Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program (TELS)

The Tennessee HOPE Scholarship Program provides scholarship and grant assistance to Tennesseans attending eligible Tennessee colleges. The program supports excellence in high school and college achievement, encourages Tennessee’s best and brightest students (students like you!) to stay and contribute to their home state, and provides other social and economic benefits for our citizens. TELS program requirements change from time to time, so it is important to review application and eligibility requirements regularly to insure that you remain in full compliance. It’s especially important to understand how dropping classes or changing from full to part time status may impact your TELS eligibility. Always consult your Enrollment Counselor before taking action that may impact your enrollment status.

Types and Eligibility Requirements  Summer Lottery Scholarships
 Rules and Requirements  Transferring your Lottery Scholarship
 Checking your Status  Don't see your TELS on your account?  FAQ

Types of TELS awards and eligibility requirements

Dual enrollment grant

  • If you are a high school student taking dual enrollment courses at MTSU, you may qualify for the TELS Dual Enrollment Grant Program. 
  • The Dual Enrollment Grant awards $100 per credit hour, not to exceed $600 per semester or $1,200 per academic year.
  • If you receive the Dual Enrollment Grant for more than four dual enrollment courses over your junior and senior years in high school, that amount beyond four courses will be deducted from your HOPE scholarship once you enroll in college.
  • You must submit the online application to be considered for the grant. You should make application for the Dual Enrollment Grant at least two months prior to the fee payment deadline date if you wish to utilize these funds toward payment of fees. 
  • For more information about Dual Enrollment or to discuss the process and be assigned an advisor please contact the office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • Also, please carefully review the rules and procedures for the Dual Enrollment Grant on the TSAC website.

HOPE Scholarship

The base scholarship, the Hope Scholarship will range from $1,750 to $2,250 per semester for full-time enrollment, depending on when you first received the scholarship and what your grade level is and the award is prorated for enrollment of 6 to 11 hours. Students who first received a lottery scholarship before Fall 2015: $2,000 per semester (regardless of grade level) Students who first received a lottery scholarship in Fall 2015 or later: ($1,750 per semester while classified as a freshman or sophomore; $2,250 per semester while classified as a junior or senior).  Additional amounts are available for Merit and Aspire Supplement, as indicated below.

  • To be eligible, you must be a graduate of an eligible high school and you must have at least a 21 ACT (980 SAT without writing scores) OR cumulative high school uniform grading policy GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • If you are a graduate of home schooling or if you graduated from an ineligible Tennessee high school you must have at least a 21 ACT (980 SAT without writing scores).
  • If you are a GED graduate, you must have a minimum score of 525 and 21 ACT (980 SAT without writing scores). Students completing the HiSET or New GED test will not be able to qualify for a lottery scholarship at this time; if the state legislature changes this rule in the future, further updates will be provided here.
  • To receive the Hope Scholarship, you must enroll in an eligible higher education institution no later than 16 months after high school graduation, home school completion, or THSE test date.
  • Scores for ACT or SAT tests taken on a national test date during the 16-month sit-out period will be accepted; however, the ACT or SAT must be taken before the student is enrolled at a higher education institution.
  • For more information, please see the TSAC Lottery Scholarship website.
     

General Assembly Merit scholarship

The General Assembly Merit Award amount is $500 in addition to the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship, for a total of $2,500 per semester. 

  • To be eligible, you must be a graduate of an eligible high school and you must have at least a 3.75 uniform grading policy high school GPA AND a 29 ACT (1280 SAT without writing scores).
  • If you are a graduate of home schooling or if you graduated from an ineligible Tennessee high school you must have at least a 29 ACT (1280 SAT) AND 12 hours of dual-enrollment credit with a 3.0 GPA.
  • If you have a GED, you are not eligible for a Merit Supplement.
  • According to TSAC's TELS policy, you may not receive both the Merit Scholarship and the Aspire Supplement at the same time.
  • For more information, please see the TSAC GAMS Scholarship website.

