forgiveness programs to residents of the state. Here is a complete list of financial aid opportunities offered by the state:
- Tennessee HOPE Scholarship: Applicants must meet specific academic requirements in order to be eligible. The award amount is $4,000 for 4-year colleges and $2,000 for 2-year colleges.
- General Assembly Merit Scholarship (GAMS): Students must graduate from a Tennessee public or private school and write an essay in order to be eligible for this $1,000 scholarship that serves to supplement the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship.
- ASPIRE Award: Students must meet the HOPE scholarship requirements and their parents must have an adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less.
- Tennessee HOPE Access Grant: A $2,650 award for students who have at least a 2.75 GPA and whose parents have an adjusted gross income of under $36,000 or less. This grant is non-renewable.
- Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant: Students must be enrolled in certificate or diploma program at a Tennessee Technology Center. Students must not be former HOPE Scholarship or Wilder-Naifeh grant recipients.
- Tennessee HOPE Scholarship – Nontraditional Component: Students of the age of 25 or older who are entering as freshman into at least a 2-year college and have an adjusted gross income of under $36,000 are eligible to receive this scholarship.
- Tennessee Hope Foster Child Tuition Grant: Foster children who qualify for the minimum HOPE and HOPE Access Grant can receive funds for up to the total cost of tuition if attending a state public college or university. Students attending private colleges and universities in Tennessee may receive no more than the total cost of tuition for the most expensive public college in Tennessee.
- The Helping Heroes Grant: Awarded to honorably discharged veterans who served in the armed forces of the US, or a student who is a current or former member of the Tennessee National Guard who was called into active military service. Full-time students receive up to $1,000 per year, and part-time students receive $500 per year.
- Tennessee Rural Health Loan Forgiveness Program: Students pursuing a degree in health or medicine are eligible to apply for this program. Students do not have to repay the cost of the loan if they fulfill their commitment requirement, which includes working in their field in a rural area of Tennessee. The student must commit to one year of service for every year they received the loan.
- Tennessee Math & Science Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Those seeking teaching degrees in the subjects of math or science can apply for up to $2,000 in loans that are forgivable if the student agrees to work teach math or science in a Tennessee public school for two academic years for each year funded.
- Dual Enrollment Grant: High school juniors and seniors who have been admitted to a dual enrollment program in which they take college classes while simultaneously attending high school classes are eligible for this grant that pays up to $600 per academic year.
- Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program: Tennessee high school graduates who have at least a 3.5 GPA and score a 24 or 1090 on the SAT can apply for this scholarship. The award amount may be used toward tuition at any school in the United States.
- Ned McWherter Scholars Program: Scholars receive $6,000 per academic year towards their tuition if they meet the academic requirements, including scoring a 1280 on the SAT or a 29 on the ACT and have a GPA of at least 3.5.
- Dependent Children Scholarship Program: Students must be children of a Tennessee law enforcement officer, fireman, or emergency medical technician who was killed, or permanently and totally disabled on the job.
- Christa McAuliffe Scholarship Program: A junior attending a full-time teaching education degree program and who have a 3.2 GPA are eligible to apply for this scholarship.
- Tennessee Student Assistance Awards: Must be Tennessee residents with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $2,100 or less in order to be eligible for this award.
Scholarships from Tennessee Colleges and Universities
Tennessee college students can also find free aid from the school they are attending. Most schools offer scholarships to students based on merit, financial need, ethnicity, special talent, department, a combination and more. Usually a college or university has scholarships for incoming, returning, foreign and transfer students.The following colleges and universities offer unique scholarship opportunities to new and returning students:
- University of Tennessee, Martin Scholarships
- University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Scholarships
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville scholarships
Additionally, the University of Tennessee offers Tennessee Pledge Scholarship to low income students who are Tennessee residents. The school also offers the Two-Year Transfers with an Associate Degree scholarship to 15 transfer students for a total of $1,000.
Tennessee residents and students looking at colleges and scholarships should also consider the city their prospective schools are in. Scholarships in Tennessee may be easier to find at colleges located in cities that have more colleges and universities. The top five cities in Tennessee with the most colleges and universities are Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Jackson.
Other Scholarships in Tennessee
Students in Tennessee should also look for scholarships offered by community foundations, organizations and private businesses. Often, these scholarships are based on merit, special interests or talent. To get you started on your search, here is a list of popular private scholarships in the Tennessee community:
- The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee: A comprehensive database of 60 scholarships offered to residents of middle Tennessee and the surrounding areas.
- East Tennessee Foundation Scholarships: Offers numerous scholarship opportunities to residents of East Tennessee.
Tennessee Student Loans
Tennessee students may obtain a list of student loans offered at their school by checking the Student Loan Network.