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TN Hope Scholarship



The HOPE scholarship is funded by the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Program.  Students must meet certain requirements determined by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) in order to be eligible for the scholarship.

To visit the TELS and TSAC websites for more information, please click the links below.

Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation

The links below will help you to navigate the HOPE scholarship process on this page. 

Residency Eligibility

Application Process

Transferring HOPE

Enrollment Eligibility

Appeal Process

HOPE GPA

Eligibility Exhausted

Residency Eligibility 

To be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship, a student must meet one of the following residency requirements 

  • Tennessee resident for one year as of September 1 for students beginning in the fall semester
  • Tennessee resident for one year as of February 1  for students beginning in the spring or summer semesters
  • A dependent child of full-time religious workers who maintain Tennessee residency while stationed out-of-state
  • A dependent child of U.S. military, Tennessee National Guard on active duty, or Department of Defense employees who maintain Tennessee residency while stationed out-of-state
  • A dependent child of members of the Armed Forces or Tennessee National Guard who listed Tennessee as the “Home of Record” at the time of entry into military service.

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Application Process

Following high school graduation, the completion of a home school program, or the completion of a GED program, a student has 16 months to enroll in an eligible postsecondary institution. 

Click here for a list of eligible Tennessee public colleges, private colleges, and universities.

Click here to see a list of the academic standards required for high school, home school, and GED students. 

APPLICATION

To be considered for the HOPE scholarship, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA can be filed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Early submission is recommended.

DEADLINES
  • September 1st for students beginning in the fall semester
  • February 1st for students beginning in the spring and summer semesters 
APPLICATION RENEWAL PROCESS

You must submit a new FAFSA each year before the deadline of September 1st.

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Transferring your Hope Scholarship

What happens if a student transfers to Belmont and wants to continue or begin receiving the HOPE Scholarship?

There are two categories of transfer as relates to the HOPE scholarship: transfer from an in-state institution and transfer from an out-of-state institution.

Transferring from an eligible in-state institution to Belmont University

Complete the following steps:

  • Submit your prior college transcripts to the Belmont University Admissions Office
  • Monitor your DegreeWorks to ensure that all transfer credits are showing on your record
  • Make Belmont University your school of record in one of two ways:

Add Belmont University to your FAFSA, OR

Go to www.tn.gov/tsacstudentportal and create an account.  Once the account is created, you may request a change of institution online. The change will be processed immediately.

Transferring from an Out-of-State Institution to Belmont University

A student should determine if he/she meets the following criteria:

  • The student was initially eligible for the HOPE scholarship upon completion of high school requirements (See Application Process)
  • The student was enrolled at a regionally accredited, out-of-state institution within 16 months after graduation
  • Students transferring from out-of-state institutions are required to meet the same standards of eligibility as students attending an in-state institution (See Enrollment Eligibility and HOPE GPA)

If you meet those criteria, please complete the four steps listed above, and your record will be reviewed.

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Hope Scholarship Enrollment Eligibility Requirements

Any changes in your enrollment status can affect your eligibility to continue to receive the HOPE Scholarship.

Continuous Enrollment
  • Students must enroll no later than 16 months after graduation from high school or home school.  GED students must enroll within 16 months of the GED test date.
  • Students must be enrolled for at least one credit hour every fall and spring semester in order to meet the “continuous enrollment” requirement.
  • Meeting the “continuous enrollment” requirement does not automatically qualify a student to receive the HOPE Scholarship for a particular semester.
  • To receive the HOPE Scholarship for a particular semester, a student must enroll at least six credit hours (half-time) for that semester.
  • Students are not required to attend summer term; although all summer courses will be included in the HOPE attempted credit hours and GPA.
Enrollment Status

Students are classified as either “full-time”, “half-time” or “less than half-time” status depending on the amount of credit hours taken during a semester. Students must maintain their enrollment status throughout the semester.  Going from full-time to half-time status will affect a student’s eligibility for the HOPE scholarship.

Withdrawal from Courses

A student may change from full-time to half-time status within the same semester only when there are documented medical or personal grounds. 

Such medical or personal grounds shall include, but not be 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.  

To gain permission to withdraw from courses which results in a change of enrollment status from full-time to half-time,  a student must complete the Drop and Add Form.  The form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar or the student will lose the scholarship for all future semesters. 

Withdrawal from the University

If a student withdraws from the University, he or she loses the scholarship for all future semesters. If there are extenuating circumstances, the student must follow the appeal process.

HOPE Scholarship Leave of Absence Process

TSAC also allows a student to be granted a medical or personal leave of absence (LOA). The student will resume receiving the award upon return to Belmont so long as all other applicable eligibility criteria are met.

  • Students wishing to pursue a leave of absence must adhere to Belmont University’s Leave of Absence policy
  • Application Deadlines for Leave of Absence
  • Leave of Absence form

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HOPE SCHOLARSHIP APPEAL PROCESS

HOPE Scholarship Appeal Guidelines  

The Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation’s (TSAC) policy allows an appeal process for students who fail to meet continuous enrollment requirements due to extenuating medical or personal circumstances. 

