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Grants

In order to be considered for federal student aid you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Availability of each program is based on program appropriations each fiscal year. Below are the basic criteria for qualifying for the various types of assistance. Additional program requirements may apply.

The addition of any scholarship, grant, exemption, waiver, or outside funding toward your educational expenses may result in a reduction of aid. If you have received any of the aforementioned types of aid that are not represented as part of your award information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for federal aid a you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • be registered with Selective Service unless exempt from registration
    • You may register online or check your registration status at the Selective Service web site
  • be enrolled in a degree program*
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress towards your degree
  • not be in default on a federal loan or owe a refund of a federal grant
  • *Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for financial aid, except under the following circumstance:
    • You are a post-baccalaureate student and you are taking classes that are required for certification as an elementary or secondary school teacher or you are admitted as a non-degree seeking graduate student who must complete classes that are prerequisite for being considered for admission into a CBU graduate degree program.

Federal Grants*

FEDERAL PELL GRANT - Federal Pell Grant awards are based on level of enrollment and expected family contribution (EFC). Students must meet all eligibility criteria for receiving federal financial aid and must be pursuing their first bachelor's degree. The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2016-2017 academic year is $5815. The Pell Grant program is limited to six years of eligibility.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY GRANT – The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program provides funding for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contribution (EFC), as measured using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are the first to be offered a FSEOG. Annual award amounts vary.

FSEOG is offered to students as a result of completing the FAFSA. There is no separate application.

TEACH GRANT PROGRAM – The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program is available to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Recipients of the TEACH Grant must serve as a full-time highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school for at least four academic years within eight calendar years after completing or withdrawing from the academic program for which the grant was received. If the teaching requirement is not met, the TEACH Grant funds received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that must be repaid, with interest charged from the date of the TEACH Grant disbursement(s). To be eligible you must:

  • Complete the FAFSA;
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a postsecondary educational institution that has chosen to participate in the TEACH Grant Program;
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25);
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve;

The maximum annual award amount is $4,000. This maximum however can be reduced, based on the availability of federal funding.

To be considered for a TEACH Grant the student must contact his financial aid counselor. Because of the service committment, the TEACH Grant is not automatically included in the financial aid award.

More specific information regarding the TEACH Grant can be found at the TEACH Grant Program Fact Sheet.

IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN SERVICE GRANT – A student who is not eligible for a Pell Grant but whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Additional Student Eligibility Requirements
  • Be under 24 years old or
  • Enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent's or guardian's death.

The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Pell Grant for the award year - not to exceed the cost of attendance for that award year.


State Grants*

TENNESSEE STUDENT ASSISTANCE AWARD – The Tennessee Student Assistance Award Program (TSAA) was established to provide non-repayable financial assistance to financially-needy undergraduate students who are residents of Tennessee. Applicants must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment, at least half time, at a public or an eligible non-public postsecondary institution in Tennessee. The TSAA is a state-funded grant program and includes funds from the Tennessee Education Lottery.

To be eligible, the applicant must:
  • complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and
  • have a valid Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 2100 or less, and
  • be a Tennessee resident, if a dependent student, parents must also be a Tennessee resident, and
  • be enrolled at least half time at an eligible Tennessee postsecondary institution, and
  • maintain institutional satisfactory academic progress according to the standards and practices of the institution, and
  • not be in default on a loan or owe a refund on any grant previously received at any institution, and
  • who have not received a baccalaureate degree.

To receive priority consideration, students are strongly encouraged to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1 each year.

Starting with the 2014-2015 academic year, prior-year recipients (renewals) will receive the award if they meet all eligibility requirements and complete the FAFSA on or before March 1. After March 1, remaining funds will be awarded to the neediest applicants who apply by March 1 based on the availability of funds. Awards are made until funds are depleted.

