The Tennessee HOPE Scholarship Program provides scholarship assistance to Tennesseans attending eligible Tennessee colleges. This Scholarship program is managed and administered by the state agency known as TSAC (Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation). The TELS Program requirements can change, so be sure to review the application and eligibility requirements regularly to ensure that you remain in compliance. For additional information, please visit the TSAC Lottery Scholarship website. It is important to understand what can impact your TELS eligibility, so always consult the Financial Aid Office before taking action that could impact your enrollment status.
Students must maintain enrollment status each fall and spring semester to maintain TELS eligibility (summer enrollment is not required, but if you enroll during a summer term, the same rules will apply). Enrollment status options are full-time (12+ hours), part-time (6-11 hours), or less than part-time (1-5 hours). A student who withdraws or stops attending may lose the scholarship for all future semesters and may be required to repay all or a portion of the current semester’s award.
If extenuating circumstances prevent a student from meeting continuous enrollment and/or enrollment status requirements, the student may appeal. Please visit the Financial Aid Office for more information about filing an appeal. TELS appeals can only be approved if a student is ineligible due to failure to meet enrollment requirements. Tennessee Tech cannot review appeals for students who fail to meet GPA requirements, regardless of extenuating circumstances.
Changes in Enrollment Status after Census Date
The institutionally defined census date at Tennessee Tech University is the 14th day of the term. As of midnight on the 14th day, courses will be locked. If a student officially drops courses or stops attending class after that date and it causes a change in status (i.e., from full-time to part-time, part-time to less than part-time, or full-time to less than part-time), a student may lose the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship for all future semesters. Students enrolled with full-time status, as of the institutionally defined census date, may not convert to part-time status (or less) within the same semester and receive a scholarship award for the succeeding semesters. This applies to fall, spring, and summer terms (if attending summer). If there is a change in enrollment status due to extenuating circumstances, a student may submit a Lottery appeal. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you are considering dropping a course(s) to discuss your options.
A TELS recipient who meets the eligibility requirements may receive the HOPE Scholarship until the first of the following events occurs:
- Five (5) years have passed from the initial date of enrollment (even if you have not received the lottery scholarship for some or all of the 5 years)
- The student completes his or her first bachelor's degree
Checking your Lottery Scholarship Status
It is important to check your lottery scholarship status periodically as well as other lottery information through Tech Express via Eagle Online. Here’s how!
- Go to Tech Express and click on the Eagle Online app
- Click on “Student”
- Click on “Student Records”
- Click on “View TELS Eligibility”
- Select the term you wish to check
The information at the top of the page is your eligibility information. If you have lost your TELS award due to not meeting the GPA requirement at a benchmark, or you have lost your TELS eligibility by dropping too many classes, this section will tell you that.
Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Missing from Your Student Account
The most common cause of a missing TELS award is that you listed an institution other than Tennessee Tech first on your FAFSA. If you did, the state will plan to send your lottery scholarship funds to the other institution.
Inform TSAC of which institution you plan to attend by visiting the TSAC Student Portal and changing your “school of record.” Then, be sure to contact the Lottery Scholarship Specialist in the Financial Aid Office once this update has been made, or if you see discrepancies between what the TSAC portal says and the information we have. Please also note that the amount you see in the TSAC portal could be HOPE + ASPIRE funds or, HOPE+MERIT funds combined. Please also make sure Admissions receives your final high school transcript so that payment may be processed for you.
- Go to TSAC website and log in to the TSAC Student Portal. Please note that if you have not previously logged in to the system, you will be required to create an account.
- Once you are signed in, locate the current academic year.
- Select “Click here to process an Institution transfer request…. (for the specified academic year)”.
- Select “Transfer to” and select the institution you will be attending.
- Select “Process Transfer Request”.
Your award may not be posted because your high school may not have reported your final cumulative GPA to TSAC, or your GPA may have been reported so recently that TSAC has not yet notified Tennessee Tech.
Check with your high school counselor to make sure they plan to report your final cumulative GPA to TSAC. Please note that your high school guidance office cannot update your final GPA to TSAC until after you have graduated from high school.
If you are transferring to Tennessee Tech in the middle of the academic year, please be aware that your lottery scholarship award may be delayed until after the beginning of the new term. The Lottery Specialist is required by state policies to verify your initial and continuing eligibility prior to crediting the lottery scholarship to your account, and a high school transcript must be on file to complete this verification process.
If you were initially eligible for a TELS award upon completion of high school requirements and enrolled at a regionally accredited out-of-state post-secondary institution within 16 months after graduation, and are now transferring to an eligible Tennessee post-secondary institution, you may be eligible to receive the TELS Award. If this applies to you, please contact the Tennessee Tech Office of Financial Aid to inquire about your possible eligibility.