Hope Scholarship

Student Recipients:

  • Submit a FAFSA every year, as soon after October 1 as possible
  • Enter Chattanooga State's school code (003998) as the primary code on the FAFSA
  • Stay continuously enrolled
  • Maintain the required GPA at each benchmark
  • Review continuing eligibility requirements

Non-Traditional Student Recipients:

The non-traditional student must be a Tennessee resident, complete the Federal Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) and be enrolled at an eligible post-secondary institution. In addition, the student must:

  • Be age 25 or older, as an entering freshman in an eligible post-secondary institution or have not been enrolled for at least two (2) years after last attending any post-secondary institution
  • Must have parents' or independent student's and spouse's adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less on IRS tax form
  • Be continuously enrolled at an eligible post-secondary institution in the fall and spring semesters and maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 after 12 and 24 attempted semester hours
  • To continue receiving the HOPE Scholarship, the non-traditional student shall meet the HOPE Scholarship Renewal Criteria mentioned above

The non-traditional student shall continue receiving the HOPE Scholarship until the first of the following
terminating events:

  • The student has earned a baccalaureate degree
  • If the student previously received a HOPE Scholarship, the sum of the number of years the non-traditional
  • student received the non-traditional HOPE Scholarship and the HOPE Scholarship from previous years equals five (5) years
  • Five (5) years have passed since the student enrolled in an eligible post-secondary institution as a non-traditional student

A non-traditional student shall not be eligible for the Aspire Award or the General Assembly Merit Award.
For more information email the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) office or call 901-333-4262.

Moving from Full-Time to Part-Time Status

Students who are full-time (12 credit hours or more) on the official census date (14th calendar day beginning with the first day of classes) who drop or withdraw to a part-time status (less than 12 credit hours) will lose the HOPE scholarship unless there are documented medical or personal reasons.

An institution may allow a change from full-time to part-time status within the same term only when there are documented medical or personal reasons. Such medical or personal reasons shall include, but not limited to, illness of the student, illness or death of an immediate family member, extreme financial hardship of the student or student's immediate family, or other extraordinary circumstances beyond the student's control where continued full-time attendance by the student creates a substantial hardship.

A change of status could be an increase or decrease in scheduled hours to attend. A student must first complete an appeal form and wait for approval before changing status. If approved, the amount of any financial award being received may be adjusted based on the revised schedule hours for the term. In the event a change of status appeal is denied by the Institutional Review Panel (IRP), the student has a right to appeal directly to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) within 45 calendar days of receiving a denied appeal from the IRP. 

Appeal & Exception Process for Hope Scholarship

If a student loses HOPE eligibility, the student may request to appeal the decision by speaking with a Financial Aid Counselor in the Enrollment Services Center. Students must complete the HOPE scholarship appeal form and provide supporting documentation. Students must receive approval of the appeal before making a change to their enrollment status. If the HOPE appeal is not approved by the IRP, the student can appeal to the TSAC.

The IRP is established for the purpose of reviewing appeals for a student's request to change their enrollment status and leave of absence as it relates to their continued eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship. The IRP will be designated by the institution administrator and may be composed, but not limited to, the following: two faculty members, one support staff, one student, and one administrator. An alternate will be designated for any IRP member who is personally involved in a particular case or is otherwise unable to attend.

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
TELS Award Appeals Panel
404 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 1950
Nashville, Tennessee 37243