TSAC DOES NOT GRANT THE AUTHORITY TO ALLOW APPEALS FOR THE FOLLOWING:

  • A student who dropped below the required GPA
  • A student who does not meet the initial eligibility requirements, such as ACT and GPA minimums
  • A student who exceeds the maximum number of years or attempted credit hours that are allowed
  • A student who does not meet the residency requirement

TSAC DOES ALLOW STUDENTS WHO ARE DENIED ELIGIBILITY TO APPEAL THE LOSS OF THE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP DUE TO THE FOLLOWING:

  • A student who withdrew from the university due to extenuating medical or personal circumstances
  • Failure to enroll within 16 months of high school graduation, home school graduation, or GED test date because of extenuating circumstances
  • Failure to enroll for one or more required semesters due to extenuating circumstances
  • Military withdrawal
TO FILE AN APPEAL:
  • Appeal requests must be completed by the student.  Appeals submitted by a parent or legal guardian will only be accepted when the student is mentally or physically incapable of submitting the appeal
  • Appeals will not be reviewed until all of the following are received by the Office of the Registrar:
      1. A completed and signed Appeals Request Form
      2. A detailed letter regarding your situation, including a description of why you were unable to meet the enrollment requirement
      3. Supporting documentation such as statements from doctors, counselors, police records or other documentation to support the appeal

Belmont University’s Institutional Review Panel (IRP) meets five times a year to review appeals. Upcoming meeting dates are scheduled for:

August 12, 2014

October 14, 2014

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HOPE GPA Requirements

A student’s eligibility for the HOPE Scholarship is reviewed at every 24 attempted credit hour mark.  The following minimum cumulative GPA must be met at these checkpoints:

  • Attempted at least 24 credit hours – 2.75 cumulative GPA
  • Attempted at least 48 credit hours – 2.75 cumulative GPA
  • Attempted at least 72 credit hours – 3.00 cumulative GPA
  • Attempted at least 96 credit hours – 3.00 cumulative GPA
  • Attempted at least 120 credit hours – 3.00 cumulative GPA

At the 72 attempted credit hours and subsequent checkpoints, a student may provisionally qualify to continue receiving the scholarship with a cumulative GPA of 2.75-2.99 AND a semester GPA of 3.00.  Please see below for the provisional rules.

HOPE GPA and Attempted Hours may differ from University GPA and Attempted Hours

The HOPE GPA will not include the following:

  • Dual enrollment grades earned prior to high school graduation
  • The original grade from the first repeated course.  Please see below for the Repeat Provision.

The HOPE GPA will include the following:

  • All grades of “A, B, C, D, or F”
  • Grades for developmental courses
  • All HOPE grades earned at previously attended institutions
  • Grades of “I” (Incomplete) will count as an “F”
  • Withdrawal grade of “WF” will count as an “F”
  • A “Fail” in a Pass/Fail course will count as an “F”
  • All grades for repeated courses beyond the first repeated course.  (Please see below for the Repeat Provision.)

The HOPE Attempted Hours will not include the following:

  • Dual enrollment credits earned prior to high school graduation
  • AP, CLEP, IB credits
  • Departmental Placement credit hours and Audit courses

The HOPE Attempted Hours will include the following:

  • Credit hours from all “A, B, C, D, or F” grades attempted
  • Credit hours for developmental courses
  • All HOPE credit hours attempted at previously attended institutions
  • Credit hours for all courses with an “I” (Incomplete) and an “IP” (In Progress)
  • Credit hours from all withdrawal courses including “W, WP, WF”
  • Credit hours for all repeated courses
  • Credit hours for all Pass/Fail courses
Course Repeat Provision
  • TSAC’s policy states that a student may repeat a single course and request that the earlier grade be excluded from the HOPE GPA.  (Please note: A student may repeat more than one course according to Belmont University policy, but only one grade may be excluded for HOPE purposes.)
  • To retain or regain the HOPE Scholarship, the repeat course must be taken before the attempted credit hour checkpoint is reached.
  • If a student has lost HOPE, repeats a course for the first time, and the required cumulative GPA is met, the scholarship will be awarded the following semester.  The student must submit the Class Repeat Option Request Form to the Office of the Registrar in order to have his or her HOPE eligibility reviewed.

Provisional Eligibility

At the 72, 96, and 120 attempted credit hours checkpoints, a student must have:

  • A minimum HOPE cumulative GPA of 3.0

OR

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.75-2.99 and a minimum semester GPA of 3.0. 

Students who have a cumulative GPA of 2.75-2.99 and a minimum semester GPA of 3.0 are eligible for the scholarship on the provisional tracking method.  On the provisional method, the student must do the following:

  • Earn a 3.0 semester GPA each subsequent semester
  • Be enrolled full-time for each fall and spring semesters
  • Students on the provisional tracking method will be reviewed for continuing eligibility at the end of each semester
  • When the student has attained a HOPE cumulative GPA of 3.0, he or she will be removed from the provisional tracking method
Regain Provision

If a student loses the scholarship due to not meeting the required GPA, he or she may petition to regain eligibility.

This regain option may be used only one time.

Failure to meet GPA requirements at a subsequent checkpoint after this option is exercised will result in permanent ineligibility. The student must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have lost eligibility due to failure to meet GPA requirements
  • Must meet HOPE GPA requirements at a subsequent checkpoint
  • Must meet continuous enrollment criteria

If the student meets the criteria, he or she must submit the Regain Option Request Form to the Office of the Registrar.

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Eligibility Exhausted Criteria

How long can a student receive the HOPE Scholarship?

For students who first received the HOPE Scholarship prior to fall 2009, a student may receive the scholarship until one of the following events occurs:

  • Earned a baccalaureate degree; or
  • Five (5) years have passed from the date of the student’s initial enrollment at any postsecondary institution (even if you have not received the scholarship for some or all of the five years)

For students who first received the HOPE Scholarship in fall 2009 or later, a student may receive the scholarship until one of the following events occurs:

  • Earned a baccalaureate degree; or
  • Five (5) years have passed from the date of the student’s initial enrollment at any postsecondary institution; or
  • Student has attempted 136 HOPE credit hours


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