Scholarship Opportunities for First-Time Incoming Freshmen

MTSU Freshman Guaranteed Scholarships  Buchanan Fellowship  
MTSU DREAM Scholarship  MTSU Foundation and Departmental Scholarships  
State Scholarships, Grants, and Loan Forgiveness ProgramsHOPE Supplemental Scholarships

The 2018-2019 Scholarship Guide provides an outline of all scholarships, and is suitable for printing for your review or to share with family members

MTSU Freshman Guaranteed Scholarships

MTSU awards an array of academic merit scholarship opportunities based on ACT scores and GPA.

To be considered for a Freshman Guaranteed Scholarships, students must be a first-time incoming freshman who plans to enroll at MTSU in the Summer or Fall semester. Students must have ALL of the following on file with the Admissions Office by December 1 to be considered for a scholarship:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee paid
  • Qualifying official ACT and/or SAT test score (without the writing subscore)
    • Only ACT/SAT scores through the December test date are considered
  • Qualifying official sixth-semester high school transcript with cumulative GPA requirement
  • Must be US Citizen or permanent resident 

No separate scholarship application is required for guaranteed academic scholarships. Student will receive notification of the scholarship award offer by February. To take advantage of the scholarship offer, students must accept the scholarship by May 1! Instructions of how to accept the scholarship will be included in the scholarship award notice.

Academic requirements and award amounts for MTSU Freshman Academic Merit Scholarships

Students who will be joining MTSU in the summer or fall semesters, who apply by the priority deadline, and who meet minimum eligibility requirements for the following awards will be offered the appropriate scholarship as long as funding is available. 

Students can receive this scholarship for up to four years (or 8 semesters) as long as the scholarship renewal eligibility requirements are met.

Please note the equivalent SAT scores in the table below. Old SAT scores are used for tests prior to March 2016. New SAT scores are used for tests taken March 2016 and after. SAT equivalent scores include Critical Reading and Math scores.



30 (1320/1390)




28 (1240/1310)



True Blue

26 (1170/1240)




25 (1130/1200)




National Merit and Achievement

National Hispanic Recognition Program Semi-Finalist Scholarship

  • $6000 per year for four years (maximum of eight semesters)
  • Students must submit the letter from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation verifying your Semi-Finalist Status or from the College Board for National Hispanic Recognition Program
  • based on PSAT scores
  • Priority deadline is February 15
  • No separate scholarship application is required for National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic Scholarships

The fine print

GPA and test scores on file with the Admissions Office at the time of the scholarship review will be used for awarding purposes. Typically, the 6th-semester cumulative GPA and ACT/SAT scores (without writing sub-scores) through the December test date will be used for scholarship considerations. Students taking a December test should include MTSU as a score recipient to ensure that scores arrive in time for scholarship consideration.

We are happy to accept a weighted GPA if one is provided by the high school, but are unable to calculate a GPA other than what is provided on the official transcript. We will consider your highest test score (without writing sub-scores) on a single national or state test date.

Unless noted, scholarships are granted for a maximum of 8 semesters. Scholarships are not available during the summer term.

Recipients must meet GPA, enrollment, service (where applicable), and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements to maintain continuing eligibility. In general, students receiving most MTSU Academic Merit Scholarships must earn a 3.0 cumulative MTSU GPA as measured at the end of each fall/spring semester.

Recipients must be US citizens or permanent residents.

In the event that MTSU offers multiple scholarships to a student, (including scholarships awarded through other departments but funded by the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office, including the Guaranteed Academic Scholarships, the National Merit Scholarships, Buchanan Fellowship, and Freshman DREAM Scholarship), the student will be awarded the higher of the two. A student may receive a university scholarship in addition to a Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship.

A student's total aid including scholarships cannot exceed his or her budgeted Cost of Attendance. For more information, please contact the MT One Stop.

The awarding of scholarships is based on the availability of funds and the criteria set forth by the appropriate governing bodies, and is subject to change without notice. 

The Buchanan Fellowship

The Buchanan Fellowship is awarded through the prestigious MTSU Honors College, and is the highest academic award given to an entering freshman at Middle Tennessee State University. Students must plan to enroll for the first time in the summer or fall semester to be eligible for the Buchanan Fellowship.

Buchanan Fellows must complete a separate application process that is administered through the Honors College. Fellows selected for participation enter the university as a part of an elite cohort and participate in a specially designed cohort curriculum of courses. Fellows receive a host of special benefits including a full tuition scholarship for up to 16 credits each semester, special seminars, priority registration, a book allowance, priority consideration for study abroad, and much more. The Buchanan Fellowship award is guaranteed for four years, providing you continue to meet all requirements.