Maximum award amounts are determined by the TSAC Board of Directors prior to the beginning of the fall term. The amount of the award is based on the institution indicated on the student’s FAFSA. Award amounts for an academic year are: 

Four-year/two-year private  – $4,000

The final amount is determined by the institution. The financial aid office may revise the amount of the award for one of the following reasons:

Overaward - the TSAA is one of several government-funded programs of financial aid for students. A variety of privately funded programs are also available as well as the assistance many parents are able to provide their children. TSAC policy requires the institution to certify that each recipient’s aid, when combined with other resources, does not exceed the cost of attending the institution. If a situation arises in which a student’s aid and resources exceed the cost of attendance, the financial aid office at the institution must reduce or cancel the award to prevent an overaward.

Part-Time Enrollment – TSAA’s initial award is based on full-time enrollment. The student’s institution will certify each term of enrollment and if a student is enrolled less than full time the institution must adjust the award accordingly. 

Early Withdrawal – award recipients who withdraw prior to the completion of a term may have a portion of the award reduced in accordance with the institution’s published refund policy.

Award recipients must use the TSAA for educational expenses. Funds are disbursed to the institution on behalf of the recipient and will be credited to the student’s account in accordance with the institution’s published policy. 

Award recipients may receive awards until the program of study is complete or for the following, whichever comes first:
  • 4-Year Program up to 8 semesters or 12 quarters/trimesters;
  • 3-Year Program up to 6 semesters or 9 quarters/trimesters;
  • 2-Year Program up to 4 semesters or 6 quarters/trimesters;
  • 1-Year Program up to 2 semesters or 3 quarters/trimesters; or
  • 6-Month Program up to 1 semester or 2 quarters/trimesters.

Eligible Institution – award recipients must attend an eligible Tennessee school, college or university and be enrolled at least half time. You must list the eligible institution as your first choice when you initially complete your FAFSA.

Transfer – to change your institution, you can complete a Change of Institution Request by clicking here or go to www.tn.gov/TSACstudentportal and select your institution choice from the drop down menu. If you change your institution choice through the TSAC Student Financial Aid Portal the change is made immediately. For a list of eligible institutions, please click here.

Because available funding is insufficient to reach all eligible applicants, early filing of the FAFSA is strongly encouraged as soon as possible after January 1. Awards are made until funds are depleted. First priority is given to U.S. citizens.


TENNESSEE HOPE ACCESS GRANT

Students must meet the following requirements:

  • Apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at www.fafsa.gov. Applications must be received by September 1st for fall semester, February 1st for spring and summer semesters. Early application is recommended.
  • Have been a Tennessee resident for one year by September 1 of the application date. For students beginning spring and summer terms, residency determined by February 1 as of application date,
  • Graduate from a TN eligible high school
    • Exceptions may be granted to TN residents who graduate from high schools located in states other than Tennessee. They include: 
      • High schools located in bordering out-of-state counties
      • High schools in which dependents of active duty military members or civilian workers of the US Department of Defense, Tennessee National Guard on active duty may attend
        • Members of the Armed Forces or TN National Guard must have Tennessee as the Home of Record at the time of entry into military service.
      • High schools in which dependents of full-time religious workers in foreign nations may attend
      • Out-of-state boarding schools that are regionally accredited or accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
  • Enroll in one of the Tennessee public colleges, universities, or private colleges. Click Here for listing.
  • Entering freshmen must have a minimum weighted* 2.75 GPA AND 18 - 20 ACT (860 - 970 SAT), exclusive of the essay and optional subject area battery tests AND
  • ACT/SAT exams must be taken on a national test date or state test date and prior to the first day of college enrollment after high school graduation. The ACT Residual test is not accepted
  • Parents' or independent student's and spouse's adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less on IRS tax form
  • Grant non-renewable – Student will be eligible for Tennessee HOPE Scholarship by meeting HOPE Scholarship renewal criteria and maintaining enrollment and other applicable requirements without the award

* Weighted grade point average means a grade point average on a 4.0 scale calculated with additional internal quality points awarded for advanced placement, honors or other similar courses according to the Uniform Grading Policy adopted by the State Board of Education.