Aspire Supplement

The Aspire Supplement award amount is $750 per semester in addition to Tennessee HOPE Scholarship, for a total of $2,750 per semester. Regardless of whether you graduated from an eligible high school, were home schooled, graduated from an ineligible high school, or have a GED, you must meet Tennessee HOPE Scholarship requirements (listed above) and the following income requirements to qualify for the Aspire Supplement:

  • Parent(s) of the dependent student must have an Adjusted Gross Income of $36,000 or less on FAFSA.
  • An independent student must have an Adjusted Gross Income (including income of spouse, if applicable) of $36,000 or less on FAFSA.
  • According to TSAC's TELS policy, you many not receive both the Merit Scholarship and the Aspire Supplement at the same time.
  • For more information, please see the TSAC Aspire Supplement website.

HOPE Access Grant

The HOPE Access Grant award amount is $1,375 per semester. To qualify for the HOPE Access grant you must be a graduate of an eligible high school and must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Have at least an uniform grading policy 2.75 GPA,
  • AND Have an 18, 19, or 20 ACT (860-970 SAT without writing scores),
  • AND Have an Adjusted Gross Income of $36,000 or less.
  • The HOPE Access Grant is only available for the first 24 attempted hours.
  • You may become eligible for the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship by all meeting HOPE Scholarship renewal criteria after 24 attempted hours.
  • Home School graduates, graduates from ineligible high schools, and GED recipients are not eligible for a Hope Access Grant.
  • More information about the HOPE Access Grant can be found at the TSAC website.
     

Foster Care Grant

The Foster Care Grant Award is designed to make up the difference between the Cost of Attendance and total of all other grant and scholarship aid. Regardless of whether you are a graduate of an eligible high school, were Home Schooled, graduated from an ineligible high school, or have a GED, you must meet Tennessee HOPE Scholarship initial eligibility requirements (listed above) and the following requirements:

  • You must be a child who was in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services for at least one year since age 14. (You may have been adopted after that time.)
  • You must submit proof of status from Department of Children's Services to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC).
  • TSAC will notify MTSU if you are eligible for the grant.
  • More information about the Foster Care Grant may be found on the TSAC website.
     

Non-Traditional HOPE Scholarship

If you are a non-traditional student, you may qualify for a Hope Scholarship of up to $4000 per year (prorated for enrollment of 6 to 11 credit hours) by meeting the following eligibility criteria and academic requirements:

  • You must be at least 25 years old and enrolling as an entering freshman or have not been enrolled for at least two years after last attending any postsecondary institution.
  • You must have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $36,000 or less on the FAFSA.
  • Once you begin attending MTSU, you must have attained a 2.75 TELS GPA after 12 TELS attempted hours.
  • You must meet all other eligibility requirements in regard to citizenship, residency, and enrollment status (all TELS requirements except those pertaining to ACT and high school GPA standards).
  • You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current year. The FAFSA must be processed every year by September 1.
  • According to TSAC's TELS policy, a non-traditional student is not eligible to receive the Merit Scholarship, Aspire Supplement, or Access Grant.
  • You will continue to be eligible for the award as long as you meet the continuing eligibility requirements as noted above and you have an Adjusted Gross Income of $36,000 or less on the FAFSA. 
  • You will usually be eligible to continue receiving the award until you earn a baccalaureate degree; or you reach a limit of five (5) years or 120 attempted credit hours, as outlined in the TELS scholarship requirements. 
  • More information about the Non-Traditional HOPE Scholarship may be found on the TSAC website
  • If you believe you may be eligible as a non-traditional student, please contact your enrollment counselor.
     

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. 

Summer lottery scholarships

If you first received the lottery scholarship in the fall 2009 semester or later, you can receive a full lottery scholarship (or a prorated award for part-time enrollment) in the summer as long as you meet eligibility requirements, even if you already received a full-time award in the fall and spring.

You must be enrolled in at least 6 hours to receive a summer lottery scholarship. Your award will be prorated for part-time enrollment (6-11 hours). If you enroll in 1-5 hours, you will not be eligible for a lottery scholarship but your attempted hours and grades will be counted in determining future lottery eligibility.

