Tennessee Grant Programs
The high cost of a college education does not have to prohibit someone from getting a diploma if that person really wants to gain the knowledge and experience that he or she can obtain from higher education.
There are grants and scholarships available for qualifying students to attend many of the fine colleges in Tennessee. You may be eligible for a grant or scholarship simply because you live or attend college in Tennessee, and you do not have to have a 4.0 grade point average to qualify for aid.
Do some research, and you may be surprised to find that you are eligible to receive grants that will help you reach your goals and dreams for the future. High school advisors are knowledgeable about the grants and scholarships that are available, and they would be a good source of information as you search for the programs best suited for you.
By exploring the internet, you will find a number of grants and scholarships along with a list of the requirements necessary to apply for them. Start your search early because there are deadlines for applying, and some of the requirements you will need to fulfill may be time consuming. The best time to begin your inquires is during your junior year of high school. Some sources of information about grants and scholarships are:
- The Federal Student Aid Information Center, phone 1-800-433-3243
- The financial aid office at the college you plan to attend
- The reference section of a library
- The Tennessee higher education agency
- A businessperson in the vocation of your choice
- Your high school counselor
- Your employer
- Charitable organizations
- Your church or religious organization
- Scholarship and grant searches online
Various businesses and individuals are the usual donors of scholarships, and the money is normally used for tuition. They can be designated for students from certain areas or those associated with certain religions. Governments or non-profit organizations are the usual donors of grants. The money from grants can usually be used for other student expenses along with tuition.
The grants can be designated for students from certain areas or certain ethnic groups. Awards may be given to students pursuing certain careers, especially if there is a shortage of skilled personnel in that profession, and the student agrees to remain in the state for a designated time to practice the skills learned in college.
Businesses and individuals usually give scholarships to students who demonstrate athletic ability or academic merit. There are even scholarships designated for left-handed students.
Different than Student Loans
Unlike student loans, grants and scholarships do not have to be paid back. Getting a college education should be a less stressful experience when you do not have to worry about paying off a large loan after graduation. It is difficult enough to keep up with the intensive college workload without the added burden of a loan hanging over your head.
Do yourself a favor, and investigate the many scholarship and grant offerings and apply for as many as you need. You can do a free search for scholarships by going to Scholarships.com on the internet. Do not let the lack of funds prevent you from getting a valuable education at one of the excellent colleges in the great state of Tennessee.
You can find enough free information about scholarships and grants, so do not get coerced into paying for financial assistance and advice. If you are asked to pay for information that you could get free, it may be a scam.
A few of the available grants and scholarships are:
Tennessee Student Assistance Awards
- You must be enrolled at least half time in a public or an eligible non-public Tennessee state college or university.
- You must be a resident of Tennessee.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to apply for the award.
- Your expected family contribution must be $2100 or less.
- Your academic progress must remain satisfactory.
- You must not default on a loan or owe a refund on any previous grant at any institution.
The Tennessee Student Assistance Awards is the primary grant program funded by the state to assist financially disadvantaged students by giving them the money needed to go to college. The maximum award could be the full cost of the college tuition. Apply early, as the money is given on the first-come, first-served basis. Application information can be obtained online.
Education Lottery Scholarship Program
- You must have a GPA of at least 3.0.
- You must be enrolled in a Tennessee state college or university.
The income from the Tennessee state Lottery goes mainly toward state education. When the lottery was approved in 2004, the State Legislature allocated funds for lottery scholarships. Students who qualify may receive as much as $3,800 per year. Application information can be obtained online.
Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant
- You must enroll in a Tennessee Technology Center certificate or diploma program.
- You must not have received a Tennessee HOPE scholarship or a Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills grant previously.
- You must have been a resident of Tennessee for one year by the time the school term begins.
The grant amount is $2000, or not more than the tuition cost. In particular situations, a student who receives a Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills grant and obtains a diploma from a Tennessee Technology Center with at least 900 hours may be eligible for a HOPE scholarship if he or she enrolls in an eligible two or four year post-secondary institution less than three years after graduation. Application information can be obtained online.
Tennessee Hope Scholarship
- You must obtain a HOPE Scholars application form and enroll in one of the Tennessee colleges named on the back of the form.
- Enroll less than one year and four months after graduating from high school or finishing a home school or GED program.
- If your education was from home school, it must have been in an accredited program for at least two years before your graduation.
Application information can be obtained online.
Tennessee Board of Regents Academic Service Scholarship and the Community College Presidential Scholarship
This scholarship is for graduates of Southwest Tennessee Community College wishing to transfer to another college for their junior and senior years. The application form can be found at www.tntech.edu/scholarships online. For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (931) 372-6159
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
Various organizations, firms and individuals established the community Foundation of Middle Tennessee Scholarship Program which consists of 38 scholarship funds that help college students financially.
Some of the funds assist students from certain areas or schools, or those attending particular post-secondary institutions or pursuing educations in certain fields. For more information, see Cfmt.Org.
The Ned McWherter Scholars Program
- You must be a recent high school senior beginning your final semester in high school.
- You must attain high accomplishments in your high school senior class.
- Your unweighted cumulative grade point average must be at least 3.5.
- Your minimum composite score on the ACT or SAT equivalent must be at least 29.
- You must attend a Tennessee state public college or university.
- Demonstrated leadership skills are helpful for the process.
The purpose of this program is to persuade exceptional students from Tennessee high schools to remain in the state for their college educations. Additional information can be obtained online.
The Nashville Athena Scholarship
- You must be a female high school student.
- You must attend schools or live in Davidson county or its contiguous counties.