Award Amounts for the HOPE Access Grant
For students who first received HOPE in fall 2009 through summer 2015
Four-Year Institutions: Up to $1,375 per full-time enrollment semester; including summer
For entering freshmen beginning with fall 2015 and thereafter 
Four-Year Institutions: Up to $1,250 per full-time enrollment semester, including summer

HELPING HEROES GRANT
The award amount is $1,000 per semester for a student who successfully completes twelve (12) or more semester hours with no failing grade as the final grade for the course. The student shall receive $500 per semester for successfully completing six (6) to eleven (11) semester hours with no failing grade as a final grade for the course. The student shall not receive an award if enrolled in fewer than six (6) semester hours.

The Helping Heroes Grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to be eligible, the student must:

  • Be an honorably discharged veteran who had formally served the armed forces of the United States, or a former or current member of a reserve or Tennessee National Guard unit who was called into active military service of the United States
  • Be a Tennessee resident for one year preceding the date of application for this grant
  • Be awarded the following:
    • Iraq Campaign Medal;
    • Afghanistan Campaign Medal; or
    • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, on or after Sept. 11, 2001
  • Enroll at an eligible 2-year or 4-year postsecondary institution (Click Here for a listing)
  • Have not earned a baccalaureate degree;
  • Not be in default on a federal Title IV educational loan or Tennessee educational loan;
  • Not owe a refund on a federal Title IV student financial aid program or a Tennessee student financial aid program;
  • Be in compliance with federal drug-free rules and laws for receiving financial assistance;
  • Not be incarcerated;
  • Meet each qualification relating to this grant and applicable to the student; and
  • Not be required to meet any academic standard at the time of enrollment in order to be eligible for this grant.
  • Award of a Helping Heroes Grant shall be made after the completion of a semester, so long as the student successfully completes the course with a non-failing grade as the final grade for the course.

Application Deadline:
Complete the application for a Helping Heroes Grant for each academic year. The application processing deadline are: September 1 for fall enrollment, February 1 for spring, or May 1 for summer enrollment. Please mail your DD-214 to the address below or fax it to the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation at (615) 741-6101.

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
404 James Robertson Parkway, Suite 1510
Nashville, TN 37243

Continuation Requirements:
  • Successfully complete a course while enrolled at an eligible 2-year or 4-year postsecondary institution with no failing grade as the final grade for the course
  • Grant may be awarded for a maximum of eight (8) “full” semesters
    • 6-11 semester hours completed constitutes ½ semester
  • Grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis
Award Termination Criteria:
  • Receive the award for eight (8) full semesters have passed; or
  • Eighth anniversary of the veteran’s honorable discharge from military service; whichever comes first; or
  • Earning a baccalaureate degree, whichever comes first

Tennessee Hope Foster Child Tuition Grant - A foster child is defined as one who was in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services:

  1. For at least one (1) year after reaching fourteen (14) years of age;
  2. For at least one (1) year after reaching fourteen (14) years of age and placed for adoption by the Department of Children’s Services or one of its adoption contract agencies and the adoption was finalized; or
  3. For at least one (1) year and placed in permanent guardianship by the Department of Children’s Services after reaching fourteen (14) years of age.
The receipt of a Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant is contingent upon the following:
  1. Student must meet the high school requirements for the Tennessee HOPE scholarship or Tennessee HOPE Access grant; and
  2. Be admitted to an eligible postsecondary institution. Academically qualifying for any of these award programs does not guarantee admission to an eligible postsecondary institution.

Eligibility – Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant

  1. In addition to meeting the minimum HOPE and HOPE Access Grant eligibility requirements, a student shall present the Corporation with official certification from the Department of Children’s Services that the student meets the eligibility requirement for the HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant.

Award Amounts

  1. A Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant for a student attending an eligible public postsecondary institution shall be the cost of attendance less any gift aid with the total award not exceeding the cost of tuition and mandatory fees at an eligible postsecondary institution. Gift aid means scholarships and grants from any source that do not require repayment, including funds provided through the federal Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and other similar programs. Student loans and work-study programs shall not be considered gift aid.
  2. A Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant for a student attending an eligible four-year OR two-year independent postsecondary institution shall not exceed the statewide average tuition and mandatory fees for a public four-year or two-year postsecondary institution.

