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Lottery Changes Effective Fall 2011

During the 2011 summer legislative session, the state legislators made some changes regarding the lottery scholarship for students who first received the lottery scholarship in Fall 2009or later. Students in this group will be limited to 120 attempted hours but will be able to receive the lottery scholarship in the summer.

Please Note: The following information was last updated on October 26, 2011. As we receive additional information from the state, this page may be updated further. We recommend that you visit this page occasionally to view the latest information.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do these new rules apply to me?
What are the new rules?
What can I do to keep from running out of hours?
How can I determine how many hours I have attempted?
What will I need to do to receive the lottery scholarship in the summer?
What if my major requires more than 120 hours?
I'm a non-traditional student. How do these rules affect me?
What if I was eligible for the scholarship before Fall 2009 but didn't receive it then?
What if I have already attempted 120 hours?
Were you enrolled for the Summer 2011 term? Read this section carefully!


The New Rules


Do these new rules apply to me?

These changes apply to students who first received the lottery scholarship in Fall 2009 or later.

  • If you first received the lottery scholarship before Fall 2009, these changes will not apply to you. You may stop reading at this time, as the remainder of this information is not relevant to you.
  • If you first received the lottery scholarship during or after Fall 2009, these changes will apply to you. Please read the following information carefully!
  • If you are not sure when you first received the lottery scholarship, please contact a lottery scholarship staff member.

What are the new rules?

Two significant rule changes went into effect beginning with the Fall 2011 semester, for the students indicated above.

  • You will be limited to 120 TELS attempted hours. When you reach 120 attempted hours according to the state's calculations, you will not be able to receive the lottery scholarship any more, even if you have not reached the 5-year limit or finished your bachelor degree.
  • You will be able to receive a full (or prorated, if you enroll part-time) one-semester lottery scholarship in the summer, even if you already received the full scholarship for fall and spring.

Common Questions

What can I do to keep from running out of hours?

Most students will run out of hours before they graduate. You will need to be very careful not to waste any of your hours:

  • Take only the classes you need.
  • Try not to drop any classes after the Census Date (two weeks after a fall or spring semester starts, dates vary for summer terms).
  • Try not to fail any classes.
  • If you get Incompletes in any classes, be sure to follow through and turn the "I" into a passing grade.

Please note: You will be able to receive the lottery scholarship as long as you have at least 1 hour of eligibility remaining for a semester and are enrolled at least half-time.

How can I determine how many hours I have attempted?

You can view your lottery statistics at any time through RaiderNet. The top line of the GPA chart shows how many TELS hours you had attempted at the end of the last semester.

  • Log in to PipelineMT, then click on RaiderNet.
  • Click on the Financial Aid tab, then on "View TELS Eligibility".
  • Select the current semester to view your eligibility status going into that semester.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the GPA chart and your TELS attempted hours.
  • Your TELS stats will be updated approximately one week after the end of each term.

What will I need to do to receive the lottery scholarship in the summer?

We are still working on determining this procedure. We may ask you to submit an application once you register for summer classes, or we may be able to have the computer automatically apply your award. Watch for more details in emails or on our website in late spring!


Special Groups of Students

What if my major requires more than 120 hours?

If your major requires more than 120 hours for all students in the major, you may be able to attempt up to 136 hours. Please verify that the Undergraduate Catalog lists your major as requiring more than 120 hours, then contact a lottery scholarship staff member to request that we review your hours eligibility status.

I'm a non-traditional student. How do these rules affect me?

Non-traditional students who first received the lottery scholarship during or after Fall 2009 will also be subject to the 120-hour limit and will also be able to receive summer awards. However, you do need to know a few special arrangements which might apply to you:

  • The hours you attempted while qualifying for the lottery scholarship will count toward your 120-hour limit. However, we may be able to exclude hours that you attempted after you technically qualified but before you contacted us to gain eligibility. We are still learning more from the state about how this rule will be applied. You may want to contact a lottery scholarship staff member toward the end of the fall semester, to ask whether we can exclude any of those hours.
  • If you originally received the lottery scholarship as a traditional student, then dropped out for at least two years and came back as a non-traditional student, the hours you attempted originally will count toward the 120-hour limit. We are still learning more from the state about how this rule will be applied. You may want to contact a lottery scholarship staff member toward the end of the fall semester, to ask how many of your prior hours we had to include.

What if I was eligible for the scholarship before Fall 2009 but didn't receive it then?

The legislature designated this law as applying to students who first received the scholarship in Fall 2009 or later rather than students who first qualified for the scholarship in Fall 2009 or later. Therefore, we may find that there are some students who would have been eligible before Fall 2009 but didn't receive the award, and are therefore subject to the new rules:

  • Students who first went to an out-of-state school then transferred to an eligible Tennessee school in Fall 2009 or later
  • Non-traditional students who met the initial eligibility requirements before Fall 2009 but did not contact us to establish eligibility until Fall 2009 or later
  • Students who did not file the FAFSA or otherwise chose not to receive the scholarship before Fall 2009, but who began receiving it in Fall 2009 or later

If you first received a lottery scholarship in Fall 2009 or later, the new rules will apply to you, regardless of when you first became eligible to receive the award.