To compete for a Buchanan Fellowship, an applicant must

  • apply for undergraduate admission to Middle Tennessee
  • complete and return the Buchanan application form to the Honors College by December 1 of the year prior to fall enrollment
  • have a high school GPA greater than or equal to 3.5
  • have a composite ACT greater than or equal to 29 (or SAT equivalent)
    • Prior to March 2016- SAT score of 1280 (Critical Reading & Math)
    • March 2016 and future tests- SAT score of 1360 (Critical Reading & Math)
  • provide an official transcript of all high school work completed

Successful applicants generally possess qualifications that equal or surpass those required for other MTSU academic scholarships. For more information and scholarship application, visit the website of the Honors College

MTSU DREAM Scholarship (Diverse Representation and Educational Access at MTSU)

Middle Tennessee State University values the richness of learning opportunities brought to our campus through diversity in our student body and faculty. To demonstrate that commitment and encourage the enrollment of students from populations underrepresented at MTSU, scholarships are offered to freshmen who will contribute to the creation and education of a diverse student body. For the purpose of this scholarship, diversity is considered to include (but is not limited to) any of the following: Veterans, Non-Traditional students, Disability status, First-generation college students, Gender identity/expression, Personal hardships, Race or ethnicity, sexual orientation or Special gifts or talents.

Through  state funds, recipients of the DREAM Scholarship will receive $2,000 per year for up to four years (maximum of eight semesters). 

MTSU DREAM Scholarship eligibility requirements

  • An incoming freshman joining the university in the summer or fall semester
  • A Tennessee resident, and US citizen or permanent resident
  • A graduate of Tennessee high school or Tennessee homeschool

In addition, you must:

  • Meet current academic and other eligibility requirements for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship as of the February 15 scholarship application deadline
  • Have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of 12,000 or less on FAFSA
  • Enroll full-time for every fall and spring semester
  • Students must apply for this scholarship by submitting the online Scholarship Application by February 15 to be considered for an award for the following academic year. The 2018-2019 scholarship application has closed. The scholarship application will reopen around October 1, 2018 for scholarships to be awarded during the 2019-2020 academic year. Please check back then for more information.
  • Meet diversity requirements

MTSU DREAM Scholarship renewal requirements

The DREAM Scholarship will be available for fall and spring semesters only and will be renewable for up to eight semesters, dependent on available funding. Students must meet the following requirements to retain the award: 

  • Enroll full-time (at least 12 hours) every fall and spring semester
  • Have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of 15,000 or less on FAFSA
  • Meet all renewal requirements for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship, including but not limited to the following:
        • Complete the FAFSA annually, by February 15 of each year, and complete the verification process, if selected
        • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
        • Meet GPA and enrollment requirements for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program.                            

MTSU Foundation and departmental scholarships

MTSU offers approximately 700 endowed and other scholarships to approximately 2000 students each year through special programs sponsored by various academic and administrative departments. Application processes vary from department to department. Many of these Foundation and departmental scholarships require online applications or paper applications.

Foundation and departmental scholarship deadlines

Most scholarships have an application deadline of February 15. After a scholarship deadline has passed, the application for that scholarship will no longer be accepted.

The 2018-2019 scholarship application has closed. The scholarship application will reopen around October 1, 2018 for scholarships to be awarded during the 2019-2020 academic year. Please check back then for more information.

Departmental scholarships of special interest 

Information regarding four of our most popular areas of interest are noted below. Please be aware that this is not a comprehensive list, so you should contact departments of interest to ask about scholarship opportunities and search the website for other opportunities.

  • Army ROTC Scholarships - Awarded to ROTC program participants by the Military Science department. For more information, visit the above website or call 615-898-2470.
  • Music Scholarships - Competitive music scholarships are awarded to both music and non-music majors for instrumental or vocal performance. Band scholarships are also available. For audition dates and requirements, please visit the above web site or call (615) 898-2469.
  • Scholarships through the June Anderson Center Scholarship for Women and Non-traditional Students
  • Student-Athlete scholarships at MTSU are awarded by the coaches of that particular sport. For more information, please contact the appropriate coaching staff.

State scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs

In addition to the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program (TELS), Tennessee residents may qualify for state-based aid programs, which include a need-based grant, several scholarships based on merit or other factors, and loan forgiveness programs for students in certain majors. These programs are administered through the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation.


MTSU HOPE Supplemental Scholarship

As part of the Student Success Advantage, the MTSU HOPE Supplemental Scholarship was created by MTSU for new Lottery eligible incoming freshman who stay on track to graduate in four years.

These supplements will offset the state's recent reduction of the TN HOPE scholarship from $4,000 a year to $3,500 a year for freshmen and sophomores enrolling at a four-year university. This reduction was announced by Gov. Bill Haslam to help finance the Tennessee Promise, the statewide plan to offer free technical college and community college to high school graduates starting in 2015.

MTSU will partner with entering freshmen who qualify for the TN HOPE Scholarship to off-set this reduction in funding. Students who, at the completion of their first academic year, have successfully met all eligibility requirements to retain their TN HOPE scholarship will receive a $500 MTSU HOPE Supplemental Scholarship. This MTSU Hope Supplemental Scholarship will be applied against tuition due at the beginning of their second year of enrollment.

Similarly, students who, at the completion of their second academic year, have successfully met all eligibility requirements to again retain their TN HOPE scholarship will receive a second $500 MTSU HOPE Supplemental Scholarship. The second MTSU HOPE Supplemental Scholarship will be applied against tuition due at the beginning of their third year of enrollment.

If a new freshman brings dual enrollment, AP, ACT, etc., type credit, the amount of the MTSU HOPE Supplemental Scholarship will be adjusted accordingly based on when the student earns 60 credit hours.

Please review the MTSU HOPE Supplemental Scholarship Q&A for additional information. 

Please click here for more information regarding Tennessee HOPE renewal criteria.


Please contact the MT One Stop!