Scholarship Opportunities for First-Time Incoming Freshmen

The Fall 2020-Spring 2021 Scholarship Guide provides an outline of all scholarships, and is suitable for printing for your review or to share with family members

MTSU Freshman Guaranteed Scholarships

MTSU awards an array of academic merit scholarship opportunities based on ACT scores and GPA.

Academic Requirements and award amounts for MTSU Freshman Guaranteed Scholarships Effective Fall 2020

Students who will be joining MTSU in the summer or fall semesters, who apply by the priority deadline, AND who meet minimum eligibility requirements for the following awards will be offered the appropriate scholarship as long as funding is available. 

Students can receive these scholarship for up to four years (or 8 semesters) as long as the scholarship renewal eligibility requirements are met after each semester.

Scholarship ACT (SAT) GPA Amt/Yr
Trustee Scholarship 30 (1360) 3.5 $5,000
Presidential Scholarship 25 (1200) 3.5 $4,500
True Blue Scholarship 23 (1130) 3.5 $2,000

SAT equivalent scores are for tests taken March 2016 and after and will include Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math scores. 

To be considered for a Freshman Guaranteed Scholarships, students must be a first-time incoming freshman who plans to enroll at MTSU in the Summer or Fall semester. Students must have ALL of the following on file with the Admissions Office by December 1 to be considered for a scholarship:

  • Application for admissions as a new Incoming Freshman
  • Admissions Application fee paid
  • Qualifying official ACT and/or SAT test score (without the writing subscore)
    • Only ACT/SAT scores on file with MTSU as of the Dec 1st deadline will be considered. MTSU will not consider writing test subscores or accept test superscores in regard to scholarship consideration.
  • Qualifying official sixth-semester high school transcript with cumulative GPA requiremen (transcript must reflect GPA through end of junior year)t
  • Must be US Citizen or permanent resident 

No separate scholarship application is required for guaranteed academic scholarships. Student will receive notification of the scholarship award offer by February. To take advantage of the scholarship offer, students must accept the scholarship by May 1! Instructions of how to accept the scholarship will be included in the scholarship award notice.

National Merit and National Achievement and National Hispanic Program Semi-Finalist Scholarships

  • $6000 per year for four years (maximum of eight semesters)
  • Students must submit the letter from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation verifying your Semi-Finalist Status or from the College Board for National Hispanic Recognition Program
  • based on PSAT scores
  • Priority deadline is February 15
  • No separate scholarship application is required for National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic Scholarships

The fine print

GPA and test scores on file with the Admissions Office at the time of the scholarship review will be used for awarding purposes. The 6th-semester cumulative GPA and ACT/SAT scores (without writing sub-scores) on file as of the Dec 1st priority deadline will be used for scholarship considerations. When determining which scholarship a student is eligible for, we will consider your highest test score (without writing sub-scores) taken as of the Dec 1st priority deadline on a national or state test date. 

MTSU does NOT accept ACT or SAT Super-Scores. A Super-score is when the student’s sub-scores from multiple tests are combined to form the highest composite score.

We are happy to accept a weighted GPA if one is provided by the high school, but are unable to calculate a GPA other than what is provided on the official transcript. 

Unless noted, scholarships are granted for a maximum of 8 semesters. Scholarships are not available during the summer term.

Recipients must meet GPA and enrollment requirements to maintain continuing eligibility. In general, students receiving most MTSU Academic Merit Scholarships must earn a 3.0 cumulative MTSU GPA as measured at the end of each fall and spring semester.

Recipients must be US citizens or permanent residents.

In the event that MTSU offers multiple scholarships to a student, (including scholarships awarded through other departments but funded by the Financial Aid & Scholarship Office, including the Guaranteed Academic Scholarships, the National Merit Scholarships, Buchanan Fellowship, and Freshman DREAM Scholarship), the student will be awarded the higher of the two. A student may receive a university scholarship in addition to a Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship.