What if I have already attempted 120 hours?

Because the legislature designated this law as applying to students who have already completed some college, we may find that there are some students who have already reached the 120-hour maximum. If you believe this applies to you, please note the following:

  • If you reached the 120-hour limit before the Fall 2011 semester but have already received your Fall 2011 scholarship, you will be allowed to keep that award. However, you will not be eligible for the Spring 2012 semester or subsequent terms.
  • As we work to implement these changes, we will attempt to identify all such students and cancel their spring awards. However, it is very important that you contact a lottery scholarship staff member if you believe you are not eligible but you still see the spring award on your account as of December 1. It's always better to get it cancelled before you receive it, rather than having to pay money back later!

Were you enrolled for the Summer 2011 term?

One new rule affects students who first received the lottery scholarship in Fall 2009 or later and who were enrolled for the Summer 2011 semester. We will be able to exclude the summer attempted hours for students who were enrolled in the summer but did not receive a lottery scholarship for the term. How the rule affects you will depend on whether you received a summer lottery award and whether you reached a 24-hour bracket at the end of the summer term:

Received lottery scholarship for Summer 2011:

If you were enrolled for summer and did receive a lottery scholarship, your summer hours will not be excluded from your lottery record. This will mean that those hours and grades do count toward your 120-hour limit or your lottery GPA. Your GPA, attempted hours, and status as listed on the "View TELS Eligibility" section of RaiderNet are all correct as they stand.

Didn't receive lottery for summer, Didn't reach bracket at end of summer:

If you were enrolled for summer but did not receive a lottery scholarship, your summer hours will be excluded from your lottery record. This will mean that those hours and grades do not count toward your 120-hour limit or your lottery GPA. If you did not reach a 24-hour bracket at the end of the summer term, you won't see any immediate changes to your lottery status, but your attempted hours and GPA will be different. This may mean that you need to earn a higher GPA for the fall semester, in order to retain eligibility for future terms.

Didn't receive lottery for summer, Regained eligibility at end of summer:

If you were enrolled for summer but did not receive a lottery scholarship, your summer hours will be excluded from your lottery record. This will mean that those hours and grades do not count toward your 120-hour limit or your lottery GPA. If you reached a 24-hour bracket at the end of the summer term and regained eligibility at that time, excluding the summer grades will mean that you didn't actually regain eligibility after the summer term after all. Instead, you will reach the next bracket at the end of the fall semester, and we'll recheck your eligibility then.

Once we remove your summer hours from your lottery stats (probably in mid-November), your TELS record will indicate that you didn't regain eligibility after all since you didn't actually reach the next 24-hour bracket at the end of summer. This means that you should not have received a lottery scholarship for the fall semester under the new rule. At the end of the fall semester, though, you will need to meet the GPA requirements as applicable for your bracket* or you will not be eligible for the lottery scholarship this spring.

*You must have a TELS GPA of at least 2.75 after 24 and 48 hours. After 72 hours and subsequent brackets, you must either have a TELS GPA of 3.0, or a TELS GPA of 2.75 with a semester GPA of 3.0 (for provisional eligibility).

Didn't receive lottery for summer, Lost eligibility at end of summer:

If you were enrolled for summer but did not receive a lottery scholarship, your summer hours will be excluded from your lottery record. This will mean that those hours and grades do not count toward your 120-hour limit or your lottery GPA. If you reached a 24-hour bracket at the end of the summer term and lost eligibility at that time, excluding the summer grades will mean that you didn't actually lose eligibility after the summer term after all. Instead, you will reach the next bracket at the end of the fall semester, and we'll recheck your eligibility then.

Once we remove your summer hours from your lottery stats (probably in mid-November), your TELS record will indicate that you didn't lose eligibility after all since you didn't actually reach the next 24-hour bracket at the end of summer. You will then be able to get the scholarship back for the fall semester, as long as we determine that you are otherwise eligible. At the end of the fall semester, though, you will need to meet the GPA requirements as applicable for your bracket* or you will not be eligible for the lottery scholarship this spring.

*You must have a TELS GPA of at least 2.75 after 24 and 48 hours. After 72 hours and subsequent brackets, you must either have a TELS GPA of 3.0, or a TELS GPA of 2.75 with a semester GPA of 3.0 (for provisional eligibility).

I think I'm in this group, but I haven't seen my TELS stats change!

With over 8000 lottery recipients, many of whom are affected by this summer rule, it will take some time for us to review all students' records and make the necessary changes. However, you should see any such adjustments by the end of the fall semester. If you believe you might qualify to have your Summer 2011 grades excluded but you don't see any change by December 1, please contact a lottery scholarship staff member to request a review of your account.

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