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Tennessee Promise

Are we accepting [matching] Tennessee Promise?

Yes, Southern will receive TN Promise funding for a student pursuing an AS degree. Keep in mind that Tennessee Promise is a last dollar award, meaning if the student is eligible for a Pell Grant, Tennessee Grant, and/or Tennessee HOPE Scholarship, those will be awarded first. The short version of what this means is based on the estimated Tennessee community college tuition rate for 2015-2016 of $4,158, any Tennessee Promise-eligible student will receive a $4,158 through a combination of the Federal Pell Grant, Tennessee Grant, Tennessee HOPE, and/or Tennessee Promise. Tennessee Promise students will receive the same funding through those three programs if they are pursuing an AS degree at Southern as well. In addition, incoming freshman could also receive our renewable freshmen merit based scholarships and/or Southern need-based funding, provided they meet the requirements.                

If a student attends a community college in Tennessee and then transitions to Southern, how would that affect the Tennessee Promise?

Students can transfer between schools that are eligible for Tennessee Promise and continue to receive those same dollars. However, by transferring into Southern the student would not be eligible for Southern's renewable freshman scholarships program. We do offer scholarships to transfer students, but typically it would not be the same amount as for an incoming freshmen. 

What about the Hope Scholarship?

Without knowing the specifics of an individual student, we can only provide a quick recap of the Tennessee HOPE program. A student must have a minimum 3.0 high school GPA or a 21 ACT (980 SAT Critical Reading and Math Score combined) to receive the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship. Freshmen and sophomore (and AS degree seeking) students will receive $4,500 per year, and juniors and seniors will receive $5,700 per year. After a student's first year, there are GPA and continuous enrollment criteria that must be meet in order to receive it each year. 

Good news regarding Home School students and qualifying for the Hope Scholarship.

The state of Tennessee now allows for students who had completed high school in a home school program on or after July 1, 2021 to qualify for HOPE even if they had not achieved a minimum 21/1060 on the ACT/SAT; respectively. To qualify under the new lottery scholarship regulations, students must complete at least two dual enrollment courses totaling at least six semester hours at an eligible postsecondary institution and achieve a college GPA of at least 3.0 in each of the two dual enrollment courses and a cumulative college GPA of at least 3.0 in all dual enrollment courses attempted. To emphasize, home school students must have graduated on or after July 1, 2021 to qualify under this requirement.

To establish HOPE eligibility for home school students who had fallen short of the ACT/SAT cutoff for HOPE but who had met the requirements above, go to the student’s 21-22 HOPE Scholarship record in FAST and select the “Lottery Exceptions” button. Select the “Home School – HOPE Elg/DE College GPA” reason, then select “Yes” to verify and “Save”. The exception is then recorded in the student’s “Exception History” and on the “Transaction History”.