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Tennessee Hope Lottery Scholarship

The HOPE scholarship is funded by the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Program. Students must meet certain requirements determined by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) in order to be eligible for the scholarship.

Visit TSAC website for more information

Requirements & Eligibility

  • Resident of Tennessee for at least one year as of September 1 of the year entering college.
  • Enroll in college within 16 months of your high school graduation.
  • Graduate from an accredited Tennessee high school (special provisions apply to home school students).
  • Make a 21 or higher on the ACT or 980 or higher on the SAT OR compile a 3.0 or higher unweighted high school GPA.
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have results sent to Belmont University. It is recommended that the FAFSA be completed prior to March 1, but no later than September 1 to still meet lottery requirements.
  • HOPE Aspire students must meet all of the HOPE Scholarship criteria, and also have an adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less.
  • HOPE Merit students must meet all of the HOPE Scholarship criteria, and have a 29 on the ACT and a final unweighted GPA of a 3.75.

Once you have met the basic requirements listed above, the process begins with your high school counselor:
  1. Your high school counselor will report your final unweighted GPA and test scores to TSAC (Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation) once you have officially graduated from high school.
  2. Those scores will be used by the state to determine your eligibility and that information will be made available to Belmont University.
  3. In the event, your final unweighted GPA and/or test scores are not reported to TSAC by the high school counselor, it is your responsibility to contact your high school counselor and ask them to complete the reporting of the final unweighted GPA process.

You must complete a FAFSA each year that you are in school. To be considered for the HOPE scholarship, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be filed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Early submission is recommended.

DEADLINES
  • September 1st for students beginning in the fall semester
  • February 1st for students beginning in the spring and summer semesters

Eligibility shall be reviewed by the institution at the end of the semester in which the student has attempted a total of 24, 48, 72, 96, and any subsequent multiples of 24 semester hours thereafter. Additionally, at 72 attempted semester hours and beyond, students may be reviewed at the end of each semester if they maintain the award on a provisional basis.

The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 after 24 and 48 attempted semester hours. After attempting 72 hours and beyond, a student may retain the award by either:

  • Achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 OR
  • Achieving a 2.75; 2.99 cumulative GPA after 72, 96, and any subsequent multiples of 24 attempted semester hours thereafter AND a semester GPA of at least a 3.0 in the preceding semester in which the student will receive the award as a full-time enrolled student. (The student will be reviewed on a semester-by-semester basis and must maintain full-time enrollment).
  • Must maintain continuous enrollment AND satisfactory academic progress.
  • Be enrolled in at least 6 hours; 12 if a provisional student.

There are two categories of transfer as relates to the HOPE scholarship: transfer from an in-state institution and transfer from an out-of-state institution.

Transferring from an eligible in-state institution to Belmont University
Complete the following steps:
  1. Submit your prior college transcripts to the Belmont University Admissions Office
  2. Monitor your Degree Works to ensure that all transfer credits are showing on your record
  3. Make Belmont University your school of record in one of two ways:
    • Add Belmont University to your FAFSA; or
    • Go to TSAC Student Portal website and create an account. Once the account is created, you may request a change of institution online. The change will be processed immediately.
  4. Once the previous steps are completed, email HOPEScholarship@belmont.edu and request that your record be reviewed for eligibility.

Transferring from an Out-of-State Institution to Belmont University
A student should determine if he/she meets the following criteria:
  • The student was initially eligible for the HOPE scholarship upon completion of high school requirements (See Application Process)
  • The student was enrolled at a regionally accredited, out-of-state institution within 16 months after graduation
  • Students transferring from out-of-state institutions are required to meet the same standards of eligibility as students attending an in-state institution (See Enrollment Eligibility and HOPE GPA)

If you meet those criteria, please complete the four steps listed above, and your record will be reviewed.

Belmont University will double the amount transfer students receive through Tennessee’s state-based Hope scholarship by matching up to $5,700 per year, going into effect for the fall 2023 semester.

If a student loses the scholarship due to not meeting the required GPA, he or she may petition to regain eligibility. This regain option may be used only one time.
Failure to meet GPA requirements at a subsequent checkpoint after this option is exercised will result in permanent ineligibility. The student must meet the following criteria:
  • Must have lost eligibility due to failure to meet GPA requirements
  • Must meet HOPE GPA requirements at a subsequent checkpoint
  • Must meet continuous enrollment criteria

If the student meets the criteria, he or she must submit the Regain Option Request Form (see HOPE forms) to the Office of Student Financial Services or to HOPEScholarship@belmont.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

TN HOPE Scholarship
  • 21 ACT/1060 SAT or 3.0 unweighted final high school GPA
  • Graduated from TN high school or other eligible institution
  • Home school students must have a 21 on the ACT, have attended home school for at least 1 one prior to graduation, and be registered within a local TN school district
  • Must start college within 16 months of high school graduation.

TN ASPIRE Award
  • Meet all HOPE Scholarship qualifications
  • Parent’s or Independent student’s adjusted gross income must not exceed $36,000
  • If a student is selected for Financial Aid Verification, verification must be completed before ASPIRE eligibility is determined

TN Merit Award
  • Meet all HOPE Scholarship qualifications
  • Must have 29 ACT/1280 SAT and a 3.75 final high school GPA (unweighted)
  • Homeschool students must also meet one of the following:
    • Have enrolled in at least 12 hours of college course work with a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 while in home school
    • Participate in a Governor’s School Program and achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA
    • Take 2 AP exams and make a score of 3
    • Take one CLEP test with a score or at least 55

The FAFSA is the application for the HOPE Scholarship. The FAFSA becomes available to file October 1st of each year and can be filled out at studentaid.gov.

