A college education has become a significant expense for most families and requires careful planning. Whatever your financial situation is, we encourage you to use this information to help you understand college funding so you can navigate the financial aid process with greater ease.
States provide many financial aid opportunities to help ease the cost of a college education. Please select the state you reside in to learn about state sponsored internships, scholarships and financial aid programs for undergraduate students and assistantships, fellowships, and residency programs for graduate and professional students.
For more detailed information on state financial aid programs contact:
Tennessee Higher Education Commission
404 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
Tennessee Student Assistance Commission (TSAC)
404 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-0820
Local (615) 741-1346
In State for Grant Information 800-342-1663
In State for Loan Information 800-447-1523
Out of State for Loan Information 800-257-6526
FAX (615) 741-6101
Please go to the website for all the information on each of the programs .
The following are financial aid programs available to students who are residents of the state of Tennessee.
The Tennessee Student Assistance Award Program (TSAA) was established to provide non-repayable financial assistance to financially-needy undergraduate students who are residents of Tennessee. Applicants must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment, at least half time, at a public or an eligible non-public postsecondary institution in Tennessee. Funds are awarded on a first come, first-served basis. The TSAA is a state-funded grant program and includes funds from the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation and the federal LEAP program.
Go to website for additional information
The award amount is $1,000 per semester for a student who successfully completes twelve (12) or more semester hours with no failing grade as the final grade for the course. The student shall receive 0 per semester for successfully completing six (6) to eleven (11) semester hours with no failing grade as a final grade for the course. The student shall not receive an award if enrolled in fewer than six (6) semester hours.
Award amount – $2,000 (no more than cost of attendance)
Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant Recipients Must:
Under certain circumstances, Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant recipients who complete their diploma from a Tennessee Technology Center consisting of at least nine hundred (900) clock hours may be eligible to receive a HOPE Scholarship by enrolling at an eligible two-year or four-year postsecondary institution within three years of completing a diploma.
Award amount – $2,750 for 4-year institutions (and 2-year schools offering on-campus housing); $1,750 for 2-year institutions
Information can be found on the web.
HOPE and HOPE Access Recipients Must:
The non-traditional student must be a Tennessee resident, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be enrolled at an eligible postsecondary institution. In addition, the student must:
The non-traditional student shall continue receiving the HOPE Scholarship until the FIRST of the following terminating events:
A non-traditional student shall not be eligible for the Aspire Award or the General Assembly Merit Award.
A foster child is defined as one who was in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services:
The receipt of a Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant is contingent upon the following:
RULES AND PROCEDURES
The Dual Enrollment Grant program is defined as a grant for study at an eligible postsecondary institution that is funded from net proceeds of the state lottery and awarded to students who are attending an eligible high school and who are also enrolled in college courses at eligible postsecondary institutions for which they will receive college credit.
The Dual Enrollment Grant program is funded by the Tennessee Lottery and administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. This program provides opportunities for students to begin working toward a college degree, while still pursuing a high school diploma, and encourages post-secondary education and the acceleration of post-secondary attainment.
The Ned McWherter Scholars Program is intended to encourage academically superior Tennessee high school graduates to attend college in Tennessee. Tennessee high school seniors starting their last semester in high school may apply.
The Tennessee General Assembly created this scholarship program to honor the memory of Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher who lost her life in the space shuttle Challenger accident. The scholarship program was established to encourage promising Tennesseans who have a commitment to teaching and inspiring young minds to explore and achieve their highest potential.
The scholarship is intended to assist and support a Tennessee resident who has demonstrated a commitment to a career in educating the youth of Tennessee. This is a one time $500 scholarship.
The Dependent Children Scholarship Program provides aid for Tennessee residents who are dependent children of a Tennessee law enforcement officer, fireman, or an emergency medical service technician who has been killed or totally and permanently disabled while performing duties within the scope of such employment. The parent must be a Tennessee resident and have been on duty when the incident occurred. The scholarship is awarded to full-time undergraduate students attending eligible Tennessee institutions.
