Could you attend MTSU tuition-free?

Yes! If you are a first-time freshman paying in-state tuition and attending full-time, you could attend tuition free if you are a recipient of the Tennessee Education Lottery (HOPE) Scholarship and the maximum federal Pell Grant. That’s right, you could have no out-of-pocket costs for tuition and fees, and no student loans required!

With the lowest tuition and greatest value of the state’s three major comprehensive universities, tuition and fees at MTSU can be covered by federal aid and other scholarships for students who fall within the income and academic criteria set by the state and federal governments.

Getting the help you need 

Our Enrollment Coordinators in the MT One Stop can work with you to make sure you are connected with the appropriate aid and scholarship offerings based upon your eligibility. Federal Pell Grants are based upon EFC, while the HOPE Scholarship is based upon academic criteria. You can find out more about the specifics on eligibility for both of these programs at the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) lower on this webpage.

Also, for incoming freshmen for the Fall 2020 semester, MTSU has three options for guaranteed academic scholarships. These awards require a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 for first-time freshmen and an ACT of 23 or higher and you must apply by Aug. 14, 2020, to be eligible. You can also learn more about these scholarships in the FAQs below.

There are multiple potential ways to cover your costs at MTSU! If you have questions about how MT Tuition Free might work for you, contact us at the MT One Stop.  We’ll work with you to determine which routes could be available to reduce your tuition and fees bill to $0 – and maybe even leave you with some extra money to help cover expenses like Housing, meal plans, and books.

See the charts below for options that could work for you!

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021: Pell Grant and HOPE Scholarship Only

First-time freshmen and transfer students 
MTSU Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,424
Pell Grant (Full) - $6,195
HOPE Lottery Scholarship - $3,500
Balance in student account +$271*

*Positive balance can be applied to other university services such as Housing and meal plans. Amount listed would be split between fall and spring semesters.

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021: Pell Grant, Hope Scholarship, and MTSU Academic Scholarships

Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 first-time freshmen who did not apply before Dec. 1, 2019
High School GPA of 3.5 and ACT 23-24
Must apply by Aug. 14, 2020

Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,424
Pell Grant (Full) - $6,195
HOPE Lottery Scholarship - $3,500
MTSU Future Alumni Scholarship - $1,000
Balance in student account +$1,271*

Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 first-time freshmen who did not apply before Dec. 1, 2019
High School GPA of 3.5 and ACT 25-29
Must apply by Aug. 14, 2020

Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,424
Pell Grant (Full) - $6,195
HOPE Lottery Scholarship - $3,500
MTSU Blue Raider Scholarship - $2,000
Balance in student account +$2,271*

Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 first-time freshmen who did not apply before Dec. 1, 2019
High School GPA of 3.5 and ACT 30-36
Must apply by Aug. 14, 2020

Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,424
Pell Grant (Full) - $6,195
HOPE Lottery Scholarship - $3,500
Lightning Scholarship - $3,000
Balance in student account

+$3,271*

*Positive balance can be applied to other university services such as Housing and meal plans. Amount listed would be split between fall and spring semesters.
 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I find out if I’m eligible to be tuition-free at MTSU?

To be eligible to attend MTSU without paying out-of-pocket for tuition and fees,  students must complete the FAFSA, must receive the full Federal Pell Grant, and must qualify for the Tennessee HOPE scholarship (or Tennessee HOPE scholarship-nontraditional).

How is the Pell Grant awarded?

A Federal Pell Grant is funded by the government and does not have to be repaid. The Federal Pell Grant may only be awarded to undergraduate, degree-seeking students who have not already obtained a bachelor's degree. A student may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time. Award amounts vary based on a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) resulting from the FAFSA and the student’s enrollment status. Awards will be adjusted if the student is not enrolled full-time (12 or more credit hours). The Federal Pell Grant may be available in the summer semester. Eligible students may receive the Federal Pell Grant until the completion of the bachelor’s degree OR until the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters of the grant.

How is the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship awarded?

Funded by the proceeds of the Tennessee Lottery, the HOPE Scholarship is available to incoming freshmen who graduate from an eligible state high school. They must also meet the following criteria:

  • Enroll within 16 months of high school graduation
  • And meet one of the following:
    • Minimum 21 ACT; or minimum 1060 SAT; or Overall minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Homeschool graduates- minimum 21 ACT
    • GED recipients- minimum 21 ACT; minimum average Revised GED score is 170
    • HiSet recipients- minimum 21 ACT; minimum average HiSet score is 15 

In-state students who qualify for the nontraditional HOPE scholarship must have a student and spouse’s adjusted gross income under $36,000 but a total family household income under $50,000. Nontraditional students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for nontraditional HOPE:

  • Be at least 25 years of age and enroll at a baccalaureate program as entering freshmen or with at least two years after last attending any postsecondary institution; OR Must enroll in a baccalaureate degree program at an eligible 4-year institution while maintaining continuous enrollment following the completion of an Associate Degree as a TN Reconnect recipient.
  • Must have a student and spouse’s adjusted gross income of less than $36,000 on IRS tax form
  • Have a minimum 2.75 GPA after 12 attempted semester hours

In-state transfer students can use their existing HOPE Scholarships at MTSU. To be considered, they must:

  • Send all prior college final transcripts to MTSU to be reviewed prior to HOPE Scholarship payment to student.
  • Confirm that MTSU is listed as their institution of preference on the TSAC student portal for the academic year they are transferring to MTSU.

Am I eligible for other scholarships if I am part of this program?

Yes. Qualifying students are also eligible to receive other scholarship awards, including MTSU’s guaranteed academic scholarships. These awards require a minimum GPA of 3.5 for freshmen and a 3.0 with 60 credit hours earned for a new transfer student.  Scholarship amounts for freshmen vary by ACT performance.  The application deadline for our freshmen guaranteed scholarships is December 1, prior to the fall in which you will be attending. Transfer students must apply by February 15 prior to the fall in which you will be attending. This year, there is an additional group of these scholarships still available for incoming freshmen for the Fall 2020 class! Click here for more information. 

 

Connect with the MT One Stop!

 

MT Tuition Free Logo