Continuation Requirements
The student shall be eligible for the Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant:

  • For a period of no more than four (4) years after the date of graduation from high school or equivalent; and
  • For a period of six (6) years after admittance to an eligible public postsecondary institution, if, except as provided by TSAC Rule 1640-1-19-.20 or 1640-1-19-.21, the student maintains satisfactory progress in a course of study in accordance with the standards and practices used for Title IV programs by the postsecondary institution in which the student is currently enrolled.

Nothing in these requirements shall be construed to limit the participation of a youth in or formerly in the custody of the state in any other program of financial assistance for postsecondary education.


WILDER-NAIFEH TECHNICAL SKILLS GRANT
Award amount - $2,000 (no more than cost of attendance)

Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant Recipients Must:

  • Apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at www.fafsa.gov. Applications must be received by July 1 for the Summer trimester, November 1 for the Fall trimester, and May 1 for the Winter/Spring trimester. Early application is recommended
  • Enroll in a certificate or diploma program at a Tennessee College of Applied Technology and maintain satisfactory academic progress and continuous enrollment
  • As of Fall 2015, prior Tennessee HOPE Scholarship recipients may qualify
  • Cannot be a prior recipient of the Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant 
  • Available to all students enrolled at a Tennessee College of Applied Technology who are TN residents for one (1) year prior to enrollment 

Termination Criteria: Grant terminates after earning certificate or diploma

Under certain circumstances, Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant recipients who complete their diploma from a Tennessee College of Applied Technology consisting of at least nine hundred (900) clock hours may be eligible to receive a HOPE Scholarship by enrolling at an eligible two-year or four-year postsecondary institution within three years of completing a diploma.


TENNESSEE HOPE FOSTER CHILD TUITION GRANT
A foster child is defined as one who was in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services:
  1. For at least one (1) year after reaching fourteen (14) years of age;
  2. For at least one (1) year after reaching fourteen (14) years of age and placed for adoption by the Department of Children’s Services or one of its adoption contract agencies and the adoption was finalized; or
  3. For at least one (1) year and placed in permanent guardianship by the Department of Children’s Services after reaching fourteen (14) years of age.

The receipt of a Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant is contingent upon the following:

  1. Student must meet the high school requirements for the Tennessee HOPE scholarship or Tennessee HOPE Access grant; and
  2. Be admitted to an eligible postsecondary institution. Academically qualifying for any of these award programs does not guarantee admission to an eligible postsecondary institution.

Eligibility – Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant

  1. In addition to meeting the minimum HOPE and HOPE Access Grant eligibility requirements, a student shall present the Corporation with official certification from the Department of Children’s Services that the student meets the eligibility requirement for the HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant.
Award Amounts
  1. A Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant for a student attending an eligible public postsecondary institution shall be the cost of attendance less any gift aid with the total award not exceeding the cost of tuition and mandatory fees at an eligible postsecondary institution. Gift aid means scholarships and grants from any source that do not require repayment, including funds provided through the federal Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and other similar programs. Student loans and work-study programs shall not be considered gift aid.
  2. A Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant for a student attending an eligible four-year OR two-year independent postsecondary institution shall not exceed the statewide average tuition and mandatory fees for a public four-year or two-year postsecondary institution.

Continuation Requirements
The student shall be eligible for the Tennessee HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant:

  • For a period of no more than four (4) years after the date of graduation from high school or equivalent; and
  • For a period of six (6) years after admittance to an eligible public postsecondary institution, if, except as provided by TSAC Rule 1640-1-19-.20 or 1640-1-19-.21, the student maintains satisfactory progress in a course of study in accordance with the standards and practices used for Title IV programs by the postsecondary institution in which the student is currently enrolled.

Nothing in these requirements shall be construed to limit the participation of a youth in or formerly in the custody of the state in any other program of financial assistance for postsecondary education.


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