Your award will be based on your enrollment status. If you are enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, you will be eligible to receive your full one-semester award. If you are enrolled in 6 to 8 hours, you will receive 50% of your normal one-semester amount. If you are enrolled in 9 to 11 hours, you will receive 75% of your normal one-semester amount.

*You must enroll in all summer classes by June 17 to receive payment for scholarship. 

When can I expect to see the award applied to my account?

All summer lottery funds will be awarded after spring grades are posted on mid-May.   If you have registered for your summer classes and you are eligible after spring grades, your scholarship will be listed as a credit on your account approximately one week after spring grades are posted.

* Summer lottery awards will not be applied to any student’s account by the first fee-payment deadline for the summer semester, so you are responsible for paying your tuition and fees not covered by other financial aid.

Please Note: You may require additional steps before summer lottery may be applied to your account if you

  • Are a new transfer student for the summer term.
  • Are participating in a consortium or study abroad program for the spring and/or summer terms.
  • Are only able to register for one course at the beginning of the term due to required prerequisites.

If you fall into any of these categories, please contact your Enrollment Counselor at the MT One Stop for special assistance.

What will happen if I drop or add summer classes after my lottery scholarship is applied?

If you drop or add classes after your lottery scholarship is applied, your scholarship amount may increase or decrease. You will be responsible for repaying any portion of the award that is reduced due to dropping courses before the July Fee Payment Deadline. 

**IMPORTANT** If you add classes after the July fee payment deadline, or fail to contact us about a missing or incorrect award by that date, we will be unable to assist you with scholarship funds. However, the attempted hours and grades will be counted in determining future lottery eligibility. 

If you change your enrollment status by dropping classes after the July Fee Payment Deadline (such as dropping from full-time to less than 12 hours or dropping from part-time to less than 6 hours), you will permanently lose eligibility for the lottery scholarship.

We strongly recommend that you speak with your Enrollment Counselor before stopping attendance, adding or dropping any summer courses after the term starts in May, since such an action may result in having to repay some or all of the scholarship or losing eligibility for the scholarship forever! 

Do summer classes count in my lottery attempted hours and GPA?

The classes you take this summer will be counted toward your 24-hour benchmarks and your TELS GPA, even if you aren't receiving a lottery scholarship for the summer term (such as if you take 1-5 hours). The classes you take this summer will count toward your 120-hour maximum. If you reach a 24 hour benchmark at the end of the summer term and are ineligible based on GPA, enrollment, or the 120-hour limitation, you will not be eligible for the scholarship beginning with the fall semester. 

**IMPORTANT** We recommend that you carefully consider your current lottery stats before enrolling for any summer courses, to determine what your status may be after taking those classes! Please consult with your Enrollment Counselor.

Am I required to enroll for the summer term?

You are not required to enroll in the summer term in order to keep your lottery scholarship. The Lottery Scholarship program does require, however, that you meet continuous enrollment requirements throughout each fall and spring semester.  

Lottery scholarship rules and requirements

Understanding the rules and requirements of your lottery scholarship is absolutely essential. A misunderstanding or mistake could result in a loss of your scholarship—costing you thousands of dollars in lost aid! We outline the general requirements and provision below, but we know they can be complicated. You can go directly to the TSAC TELS website, College Pays, to read more about the rules and requirements.

Take your time and read carefully to insure that you understand everything you must do to retain your scholarship. The number one rule to remember is to always consult with your MT One Stop Counselor before dropping any classes, and to request academic assistance so that you can do your best work in every course you take. 

Statement of understanding, Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship

This is the official statement of rules as outlined by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, which manages the TELS Lottery Scholarship Programs. You should carefully review this on-line statement in RaiderNet and be sure you understand each part of it. If you have questions, please contact your Enrollment Counselor.

Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) continuing eligibility

To continue to receive your lottery scholarship year after year, you must meet continuing eligibility requirements regarding GPA and enrollment status. Additionally, you must meet federal Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.

