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Lottery Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please Note:  Any information regarding academic eligibility for a lottery scholarship in the Q&A below is 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 rules, such as not being able to use a GPA for qualification purposes; please e-mail our office if you have questions about the rules which apply to you.




Q:  "Does receiving the DREAM Scholarship offer mean that I will definitely qualify for a lottery scholarship?"

   A:  Not necessarily. 

If you see the lottery scholarship listed on your RaiderNet account (see below for viewing instructions), you will be eligible unless we later receive information that your eligibility information is incorrect. 

For example, if the ACT organization notifies us that your qualifying ACT score has been canceled, we will be required to cancel both the lottery scholarship and the DREAM award. 

If you do not see the lottery scholarship listed on your account currently, this means that we have not been able to verify your eligibility for the award; see below for details on common issues and how to resolve them.

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Q:  "Why is my lottery scholarship not listed on my account?"

   A:  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 your are eligible and that they expect you to attend MTSU. 

If you believe you are eligible but still do not see the lottery scholarship on your account, please visit our Lottery Tips webpage for further assistance.

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Q:  "What is the amount of my lottery scholarship?"

   A:  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. 

Go to and click on PipelineMT at the top of the page; click on "New User" for info on how to log in. 

Please follow these steps to see your lottery scholarship award(s):

  • Log into PipelineMT, then click on the RaiderNet tab.
  • Click on the Financial Aid tab.
  • Click on "Award", then on "Award for Aid Year".
  • Select the 2013-2014 aid year, then click "Submit".
  • Click on the "Award Overview" tab to view your financial aid, including the lottery scholarship.

You should see the Lottery Hope Scholarship listed, and may also see one of two supplements if you are eligible. 

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Q:  "Why is my lottery scholarship amount different than my friend's?"

   A:  Lottery scholarship amounts may vary, depending on the particular awards for which you are eligible. 

The base scholarship, the Hope Scholarship, is expected to be $4,000 (for the fall and spring semesters) in 2013-2014. 

You may qualify for an additional $1,000 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 $1,500 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 $4,000, $5,000 of $5,500 (for the fall and spring semesters), depending on your eligibility status. 

Lottery amounts may also change due to legislative changes, typically made in late June of each year.

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  Q:  "Why is my lottery GPA different than the GPA on my transcript?"

    A:  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 UGPGPA is and to request assistance with predicting what it will be at the end of the current school year.

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

   A:  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 ($2,750).

After attempting 24 credit hours you may qualify to recieve the full Hope Lottery Scholarship.  More 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.

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Q:  "What do I need to do to keep the lottery scholarship?"

   A:  The lottery scholarship includes very specific rules about  how to remain eligible.  Since your DREAM Scholarship partners with the lottery scholarship, it is very important that you know and understand the lottery rules, so that you don't risk losing both 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.  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.  (You'll need to enroll full-time to keep the DREAM Scholarship.)
  • Be careful about dropping classes.  Don't drop 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 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 yo uneed 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.  Many students will run out o fhours before graduating!
  • Always check with the experts (Scholarship Office staff) if you have questions.  A friend or a non-scholarship staff memeber may not know all of the rules or the details of your situation, and may therefore advise you incorrectly!

Please remember that this is only a very quick overview of the rules

Visit our lottery scholarship webpage for more details. 

When we apply a lottery scholarship to your account, you will be asked to complete a Lottery Statement of Understanding online form, which will review the rules with you. 

Want a sneak peak or a printed copy?

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Updated:  October 2013