A new scholarship coupled with a recent revision of the rules regarding the Tennessee HOPE scholarship will allow some Tennessee Tech University students second chances at regaining hope for their futures.

Since the creation of the HOPE scholarship in 2004, students whose grades dropped below a 3.0 GPA lost the scholarship with no means of ever getting it back. One couple, who choose to remain unidentified, feared some students with tremendous financial need might be deserving of a second chance and have no where to turn.

The donors placed $500,000 in an endowment to provide $30,000 each year to select sophomores, juniors and seniors who have lost the HOPE scholarship with a chance to continue their education.

“We know there are young people with an intense desire to earn a college degree who cannot attend school without financial aid,” said one of the donors. “We hope this second chance at receiving financial help is a practical solution and keeps the door of opportunity open for them.”

TTU Second Chance Scholarship applicants must demonstrate financial need and an intense desire to complete their education. Applicants must be full-time students in any major and maintain a 2.5 each year.

After seeing almost half of recipients at most Tennessee universities lose their HOPE, the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, the legislative committee in charge of Tennessee lottery scholarships, decided to create some new conditions under which students can reclaim the scholarship. Members are currently finalizing the changes.

According to Judy Riggsbee, Assistant Financial Aid Director at Tennessee Tech University, some of the proposed changes include:

  • Repeating classes: Students are allowed to repeat one class that brings their GPA below the 3.0 requirement. They may do this only once during their stay in college; their higher grade will replace the lower one in TSAC’s calculation of the student’s GPA.
  • Improving grades: Students’ progress will be monitored throughout their college career; their GPA will be checked after their first 24 attempted hours, then again at 48, 72, 96, and 120 attempted hours. While these benchmarks were actually originally in place, students will now get the chance to redeem themselves at the next benchmark if their GPA has returned to a 3.0 or better.

"Prior to the changes, there was no provision in the regulations that would allow the student to regain the award even if they were just a hundredth of a point below the GPA,” said Riggsbee.

Riggsbee said the state has informed financial aid offices that more details about the changes will be provided in the next few weeks. Check for updates at

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