GPA requirements

A TELS recipient must have a 2.75 cumulative TELS GPA after the first 24 TELS attempted credit hours, and again after 48 attempted hours. A TELS recipient must have a 3.0 TELS GPA after attempting 72, 96, and 120 credit hours.

At the 72 bracket and subsequent checkpoints, a student may provisionally qualify with a 2.75 cumulative TELS GPA and a 3.0 semester GPA. Please see below for the full provisional rules.

The TELS GPA and the attempted hours calculations do not include grades for courses taken before high school graduation (such as dual-enrollment courses). If you believe such credits might be included in your TELS statistics, please notify the Financial Aid Office so that we can correct your record.

Grades for all courses taken after high school graduation, including repeated courses, are included in the TELS GPA. Please see the Repeat Option section below for additional information about repeated courses. 

Please note that the MTSU GPA (as opposed to the TELS GPA) does include dual-enrollment courses and does not include courses, which are later repeated. Therefore, the TELS GPA is frequently different than the MTSU GPA. Your TELS GPA will not appear on your transcript. However, you can view your TELS GPA in the Financial Aid section of RaiderNet.

A student is considered to have completed an Attempted Hours Bracket at the end of the semester in which the student attempts the given number of credit hours. For example, a May 2011 graduate takes 12 hours during fall 2011 and 15 hours during spring 2012. The student drops one class during the spring semester, finishing the semester with 12 earned hours. The student has attempted 27 hours (12+15) and has reached the 24 hour bracket at the end of the spring 2012 semester; therefore, the student must have a TELS GPA of 2.75. In this example, all grades for fall 2011 and spring 2012 will be included in the TELS GPA. Grades for courses taken during the summer 2012 term will not count in the 24 hour bracket, but will be included in the next bracket, after 48 attempted hours.

"Repeat" provision

TSAC's TELS policy states that grades for all courses taken after high school graduation will be included in the TELS GPA, including courses later retaken for a higher grade. However, each student will be allowed to repeat a single class and request that the earlier grade be excluded from the TELS GPA. (Please Note: A student may repeat multiple classes according to institutional policy, but only one grade may be excluded for TELS purposes.) When the student reaches the next bracket (at 48, 72, 96 TELS attempted hours) after the course is repeated, the excluded grade will not be considered in determining whether the student meets the GPA requirement.

A student must submit a Repeat Option Request Form to their Enrollment Counselor to request that a repeated grade be excluded.

"Regain" provision

A student who was initially eligible for a Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship but who lost eligibility due to failure to meet GPA requirements may be able to regain TELS eligibility. The student must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have lost eligibility due to failure to meet GPA requirements.
  • Must meet requirement of at least a 2.75 TELS GPA after 48 TELS attempted hours, a 3.0 TELS GPA after 72 and 96 TELS attempted hours, or a 2.75 cumulative TELS GPA and a 3.0 semester GPA (for provisional eligibility); please see below for the full provisional rules.
  • Must meet all other continuing eligibility criteria for every semester, including semesters for which the student did not receive a TELS award:
    • Must have been enrolled in at least one hour every fall and spring semester
    • Must have maintained enrollment status for every semester. (For example, a student who enrolled in full-time hours must have finished the semester with at least 12 credit hours.)
    • Must meet all other continuing eligibility criteria as stated in TSAC's TELS policy.
    • Must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current year. The FAFSA must be processed every year by September 1.
       

A student may regain the TELS award beginning with the semester after attempting 48, 72, and 96 hours as defined by TSAC's TELS policy. Awards cannot be applied retroactively to prior semesters. You may submit a Regain Option Form to notify the Financial Aid Office of eligibility under the Regain Provision, or may contact your Enrollment Counslor by email, phone, or in person to request a TELS status review.

Provisional eligibility

A student who, at the end of a semester, reaches the 72 or 96 hour benchmark and has a 2.75 - 2.99 TELS GPA and at least a 3.0 MTSU semester GPA for the current semester in which the benchmark is reached may be provisionally eligible for the TELS award. The student must earn a 3.0 MTSU semester GPA for each semester (including the benchmark semester) and must be enrolled full-time each fall and spring semester to maintain TELS eligibility under the provisional rules. Students may use the Repeat and Regain Options to be eligible under provisional rules.

