Scholarship Opportunities for Non-traditional and Military Students (and families)

The Osher Reentry Scholarship of $2000-4000 is awarded to up to 15 non-traditional students who are incoming freshmen or transfer students, and who have experienced a cumulative gap in their education of five or more years. This new award was established beginning with fall 2011 semester; scholarship availability for future years will be dependent on funding from the Bernard Osher Foundation. Online applications are available beginning in mid-December and must be submitted by March 1.

The NTO (Non-traditional Student Organization) student organization offers a limited number of scholarships to currently enrolled students who are members of the NTO organization, a student organization for adult learners (students who have adult responsibilities outside of the university, regardless of age). The awards may range from $1000 for one year to $3000 for four years. Learn more about the organization and the available scholarships on the NTO website. Applications must be submitted by March 1.

Awards available to Tennessee residents

Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarships

Non-traditional students

Students who are at least 25 when they begin college (or when they reenter college after a break of at least 2 years) may qualify for a lottery scholarship of $4000 per year. A student must meet residency, financial need, and academic requirements to qualify. 

Military dependents

The state allows certain exceptions for military personnel and their families in regard to the lottery scholarship enrollment and residency rules:

      • Dependent must be under 21 years of age
      • A student must have at least one parent or stepparent who must be engaged in military services, on full-time national guard duty, or actively employed by the US Department of Defense
      • A student must be claimed by a parent or stepparent as a dependent for federal income tax purposes
      • If a student is qualifying based on a parent’s military service, the parent /stepparent must have Tennessee listed as a home of record at the time of entry into the military service. 
      • For students who graduated from a state high school other than Tennessee, the high school must be regionally accredited by the appropriate agency for the applicable state
      • For students who graduated from a high school in another country, the high school must be regionally accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the applicable country
      • Students may qualify by graduating from a homeschool or qualify through GED requirements
      • Students must be otherwise eligible for a lottery scholarship
      • Documentation will be required for each student

Military students

  • A student may be eligible if he or she graduated from a Tennessee High School and was initially eligible for the lottery upon graduation, but joined the military immediately upon graduation. 
  • A student who withdraws mid-semester or does not enroll for a required semester due to active military service may appeal cancellation of their scholarship.
  • A student who attends an out-of-state college due to military mobilization must reenroll at an eligible institution within one year following mobilization.
  • A student who entered active duty within two years after high school graduation may be eligible for TELS. The student must be otherwise eligible, apart from the specified exception, and must provide documentation of the military service

Helping Heroes Grant

A small grant is awarded by the state of Tennessee to veterans who have been awarded an Iraq Campaign Medal, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal, or a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (on or after 9/11/01) and who meet certain other requirements.

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 $500 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. The award is applied after the end of a semester, based on the number of credit hours successfully completed for that term.

Visit TSAC's Helping Heroes webpage for more information and an application. 

State scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs

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.


Please contact the MT One Stop, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students or the MTSU Office of Veteran’s Affairs.