A student's total aid including scholarships cannot exceed his or her budgeted Cost of Attendance. For more information, please contact the MT One Stop.

The awarding of scholarships is based on the availability of funds and the criteria set forth by the appropriate governing bodies, and is subject to change without notice. 

The Buchanan Fellowship

The Buchanan Fellowship is awarded through the prestigious MTSU Honors College, and is the highest academic award given to an entering freshman at Middle Tennessee State University. Students must plan to enroll for the first time in the summer or fall semester to be eligible for the Buchanan Fellowship.

Buchanan Fellows must complete a separate application process that is administered through the Honors College. Fellows selected for participation enter the university as a part of an elite cohort and participate in a specially designed cohort curriculum of courses. Fellows receive a host of special benefits including a full tuition scholarship for up to 16 credits each semester, special seminars, priority registration, a book allowance, priority consideration for study abroad, and much more. The Buchanan Fellowship award is guaranteed for four years, providing you continue to meet all requirements.

To compete for a Buchanan Fellowship, an applicant must

  • apply for undergraduate admission to Middle Tennessee
  • complete and return the Buchanan application form to the Honors College by December 1 of the year prior to fall enrollment
  • have a high school GPA greater than or equal to 3.5
  • have a composite ACT greater than or equal to 30 (or SAT equivalent)
    • Prior to March 2016- SAT score of 1280 (Critical Reading & Math)
    • March 2016 and future tests- SAT score of 1360 (Evidence-Based Reading/Writing & Math)
  • provide an official transcript of all high school work completed

Successful applicants generally possess qualifications that equal or surpass those required for other MTSU academic scholarships. For more information and scholarship application, visit the website of the Buchanan Fellowship

MTSU DREAM Scholarship (Diverse Representation and Educational Access at MTSU)

Middle Tennessee State University values the richness of learning opportunities brought to our campus through diversity in our student body and faculty. To demonstrate that commitment and encourage the enrollment of students from populations underrepresented at MTSU, scholarships are offered to freshmen who will contribute to the creation and education of a diverse student body. For the purpose of this scholarship, diversity is considered to include (but is not limited to) any of the following: Veterans, Non-Traditional students, Disability status, First-generation college students, Gender identity/expression, Personal hardships, Race or ethnicity, sexual orientation or Special gifts or talents.

Through  state funds, recipients of the DREAM Scholarship will receive $2,000 per year for up to four years (maximum of eight semesters). 

MTSU DREAM Scholarship eligibility requirements

  • An incoming freshman joining the university in the summer or fall semester
  • A Tennessee resident, and US citizen or permanent resident
  • A graduate of Tennessee high school or Tennessee homeschool

In addition, you must:

  • Meet current academic and other eligibility requirements for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship as of the February 15 scholarship application deadline
  • Have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of 12,000 or less on FAFSA
  • Enroll full-time for every fall and spring semester
  • Students must apply for this scholarship by submitting the online Scholarship Application by February 15 to be considered for an award for the following academic year.  The Scholarship Application opens up every year on October 1st and closes around March 1st. To complete the scholarship application, go to and login using your PipelineMT username and password. Once logged in, complete the “Profile Information” section to be considered for scholarships.
  • Meet diversity requirements

MTSU DREAM Scholarship renewal requirements

The DREAM Scholarship will be available for fall and spring semesters only and will be renewable for up to eight semesters, dependent on available funding. Students must meet the following requirements to retain the award: 

  • Enroll full-time (at least 12 hours) every fall and spring semester
  • Have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of 15,000 or less on FAFSA
  • Meet all renewal requirements for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship, including but not limited to the following:
      • Complete the FAFSA annually, by February 15 of each year, and complete the verification process, if selected
      • Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements
      • Meet GPA and enrollment requirements for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program.   

MTSU Foundation and departmental scholarships

MTSU offers approximately 700 endowed and other scholarships to approximately 2000 students each year through special programs sponsored by various academic and administrative departments. Application processes vary from department to department. Many of these Foundation and departmental scholarships require online applications or paper applications.