Continuous enrollment

Students must enroll no later than 16 months after graduation from high school or home school. GED students must enroll within 16 months of the GED test date.

Students may enroll in as little as one credit hour and remain eligible for future semesters; however, all TELS recipients must enroll at least half time (at least 6 credit hours) every fall and spring semester to receive the scholarship for that semester. A TELS recipient is not required to attend during summer terms; however, all summer courses will be included in the TELS attempted hours and GPA. 

Please Note: A student using his or her Regain Option must have been enrolled in at least one hour for every fall and spring semester, including semesters for which the student did not receive a TELS award.

Enrollment status

A TELS recipient must maintain his or her enrollment status each fall and spring semester. (Example: A student receiving a full-time scholarship must remain enrolled in at least 12 hours through the end of the semester. A student receiving a part-time scholarship must remain enrolled in at least 6 hours through the end of the term.) A student who withdraws or stops attending and drops below the required number of hours will lose the scholarship for all future semesters and may be required to repay all or a portion of the current semester's awards.

If extenuating circumstances prevent a student from meeting Continuous Enrollment requirements, the student may be eligible for an appeal. Please visit Financial Aid Appeals webpage for more information about filing a TELS appeal. TELS Appeals can only be approved if a student is ineligible due to failure to meet enrollment requirements; MTSU is not able to approve appeals for students who fail to meet GPA requirements, regardless of extenuating circumstances.

Time limits

A TELS recipient who meets the above requirement may receive the Hope Scholarship until one of the following events occurs:

  • Five years have passed from the initial date of enrollment (even if you have not received the lottery scholarship for some or all of the five years).
  • The student completes his or her first bachelor degree.
  • For students who first received the scholarship in fall 2009 or later: The student has attempted 120 hours, not including courses taken before high school graduation, test credits, or in some cases, courses taken during the summer 2011 term.
     

Non-traditional student requirements

A student who initially qualifies for a lottery scholarship under non-traditional rules will continue to be eligible for the award as long as he or she meets continuing eligibility requirements and has an Adjusted Gross Income of $36,000 or less on the FAFSA. If a student meets all renewal criteria other than the GPA requirement, the student will not be eligible at that time but may be able to qualify in the future.

An Eligible non-traditional student shall continue receiving the HOPE Scholarship until the FIRST of the following TERMINATING events:

  • The student has earned a baccalaureate degree; or
  • Five (5) years have passed since the student enrolled in an eligible post-secondary institution as a non-traditional student; or
  • For students who first received the scholarship as a traditional student: The student has reached the five-year limit between a combination of the traditional semesters and the non-traditional semesters; or
  • For students who first received the non-traditional scholarship in fall 2009 or later: The student has attempted 120 hours, not including courses taken before high school graduation, test credits, and in some cases, courses taken during the summer 2011 term; or
  • For students who first received the non-traditional scholarship in fall 2009 or later, but who originally received the scholarship as a traditional student: The student has attempted 120 hours, including courses taken both as a traditional student and a non-traditional student, but not including courses taken before high school graduation, test credits, or in some cases, courses taken during the summer 2011 term.

Where can I find more detailed information?

Visit College Pays, the TSAC Lottery Scholarship website for the actual legislative rules, the state TELS policies, and updates to the rules. Be sure to revisit this site periodically; lottery rules are updated annually and state interpretations of rules may change periodically.

Transferring your Lottery Scholarship to MTSU from another institution

If you are currently receiving a Tennessee Educational Lottery Scholarship (TELS) scholarship at another college or university, you will need to be sure that you complete the following steps so that your scholarship will follow you when you transfer to MTSU.

  1. Submit your prior college transcripts to the MTSU Admissions OfficeSubmit all of your prior college transcripts to MTSU's Admissions Office, and monitor your RaiderNet account to insure that all transfer credits are showing on your MTSU transcript.

