The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


Tennessee Lottery requirements updated

Students at UTC who are currently receiving funds from the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarships (TELS) need to know about the updated eligibility requirements. According to Dr. David J. Pittenger, Acting Associate Provost for Academic Administration, 1,580 students have received the HOPE scholarship. Of these 1,119 are freshman and 461 are sophomores.

Enrollment Requirements

  • Students may begin each semester as a part-time (6 to 11 credit hours) or a full-time (12 or more credit hours) student. The percentage of the scholarship awarded depends on hours enrolled:
    • 1-5 hours = 0 % of potential award
    • 6-8 hours = 50% of potential award
    • 9-11 hours = 75% of potential award
    • 12 or more hours = 100% of potential award
  • Students beginning the semester as a full time student cannot drop below 12 hours during the semester. Students making this change may permanently lose their scholarship eligibility.
  • Students must remain continuously enrolled, part-time or full-time, for the fall and spring terms.

Credit Hours and TELS GPA requirements

  • Eligibility is determined by performance on TELS coursework, which includes all developmental and all repeated courses, but excludes joint enrollment courses.
  • In some cases the TELS GPA may not equal the UTC GPA, as the TELS GPA includes all developmental and all repeated courses, but excludes joint enrollment courses.
  • Eligibility is reviewed every 24 hours of attempted TELS coursework.
  • Courses taken during the summer count toward the cumulative TELS hours although the coursework is not subsidized by the scholarship.
  • Student must have earned a TELS GPA of at least 2.75 for all TELS coursework at the 24-hour review.
  • Student must have earned a TELS GPA of at least 3.00 for all TELS coursework at the 48-, 72-, and 96-hour reviews.
  • Eligibility ends when students have attempted 120 or more TELS hours.
  • Any course not dropped during the 1st two weeks of a term (or comparable dates for the shorter summer sessions) that results in a "grade" of "W" counts toward the cumulative hours attempted.
  • In addition to the GPA and hour requirements, students must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress as determined by UTC even if they have not reached one of the 24-hour checkpoints. This policy is available from the Financial Aid Office or website.

Withdrawal/Drop Process

  • Students must receive prior approval from the Lottery Scholarship Coordinator, who is in the Financial Aid Office, before withdrawing from UTC or changing their enrollment status from fulltime to part-time. Approvals are only issued for extraordinary circumstances, such as death of an immediate family member, documented serious illness, military mobilization, and similar circumstances.
  • Students who withdraw from school may have to repay a portion of the scholarship in accordance with UTC's published refund policy. Students who withdraw from school may also forfeit their scholarship for future enrollment, whether at UTC or another institution.

Application Renewal Process

  • Students must reapply for TELS funding each academic year by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The deadline for application is May 1.


High school students who seek the Tennessee Hope Scholarship will now need an ACT score of at least 21, or an SAT score of 980, or an overall unweighted Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 to be eligible.

Learn more about requirements for high school students here.

More information about the TELS Program is available online at:

Official TELS lottery rules and regulations are available from the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation's website.

If you have any questions about new eligibility requirements, we want our office to be the focus for Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarships, said Jonathan Looney, Director of the Financial Aid Office at UTC.