Foundation and departmental scholarship deadlines

Most scholarships have an application deadline of February 15. After a scholarship deadline has passed, the application for that scholarship will no longer be accepted.

The Scholarship Application opens up every year on October 1st and closes around March 1st. To complete the scholarship application, go to and login using your PipelineMT username and password. Once logged in, complete the “Profile Information” section to be considered for scholarships. 

Departmental scholarships of special interest 

Information regarding four of our most popular areas of interest are noted below. Please be aware that this is not a comprehensive list, so you should contact departments of interest to ask about scholarship opportunities and search the website for other opportunities.

  • Army ROTC Scholarships - Awarded to ROTC program participants by the Military Science department. For more information, visit the above website or call 615-898-2470.
  • Meharry Medical School Early Acceptance Program (MSEAP) 

    MSEAP is a seven-year early medical acceptance program restricted to incoming freshmen that begins with acceptance into the program as an undergraduate at MTSU and concludes with graduation from Meharry Medical College.  The program consists of three years of study in a prescribed undergraduate premedical school curriculum and four years of medical school study. Upon matriculation into the program, students receive conditional acceptance to MMCSOM.

  • Music Scholarships - Competitive music scholarships are awarded to both music and non-music majors for instrumental or vocal performance. Band scholarships are also available. For audition dates and requirements, please visit the above web site or call (615) 898-2469.
  • Scholarships through the June Anderson Center Scholarship for Women and Non-traditional Students
  • Student-Athlete scholarships at MTSU are awarded by the coaches of that particular sport. For more information, please contact the appropriate coaching staff.

Scholarship Thank You Letters

If you are awarded a Foundation and/or Departmental Scholarship, we strongly encourage you to write a Thank You letter to the scholarship donor, showing your appreciation for the scholarship.  Your Scholarship offer notification letter should include information regarding a Thank You letter.

Scholarships are made possible through the generous donations of corporations, professional associations, college alumni, and individual philanthropists. Scholarships make it possible for thousands of students every year to attend college without having to incur large amounts of student loan debt. For many college students, a scholarship could mean the difference between continuing their education or abandoning their personal and professional education ambitions. That is why it is very important to remember that when a student receives a scholarship, they need to thank those individuals with a formal letter of appreciation. 

The people, corporations, & organizations that donate these funds very much appreciate knowing the students who are directly benefiting from their scholarship funds. Scholarship donors like to know that their contributions are making a difference, but typically ask for nothing in return from the student. But receiving a well-written Thank You letter lets the donor know that his or her scholarship donation was greatly appreciated, and shows the student’s appreciation for receiving the funds they needed to pay for college. A properly worded, formal Thank You letter acknowledges the importance of the scholarship, and the impact the donors’ generosity has had on an individual. When they receive a Thank You letter, the donor can see the difference their generosity has made and helps secure continuing donations for future MTSU students.

Tips for writing a well-written Scholarship Thank You Letter:

  • Mention the scholarship program by name
  • Identify your college or university
  • Mention your educational background and any obstacles you’ve overcome to make it to college
  • Mention any extracurricular activities you are involved in, particularly community service projects
  • Discuss both your educational and career goals
  • Express your enthusiasm & appreciation for the scholarship, and the impact it has had on you and your family
  • Make sure the letter is free of both grammatical and spelling errors. 
  • Write clearly and concisely.
  • Be sincere.

 For examples, please visit:

Please send your Scholarship Thank You Letters via postal mail to

Scholarship Program Name – Put the name of your Scholarship received here
c/o Gina Stanley 
MTSU Development Office Box 109
1301 East Main Street 
Murfreesboro, TN  37132

 If you have questions about the thank you letter, call Ms. Stanley at 615-898-5015 or email

State scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs

In addition to the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program (TELS), 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. These programs are administered through the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation.


Please contact the MT One Stop!