    Here is how to check your MTSU transcript:

    1. Go to www.pipelinemt.mtsu.edu and log in
    2. Click on the 'Student' tab
    3. Click on 'Student Records'
    4. Click on 'Transcript', then on 'Submit'
    5. Scroll down to the bottom to check for the most recent semester's grades

  2. Notify the Financial Aid Office at your current school
    Inform your current school's Financial Aid Office that you are planning to transfer, so they can cancel your future aid (including the lottery scholarship and any other grants, loans, or scholarships you are receiving there).

  3. Add MTSU to your FAFSA
    If you did not list MTSU on your FAFSA as one of the institutions to receive your information, you will need to add our school code. The Federal School Code for MTSU is 003510.

  4. Notify TSAC that you are changing schools
    It is important that you inform the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) of which school you plan to attend. You may do so by visiting College Pays TN's Student Portal or by submitting a Change of Institution Form. We recommend that you use the Student Portal to submit your change of schools, since it is processed by TSAC immediately; if you choose to send the paper form, please allow 2 weeks for processing.If you have any questions you can contact TSAC by calling them at (800) 342-1663 or (615) 741-1346.

  5. Submit a TELS Transfer Notification Form to the MTSU Scholarship Office
    When you see all your transfer credits on your MTSU transcript, and you have made MTSU your school of record with TSAC for the applicable award year, complete an MTSU TELS Transfer Notification Form. Complete the form and submit it to the Scholarship Office at MTSU.
     

Are you transferring to MTSU mid-year?

If you are transferring to MTSU in the middle of the academic year (for example, if you transfer in the spring after attending another school in the fall), please be aware that your lottery scholarship award may be delayed until after the beginning of the new term. The Scholarship Office is required by state policies to verify your initial and continuing eligibility prior to crediting the lottery scholarship to your account. We are unable to complete this process until all of the above steps are completed.

Are you transferring back to Tennessee after attending an out-of-state college or university? 

If you were initially eligible for a TELS award upon completion of high school requirements, and were enrolled at a regionally accredited out-of-state post-secondary institution within 16 months after graduation, and are now transferring to an eligible Tennessee post-secondary institution, you may be eligible to receive the TELS award.

If the above scenario applies to you, please contact your MT One Stop enrollment counselor to inquire about your possible eligibility.

Checking your Lottery Scholarship status

It’s important to periodically check your lottery scholarship status and other lottery information on your RaiderNet account. Here’s how!

How do I check my Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) status and eligibility?

As an admitted MTSU student you have access to your most current TELS eligibility information, online, through your ‘RaiderNet’ account. It’s the same information that your MT One Stop Counselor accesses when you call!

Checking your status on-line may allow you to find the answer to your own question quickly, and save you the time of having to call or e-mail someone.

Here’s how to find your TELS information:

    • Go to www.pipelinemt.mtsu.edu and log in
    • Click on the ‘RaiderNet’ tab
    • Click on the ‘Financial Aid’ tab
    • Click on the ‘View TELS Eligibility’ tab
    • Select the term you want to check (ex. fall 2013)

Ok, I’m in. How current is the information on the page?

The MTSU Scholarship Office calculates each student’s continuing TELS eligibility at the end of the semester. As an example, your eligibility for the spring semester isn’t determined until after fall grades are posted. For new students, your information will reflect your initial eligibility once MTSU receives your information from TSAC.

What does the information on the ‘View TELS Eligibility’ page mean to me?

The information at the top of the page is your eligibility information. If you’ve lost your TELS award due to not meeting the GPA requirement at a benchmark, or you’ve lost your TELS eligibility by dropping too many classes, this section will tell you that.

Please note: The fields visible on this page ARE NOT separate scholarships for which you may be eligible, but are the different requirements that you must meet to be eligible for the Hope Lottery Scholarship. For example,” Eligible_TN_HS = Eligible” does not mean that you are “eligible” for a “Eligible Tennessee High School Graduate Scholarship”. There is no such thing. Instead, this means that you meet the TELS requirement that states that a student must have graduated from an eligible; Tennessee high school to be eligible for the scholarship.