This scholarship is limited to women residing in middle Tennessee and is intended to aid them to further their educations and pursue their career goals. There will be one scholarship awarded for $5,000, and another for $2,500. Additional information can be obtained online.
Helping Heroes Grant
This grant is for honorably discharged veterans of the United States armed forces or a member or former member of a reserve or Tennessee National Guard unit who has been in United States active military service. The grants are awarded on a first-come, first served basis.
If a student successfully completes at least 12 semester hours and has no final failing grade for the course, the award will be $1000 per semester. If the student successfully completes from 6 to 11 semester hours with no final failing grade for the course, the award will be $500 per semester. If a student is enrolled in less than 6 semester hours, there will be no award for that semester.
Eligibility requirements are:
- You must have been a resident of Tennessee for one year before applying for the grant.
- You must have been awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal or Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal on or after September 11, 2001.
- You must be enrolled at an eligible 4 year or 2 year post-secondary institution.
- You must not have received a baccalaureate degree. You must not be in default on a Tennessee educational loan or a federal Title IV educational loan.
- You must not owe a refund on a Tennessee student financial aid program or a federal Title IV student financial aid program.
- You must be in compliance with laws for receiving financial assistance.
- You must be in compliance with federal drug-free rules.
- You must not be incarcerated.
- You must meet all qualifications of this grant that apply to the student.
At enrollment time, it is not necessary to meet any academic standards to be eligible for the grant. After you successfully complete a semester with a non-failing final grade for the course, the award will be made. For application information, see the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation website.
Dependent Children Scholarship Program
- You must be a dependent of a law enforcement or public safety worker who was killed or disabled in the line of duty.
- You must be attending a Tennessee state college or university.
The assistance may be as much as the full tuition for the academic institution. Application information can be obtained online.
American Cancer Society
- You must be a young cancer survivor.
- You must be attending an accredited university, community college or vocational or technical school.
For more information, visit www.cancer.org or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345.
Coca-Cola Two-Year Colleges Scholarship Program
- You must have a 2.5 or higher grade point average.
- You must demonstrate an active engagement in community service, either at your institution or in the community.
- You must attend a two-year institution that grants degrees.
Visit Coca-Cola’s Website for more information to determine if you are eligible for the award.
If you are associated with a particular church or religious organization, inquire about the availability of scholarships and grants provided by that church or organization.
Most larger denominations offer scholarships to attend their church colleges. Ask your church secretary how to apply for them, or contact your church affiliated college directly.
Specialized Studies Programs
Because of the declining number of competent teachers, state governments have instituted novel and practical scholarships and grants that offer encouragement to students pursuing teaching careers. Some of the grants target students willing to teach in particular areas with a higher degree of teacher shortages or those studying to teach needed subjects like math and science.
Christa McAuliffe Scholarship Program
- You must be a full time college junior in an accredited Tennessee post-secondary institution in a teacher education program.
- You must have finished the first semester of your junior year.
- Your cumulative grade point average must be at least 3.5. Your ACT or SAT score must be equal to or above the national norm.
- If you are a qualified student, you must agree to teach in Tennessee.
$500 is the maximum award for this program. Application information can be obtained online.
Tennessee Teaching Scholars Program
- You must be at least a junior.
- You must be willing to teach in Tennessee after you graduate.
- You must show motivation and academic ability.
Application information can be obtained online.
Minority Teaching Fellows Program
- You must be a minority education student.
- You must agree to teach in a K-12 public school in Tennessee for a specific time after you graduate.
This program awards as much as $5000 each year. Application information can be obtained online.
Tennessee Math and Science Teacher’s Loan Forgiveness Program
- You must be pursuing a career in teaching math or science.
- After graduating, you must teach a math or science subject for a specific time in the Tennessee public school system.
The award for this program can be up to $2000 per year. Application information can be obtained online.
Graduate Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program
The scarcity of nurses remains severe, due in part to a shortage of nurse educators. Other reasons are the difficulty that new graduates have in finding challenging nursing positions and the lack of adequate training programs for nurses. The need for trained nursing faculty is serious. The Graduate Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program has been established in Tennessee to make an appealing offer to graduate level nurses who will agree to use their professional training in a state sanctioned nursing program after their graduation.
For application information, see the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation website.
The Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association, Inc.
This Foundation gives scholarships to qualified nursing students.
For more information, see their website.
Tennessee Labor-Management Conference Scholarship Program
This scholarship is intended to boost the number of people pursuing careers in the labor relations field and encourage them to remain in the State of Tennessee working for growth and cooperation in the labor-management industry.
- You must be a legal resident of the State of Tennessee.
- You must have completed the first two years of a degree program in an institution of higher learning in Tennessee with a grade point average of at least 2.5.
- You must be working toward a baccalaureate or graduate degree.
- You must not be related to an employee, member of the Board of Directors, or member of the Advisory Board of the Tennessee Labor-Management Conference.
- You must be intending to have a career in the labor relations field after graduation.
Mail an application to the Tennessee Center for Labor-Management Relations, 1501 Sarah Court, Suite A, Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37129-5524, fax to 615-895-9389 or email to email@example.com. For more information, see www.tnlabormgmt.org.
General Motors Automotive Service Educational Scholarship Program
- You must be enrolled at an eligible institution in the GM Automotive Service Educational Program.
- You must be an outstanding Hispanic Student acquiring a post-secondary technical training automotive service education.
For an application, go to Ayes.Org. If you need additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the GM Scholarship Administration Center at 1-888-377-5233.
Unless you have outstanding athletic abilities, colleges will probably not contact you to offer their scholarships, so you will need to research and discover what scholarships and grants are available. This is just a small sample to get you started. Good luck!