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State Scholarships, Grants, & Loan Forgiveness Programs

The State of Tennessee offers many scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs to eligible Tennessee residents.  Below are a few of the scholarship programs.  Here is a brochure that gives a breakdown of various Tennessee Grant and Scholarships published by THEC-TSAC:   Visit for a more complete listing of programs and more detailed information as amount and restrictions may change without notice.

TN Education Lottery Programs (list below is not all inclusive):

Tennessee HOPE Scholarship- Requires Minimum 21 ACT or 980 SAT or Unweighted GPA of 3.0. The Tennessee HOPE Scholarship is awarded to students who graduate from TN high schools and who meet the requirements. Amount - $3,500 per year.  Other restrictions and guidelines may apply.

General Assembly Merit Scholarship- Minimum weighted 3.75 GPA and 29 ACT.  The General Assembly Merit Scholarship is for entering freshman who have excelled in their TN high school. This scholarship is in conjunction with the TN HOPE Scholarship.  Amount - $1,000 per year + HOPE Scholarship amount.

Aspire Award- Must meet the HOPE Scholarship requirements and must have parents' or independent student's and spouse's adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less on IRS tax form.  The Aspire Award rewards students an extra scholarship on their HOPE Award if they meet the requirements. Amount - $1,500 per year + HOPE Scholarship.

Tennessee HOPE Access Grant- Minimum unweighted GPA 2.75 GPA and 18-20 ACT/860-970 SAT and must have parents' or independent student's and spouse's adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less on IRS tax form.  The Tennessee HOPE Access Grant gives students an opportunity to qualify for the HOPE Scholarship after their first year if the renewal requirements are met. Amount - $2,750 during fall and spring attendance.

Dual Enrollment Grant- Grant for students currently enrolled in high school while taking post-secondary college credit.

Tennessee Grant Programs (list below is not all inclusive):

Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA)- Based on results from the FAFSA. Must submit FAFSA before February 1st to qualify, but state funds for this grant are limited.  Student with a FAFSA Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 are given top priority.  Annual Full-time Award: $4,000; Prorated Award 3/4 time: $3,000; Prorated Award 1/2 time: $2,000.

State of TN Programs (list below is not all inclusive):

Ned McWherter Scholarship- Minimum 3.5 GPA and ACT/SAT Score in the top 5% nationally. Application Due: February 15th.  The Ned WcWherter Scholarship is a highly competitive scholarship to reward Tennessee students who finish in the Top 5% nationally on the ACT or SAT.  Amount - $6,000 per year ($3,000 from the state with university funds awarded from any university source contributing $3,000 in matching funds).

TN Promise Scholarship- Last dollar program for undergraduates in our Associate Degree Programs.

TN Reconnect Grant- Last dollar program for independent students that have not earned an associate degree or bachelor degree.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)- Workforce Training is provided through TN's career system that is divided into 13 Local Workforce Investment Areas.  Carson-Newman's Nursing program qualifies as a eligible workforce training program.  For more information on qualifications, please contact our School of Nursing.

TN Loan Forgiveness Programs (list below is not all inclusive): 

Minority Teaching Fellows Program- Loan forgiveness to encourage talented minority Tennesseans to enter the teaching field in Tennessee.  The award is $5,000 per year for students who pursue a teacher certification.

Graduate Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program- Loan forgiveness program designed to encourage Tennessee residents who are registered nurses to become teachers and administrators in Tennessee nursing education programs.

Tennessee Teaching Scholars Program (This program has been closed and is not accepting new applicants. The 2020-2021 academic school year is the program's last year of new awardees.)- Loan forgiveness program to encourage exemplary students entering the teaching field in Tennessee.


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