The bottom of the page shows what benchmark(s) you have reached, what benchmark you are currently progressing toward, your total attempted lottery hours, and your cumulative lottery GPA.

It is the cumulative lottery GPA and lottery attempted hours that are used to determine if you’re meeting the requirements that the State of Tennessee has set to keep the lottery award. This may be different from the GPA and attempted hours you see on your MTSU transcript.  Check with your Enrollment Counselor for more information about your GPA.

You can find an example and further explanation on how to read your ‘View TELS Eligibility Page’ here.

How will I know when to check my updated status on RaiderNet at the end of the semester?

The Financial Aid & Scholarship Office at MTSU will send an e-mail to the MTSU inbox of current lottery recipients at the end of each term as a reminder to go to RaiderNet and check the updated status. That e-mail will also include similar instructions on how to access RaiderNet and find this information.

Don't see your Tennessee Educational Lottery Scholarship (TELS) on your account?

If you are checking your student account and don’t yet see your Lottery Scholarship as an award, there could be a number of reasons. You may just be checking too early, or there may be a glitch that you will need to resolve. Read the following possible reasons, to determine what might be the problem and how to fix it: 

The most common cause of a missing TELS award is that you listed a school other than MTSU first on your FAFSA. If you did, the state is going to plan to send your lottery scholarship funds to that other school!

Solution:

Inform the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) of which school you plan to attend. You may do so by visiting College Pays TN's Student Portal or by submitting a Change of Institution Form. This is called changing your 'school of record'. We recommend that you use the Student Portal to change your school of record, since it is processed by TSAC immediately; if you choose to send the paper form, please allow 2 weeks for processing.

If you have any questions you can contact TSAC by calling them at (800) 342-1663 or (615) 741-1346.

When to notify us:

Please contact your Enrollment Counselor after you update your school of record on the TSAC database for the applicable award year.

Your award may not be posted because your high school may not have reported your final cumulative GPA to TSAC, or your GPA may have been reported so recently that TSAC has not yet notified MTSU.


Solution:

Check with your high school counselor to make sure that he or she intends to report your final cumulative GPA to TSAC, the state agency which administers the lottery scholarship. 

Please note that your high school guidance office cannot update your final GPA to TSAC until after you have graduated from high school.

When to notify us:

Please contact your Enrollment Counselor once you have verified that your High School Guidance Office has reported your GPA to TSAC.

You may not yet be able to see any financial aid posted to your MTSU student account, including the lottery scholarship or student loan offers. 

Solutions:

  • We may not have received your FAFSA yet; please file a FAFSA.
  • You may not have listed MTSU on your FAFSA; please add MTSU (003510) to your FAFSA.
  • Your FAFSA may have been selected for verification, and we may still be waiting for you to submit required verification documents. Please submit the required documents; you should have received an email via your MTSU email account with information about how to view the list of requirements.

When it will be fixed:

You should receive an email regarding your financial aid package approximately 2-3 weeks after you file your FAFSA or submit your FAFSA to MTSU, if you have not been selected for verification.

You should receive an email regarding your financial aid package approximately 3-4 weeks after you submit all required verification paperwork. 

Lottery Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

Our answers to frequently asked questions are specifically for students who will graduate from an eligible Tennessee high school (including public schools and some private schools). Students who will graduate from a homeschool program or an ineligible high school have different eligibility rules, such as not being able to use a GPA for qualification purposes. Please contact your Enrollment Counselor if you have questions about the rules which apply to you.

Why is my lottery scholarship not listed on my account?

We will apply the lottery scholarship to your account once you meet all of the following requirements:

  • We have received your FAFSA.
  • You have submitted any paperwork that is required to be processed before we can process your FAFSA (such as a tax transcript, if you were selected for FAFSA verification).
  • You meet the eligibility requirements for the lottery scholarship. (Please note: If you are expecting to qualify based on your GPA rather than your ACT, you should expect to see the lottery scholarship on your account in early July, after the high school reports your final cumulative GPA in mid-June.)
  • The state has notified us that you are eligible and that they expect you to attend MTSU.

