Scholarship Opportunities for Non-traditional and Military Students (and families)

June Anderson Center for Women & Nontraditional Students Scholarships

The Osher Reentry Scholarship of $2000-4000 is awarded to up to 15 non-traditional students who are incoming freshmen or transfer students, and who have experienced a cumulative gap in their education of five or more years. This new award was established beginning with fall 2011 semester; scholarship availability for future years will be dependent on funding from the Bernard Osher Foundation. Online applications are available beginning in mid-December and must be submitted by March 1.

The NTO (Non-traditional Student Organization) student organization offers a limited number of scholarships to currently enrolled students who are members of the NTO organization, a student organization for adult learners (students who have adult responsibilities outside of the university, regardless of age). The awards may range from $1000 for one year to $3000 for four years. Learn more about the organization and the available scholarships on the NTO website. Applications must be submitted by March 1.

Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarships for Non-Traditional Students

Students who are at least 25 when they begin college (or when they reenter college after a break of at least 2 years) may qualify for a lottery scholarship of $3,500 per year. A student must meet residency, financial need, and academic requirements to qualify. 

You may qualify for a Tennessee Non-Traditional HOPE Scholarship if you are able to answer YES to the following questions:

  1. You have been a Tennessee resident for at least 1 year.
  2. You were age 25 or older when you started your current enrollment at MTSU.
  3. You have been continuously enrolled during every Fall and Spring semester since starting your current enrollment at MTSU.
  4. Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) including spouse’s if married, is equal or less than $36,000.
  5. You do NOT have a Bachelor’s degree.
  6. You have attempted at least 12 credit hours and have minimally maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.
  7. You have completed the FAFSA (or Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the current academic year.

If you were able to answer YES to the above questions, you “may” be eligible for the Tennessee Non-Traditional HOPE Scholarship. To request a review of your eligibility, please complete the Tennessee Lottery Non-Traditional Review form.

Non-traditional Continuing Eligibility 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
  • Has received the scholarship for the equivalent of 8 full-time semesters
  • 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 student has received the lottery scholarship for the equivalent of 8 full-time semesters, whichever occurs later; or
    • The semester award amount may be prorated if the student has attempted more than 120 hours AND has received the scholarship for more than 7.0 full-time semesters but less than 8.0 full-time semesters.
      • For example, student has attempted 125 hours and has received the scholarship for 7.50 semesters. Student has .50 semester remaining meaning student will receive 50% of normal full-time award amount if enrolled full-time.
  • 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 OR student has received the lottery scholarship for the equivalent of 8 full-time semesters, whichever occurs later. 
    • The semester award amount may be prorated if the student has attempted more than 120 hours AND has received the scholarship for more than 7.0 full-time semesters but less than 8.0 full-time semesters.
      • For example, student has attempted 125 hours and has received the scholarship for 7.50 semesters. Student has .50 semester remaining meaning student will receive 50% of normal full-time award amount if enrolled full-time.

TN Reconnect Grant to Non-Traditional HOPE Scholarship Pathway

Transfer students to MTSU who are not currently or were not age 25 or older at the point of enrolling at MTSU, but were eligible to receive the Tennessee Reconnect Grant while earning an Associate Degree at an eligible Tennessee community college, are offered a pathway to Non-Traditional HOPE Scholarship eligibility.   

 If you meet these requirements, and all other Non-Traditional HOPE Scholarship eligibility requirements (see Non-traditional students section), please complete the Tennessee Lottery Non-Traditional Review form to request review of your eligibility.

Scholarships for Military Students (and families) 

Military Dependents

The state allows certain exceptions for military personnel and their families in regard to the lottery scholarship enrollment and residency rules:

  • Dependent must be under 21 years of age
  • A student must have at least one parent or stepparent who must be engaged in military services, on full-time national guard duty, or actively employed by the US Department of Defense
  • A student must be claimed by a parent or stepparent as a dependent for federal income tax purposes
  • If a student is qualifying based on a parent’s military service, the parent /stepparent must have Tennessee listed as a home of record at the time of entry into the military service. 
  • For students who graduated from a state high school other than Tennessee, the high school must be regionally accredited by the appropriate agency for the applicable state
  • For students who graduated from a high school in another country, the high school must be regionally accredited by an accrediting association recognized by the applicable country
  • Students may qualify by graduating from a homeschool or qualify through GED requirements
  • Students must be otherwise eligible for a lottery scholarship
  • Documentation will be required for each student

Military Students

  • A student may be eligible if he or she graduated from a Tennessee High School and was initially eligible for the lottery upon graduation, but joined the military immediately upon graduation. 
  • A student who withdraws mid-semester or does not enroll for a required semester due to active military service may appeal cancellation of their scholarship.
  • A student who attends an out-of-state college due to military mobilization must reenroll at an eligible institution within one year following mobilization.
  • A student who entered active duty within two years after high school graduation may be eligible for TELS. The student must be otherwise eligible, apart from the specified exception, and must provide documentation of the military service
  • A student may be eligible if he or she graduated from a Tennessee High School and was initially eligible for the lottery upon graduation, but joined the military immediately upon graduation.
  • A student who withdraws mid-semester or does not enroll for a required semester due to active military service may appeal cancellation of their scholarship.
  • A student who attends an out-of-state college due to military mobilization must reenroll at an eligible institution within one year following mobilization.
  • A student who entered active duty within two years after high school graduation may be eligible for TELS. The student must be otherwise eligible, apart from the specified exception, and must provide documentation of the military service

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.

State Scholarships, Grants, and Loan Forgiveness Programs

In addition to the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (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.

Questions?

Please contact the MT One Stop, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students or the MTSU Office of Veteran’s Affairs.