Awards are made in equal installments each term throughout the academic year. The award may be renewed three times for a total of four years or the period required for the completion of the program of study. The recipient must be enrolled full-time and maintain satisfactory progress to remain eligible. The awards are subject to funding.
The Minority Teaching Fellows Program is intended to encourage talented minority Tennesseans to enter the teaching field in Tennessee. The award is $5,000 per year for students who pursue a teacher certification at an eligible Tennessee institution.
The Tennessee Teaching Scholars Program is intended to encourage exemplary students to enter the teaching field in Tennessee. Participation is limited to college juniors, seniors, and post baccalaureate candidates admitted to a teacher education program in a Tennessee college or university.
The Graduate Nursing Loan-Forgiveness Program is designed to encourage Tennessee residents who are registered nurses to become teachers and administrators in Tennessee nursing education programs.
The Tennessee Math & Science Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program provides financial assistance to Tennessee public school teachers seeking an advanced degree in a math or a science, or a certification to teach a math or a science. Loan forgiveness requires employment in a Tennessee public school system two (2) years for each year of the loan funding received.
The award amount shall not exceed twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) per academic year, or the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books and equipment,whichever is less. For the purpose of this program, health resource shortage area means an area determined as a health resource shortage area by the Department of Health, Office of Rural Health.
Congress enacted the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act (the “Act”), codified at 42 U.S.C. §3797cc-21, to encourage qualified attorneys to choose careers as prosecutors and public defenders and to continue in that service. The John R. Justice (JRJ) Grant Program provides loan repayment assistance for local, state, and federal public defenders and local and state prosecutors who commit to continued employment as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has awarded funds to all 50 states and the District of Columbia to serve eligible recipients working within their respective jurisdiction. Each state is required to distribute funding across geographic and population areas to ensure all areas of the state are equitably represented. Funds also are to be divided evenly between prosecutors and defenders. Program guidelines are outlined below.
The BEST Prepaid 529 College Tuition Plan was established to allow parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and other interested parties to save for future college expenses by purchasing “tuition units” for a child based on the current weighted average tuition costs at Tennessee’s four-year public universities. The “tuition units” grow in value as the weighted average tuition increases each academic year.
Each “tuition unit” purchased entitles the beneficiary, that is, the person for whom the units were purchased, to an amount equal to one percent (1%) of the current year’s weighted average tuition at Tennessee’s four-year public colleges and universities for a “normal” academic load (two (2) semesters with 15 credit hours each). So, if a parent or other interested party were to purchase 100 units, they would have paid for approximately one-year’s average college tuition at a four-year college or university in Tennessee.
Because the BEST Prepaid Plan is a qualified tuition program under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, the increases in the value of these “tuition units” over time are federal income tax exempt so long as they are used to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
When the child enrolls in college, the “tuition units” can be used to pay for qualified higher education costs at colleges and universities both inside and outside of Tennessee. They can also be used to cover the cost of books, mandatory fees, room and board, equipment or supplies required for attendance orenrollment, and computers and computer software. The Guide to Using Tuition Units provides examples of the approximate number of units needed to cover tuition and mandatory fees and room and board at various public and private colleges and universities in the state of Tennessee.
The Purchaser (person who opens the account) or the Beneficiary (person for whom the units were purchased), must be a resident of Tennessee when the Prepaid College Tuition Plan contract is opened. If a family moves out of Tennessee after a child is enrolled in the plan, tuition units may still be purchased on behalf of the child, and the child will remain eligible for all plan benefits.
BEST Prepaid Plan investments are not backed by the full faith and credit of the State of Tennessee. Assets of the Prepaid College Tuition trust fund are preserved, invested and expended solely pursuant to and for the purposes set forth in the laws governing BEST. For more information about the plan, please review the Terms and Conditions information.
More information is available on the web at: http://www.tn.gov/collegepays/