What is the amount of my lottery scholarship?

 If we have put together a financial aid package for you and have been notified by the state that you are eligible for a lottery scholarship, you should be able to see the award and its amount listed in RaiderNet. You should see the Lottery Hope Scholarship listed, and may also see one of two supplements if you are eligible. 

Lottery scholarship amounts may vary, depending on the particular awards for which you are eligible. The base scholarship, the Hope Scholarship, will range from $1,750 to $2,250 per semester depending on when you first received the scholarship and what your grade level is. You may qualify for an additional $500 per semester Merit Scholarship if you have an ACT of at least 29 (or SAT of 1280 without writing scores) and a final cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.75. 

Please note: Since the final GPA isn't typically reported by the school to the state until mid-June, you generally won't see a Merit Supplement on your account until early July. 

Alternately, you may qualify for an additional $750 per semester Aspire Supplement if your parents' Adjusted Gross Income on the FAFSA is $36,000 or less. 

You can only receive one of the two supplements; if you qualify for both you will receive Aspire, the higher of the two. Therefore, you may receive between $1,750 and $3,000 per semester, depending on the factors listed above.. Lottery amounts may also change due to legislative changes, typically made in late June of each year.

Why is my lottery GPA different than the GPA on my high school transcript?

If you are expecting to qualify for the lottery scholarship or the merit Supplement based on your GPA, you may be surprised to discover that the GPA reported by your high school to the state is lower than the GPA listed on your transcript. 

State regulations require your high school to use a Uniform Grading Policy (UGP) formula to calculate the GPA for lottery purposes. The UGP GPA is often lower than the transcript GPA, especially if your high school normally uses a weighting system to give extra GPA points for advanced classes. We recommend that you contact your high school counselor to ask what your current UGP GPA is and to request assistance with predicting what it will be at the end of the current school year.

If I don't qualify for the lottery scholarship this year, can I get it next year?

If you meet the qualifications for the Hope Access Grant (18 ACT and 2.75 GPA and parents' Adjusted Gross Income of $36,000 or less), you can receive the smaller Access award ($1,250 per semester for students first qualifying in Fall 2015 or later). After attempting 24 credit hours you may qualify to receive the full Hope Lottery Scholarship. Please check with your Enrollment Counselor for additional information. If you do not meet Hope or Hope Access requirements at the time that you start college, you will not be able to qualify for a lottery scholarship even if you retake the ACT or have higher grades later.

What do I need to do to keep the lottery scholarship?

The lottery scholarship includes very specific rules about how to remain eligible. It is very important that you know and understand the lottery rules, so that you don't risk losing your awards!

  • Aim for a 3.0 GPA and maintain it! Check your lottery GPA and other stats frequently to know how you're doing. (Your lottery GPA will probably be lower than your MTSU institutional GPA because of differences in state and institutional rules for the calculation of GPA. You can see your lottery GPA in the Financial Aid section of RaiderNet, under "View TELS Eligibility".)
  • Enroll every fall and spring semester; don't skip any semesters except summer. 
  • Be careful about dropping classes. Don't drop or stop attending a class if it will cause you to fall below 12 hours for the semester. If you started the semester in part-time status (6 to 11 hours), don't drop or stop attending a class if it will cause you to fall below 6 hours for the semester.
  • Watch your calendar! You can receive the scholarship for only 5 years after you start college (or until you complete your first degree).
  • Be careful to take only the classes you need and to pass them the first time! You are limited to 120 attempted hours, unless your degree requires more hours for all students in the major. You don’t want to run out of eligible credit hours before you reach graduation!
  • Always check with the experts in the MT One Stop if you have questions. Others may not know all of the rules or the details of your situation, and may therefore advise you incorrectly.
  • Be sure to fully review and follow all requirements for retaining your lottery scholarship. Visit College Pays, the TSAC Lottery Scholarship website for the actual legislative rules, the state TELS policies, and updates to the rules. Be sure to revisit this site periodically; lottery rules are updated annually and state interpretations of rules may change periodically.