DEADLINES
  • September 1 for students beginning in the fall semester
  • February 1 for students beginning in the spring and summer semesters

Number of Semester Hours HOPE Fr/So HOPE Jr/SR Aspire Merit
Less than 6 hours Ineligible Ineligible Ineligible Ineligible
6-8 credit hours $875 $1125 $375 $250
9-11 credit hours $1313 $1688 $563 $375
12 or more credit hours $1750 $2250 $750 $500

  • TSAC’s policy states that a student may repeat a single course and request that the earlier grade be excluded from the HOPE GPA. (Please note: A student may repeat more than one course according to Belmont University policy, but only one grade may be excluded for HOPE purposes.)
  • To retain or regain the HOPE Scholarship, the repeat course must be taken before the attempted credit hour checkpoint is reached.
  • If a student has lost HOPE, repeats a course for the first time, and the required cumulative GPA is met, the scholarship will be awarded the following semester. The student must submit the Class Repeat Option Request Form (see HOPE forms) to the Office of Student Financial Services in order to have his or her HOPE eligibility reviewed.

A student’s eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship is reviewed at every 24 attempted credit hour mark.

The following minimum cumulative GPA must be met at these checkpoints:
  • Attempted at least 24 credit hours – 2.75 cumulative GPA
  • Attempted at least 48 credit hours – 2.75 cumulative GPA
  • Attempted at least 72 credit hours – 3.00 cumulative GPA
  • Attempted at least 96 credit hours – 3.00 cumulative GPA
  • Attempted at least 120 credit hours – 3.00 cumulative GPA

At the 72 attempted credit hours and subsequent checkpoints, a student may provisionally qualify to continue receiving the scholarship with a cumulative GPA of 2.75-2.99 AND a semester GPA of 3.00.

Students are classified as either “full-time”, “half-time” or “less than half-time” status depending on the amount of credit hours taken during a semester. Students must maintain their enrollment status throughout the semester.  Going from full-time to half-time status will affect a student’s eligibility for the HOPE scholarship. For example, a full time student cannot drop below 12 hours. If the student starts the semester as a part time student, the student cannot drop below 6 hours.

If a student withdraws from the University after the add/drop period provided on the academic calendar, he or she is no longer eligible for HOPE in the subsequent semesters.  If there are extenuating circumstances, the student must follow the appeal process.

TSAC also allows a student to be granted a medical or personal leave of absence (LOA). The student will resume receiving the award upon return to Belmont so long as all other applicable eligibility criteria are met.
  • Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence must adhere to Belmont University’s Leave of Absence policy
  • Application Deadlines for Leave of Absence
  • Leave of Absence form 

If a student loses the scholarship due to not meeting the required GPA, he or she may petition to regain eligibility. This regain option may be used only one time.

Failure to meet GPA requirements at a subsequent checkpoint after this option is exercised will result in permanent ineligibility. The student must meet the following criteria:
  • Must have lost eligibility due to failure to meet GPA requirements
  • Must meet HOPE GPA requirements at a subsequent checkpoint
  • Must meet continuous enrollment criteria.

If the student meets the criteria, he or she must submit the Regain Option Request Form (see forms section)

A student may receive the HOPE Scholarship until the first of the following terminating events:

Student has earned a baccalaureate degree; or
    • Five (5) years have passed from the date of initial enrollment at any postsecondary institution; or
    • Student has attempted 120 semester hours or has received the HOPE Scholarship for eight (8) full-time equivalent semesters at any postsecondary institution; whichever occurs later.
    • A student who is enrolled in a program of study that exceeds 120 semester hours in length may receive the HOPE Scholarship until the first of the following terminating events:

    Student has earned a baccalaureate degree; or
    • Five (5) years have passed from the date of initial enrollment at any postsecondary institution; or
    • Student has attempted at any postsecondary institution the lesser of the number of semester hours required to earn the baccalaureate degree or a total of 136 semester hours or the student has completed eight (8) full-time equivalent semesters.

    Note: The scholarship will be prorated in the eighth (8th) semester for students who have received the award for 7.25 semesters, 7.50 semesters or 7.75 semesters.

Complete the following steps:
  • Submit your prior college transcripts to the Belmont University Admissions Office
  • Monitor your DegreeWorks to ensure that all transfer credits are showing on your record
  • Make Belmont University your school of record in one of two ways:
  • Add Belmont University to your FAFSA; or
  • Go to www.tn.gov/collegepays and create an account. Once the account is created, you may request a change of institution online. The change will be processed immediately.

    Once the previous steps are completed, email HOPEScholarship@belmont.edu and request that your record be reviewed for eligibility.

Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to access Tennessee Hope Scholarship information on Banner Web.

You can email HOPEScholarship@belmont.edu or a financial aid call center representative can be reached by phone at: (615) 460-6403.

Connect with Us

Student Financial Services is located in the Gabhart Student Center. 

Email: finaid@belmont.edu
Phone: (615) 460-6403

BELMONT'S TITLE IV SCHOOL CODE IS:
003479

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