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:
"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 http://www.state.tn.us/tsac/.