Scholarship Service Requirements

If you are awarded one of our renewable MTSU academic scholarships, you will be required to complete 75 hours of service to MTSU each semester. Scholarships that carry this requirement include the Chancellor, Presidential, Academic Service, Valedictorian/Salutatorian and National Merit/Achievement/Hispanic scholarships for new freshmen, and the Academic Service Scholarships for new transfer students.

The service requirement is designed to help scholarship recipients make important connections with students, staff, and faculty. The experiences you have in the Scholarship Service Program may help you to:

  • determine the direction your educational path takes.
  • make connections with people who can assist you in meeting your academic and career goals.
  • build skills and abilities for your future career.
  • enhance your resume and find a job in your chosen field after graduation.

Scholarship service placements

If you are the recipient of an academic scholarship that carries a service requirement, you will be assigned to an MTSU academic or administrative department to complete your service hours. The list of participating departments may be found here. You will have the opportunity to submit a Service Request worksheet, to indicate the types of departments you would prefer. Be sure to mark the form correctly and review it carefully before submitting it, as we are not able to allow changes after the form is submitted. 

We will make every effort to place you in one of your top choices; however, we cannot guarantee this, since placements depend on the number of available positions in a department and how many other students requested that department. In late August, you will receive email notification of the department to which you have been assigned; unless you or your supervisor requested a transfer, you will return to the same department each year.

If you are a current Scholarship Service participant and wish to transfer to a different department, please check with your supervisor to determine whether he or she is able to approve a transfer. If both your current supervisor and the supervisor of your requested department approve the transfer, you will then need to submit a Scholarship Service Transfer Request form. Transfer requests must be signed by both your current supervisor and the supervisor of your requested department. If your current supervisor is not able to release you, you may want to request the transfer again in April for the following academic year.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I complete service hours?

  • Most departments are open between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm and will schedule you during those hours. They will work with you to schedule around classes and other education related conflicts. Please be flexible!
  • Service hours may be completed on evenings and weekends, if both you and your supervisor agree to the schedule. However, most departments are unable to approve such schedules since they are not open at those times.
  • Service hours may be completed during mid-semester holidays (such as spring Break) and during finals week, if both you and your supervisor agree to the schedule.
  • All service hours for a semester must be completed by the last day of finals week.

Can I work for pay in the same department that I complete my service hours?

  • If your department has positions available and wishes to hire you, you may work for pay during the same semester, either through the Federal Work-Study Program or through the departmental budget. The first five hours worked per week will be unpaid and will count toward your service requirement. Please contact your supervisor to determine whether paid student positions are available in your department.

What are the rules?

  • You will be expected to follow general courtesies, such as following a dress code, completing tasks as assigned, and maintaining a professional attitude.
  • Just as with any job, you will be expected to arrive at your assigned time, as scheduled. If you are not able to come at scheduled times because of illness or other issues, you should notify your supervisor as soon as possible. You will also need to make up the missed service hours.
  • Please remember that your requirement is to provide service to MTSU. That is, you should expect to spend your time completing assigned tasks rather than spending the time studying or chatting with friends. Your service hours will generally involve academic or administrative work, such as filing, answering phones, helping with research, grading papers, shelving books in the library, or monitoring a computer lab.
  • Your assigned tasks will not be primarily physical (such as painting, cleaning, or moving furniture), unless you specifically request such a placement. However, your supervisor may ask you to complete minor physical tasks as part of your assignment, such as dusting computers while monitoring a computer lab and assisting students with issues.
  • If you have a conflict with your supervisor or a coworker, please work with the person to resolve the conflict. While we can transfer you to another department if you are unable to settle the issue, it is important that students gain experience in negotiating disputes and working through conflict in the workplace.

What should I do if I can't complete the service requirement for a semester?

  • If you are reported during a semester as not completing the service hours, your scholarship for the current term will be reduced. You will have an opportunity to resume completing your hours and regain the scholarship, if all missed hours are made up before the end of the semester.
  • If you are reported at the end of a semester as not completing the service hours, your scholarship for the upcoming term will be canceled. You will have an opportunity to file an appeal; if your appeal is approved, you may then be able to regain eligibility for the scholarship. You can find information about the appeal process here.
  • If you find that you will not be able to complete the requirement due to extenuating circumstances, you may file an appeal during the semester to request that your hours be reduced. You can find information about the appeal process here.
  • If you are enrolled in certain types of courses, you may request a service waiver for that semester. Waiver-eligible courses will be listed in your placement email at the beginning of each semester, as well as in other emails you will receive throughout the semester. To request a waiver, you will submit a waiver form along with any documentation noted on the form as required for your waiver type. We recommend that you submit your waiver request at least two months before the start of the semester, so that it can be processed before the semester begins.