HOPE Scholarship program provides record amount of student support
Published 11:57 am Thursday, September 28, 2023
The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) has completed an overview of the HOPE Scholarship Program. In 2003, the General Assembly created the HOPE Scholarship program to provide lottery-funded financial aid to offset the cost of postsecondary education. Tennessee’s students began to benefit from this financial aid in the fall of 2004.
The HOPE Scholarship program is funded through the state’s lottery for education program and is administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. The purpose of the HOPE Scholarship is to provide financial aid for Tennessee students who meet specific academic requirements to attend a public or private postsecondary institution in Tennessee. Eligible students must have either an overall high school grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0, or attain a composite ACT score of at least 21 (or combined SAT score of at least 1060).
Since the initial scholarship amounts were established in 2003, the General Assembly has increased the scholarship value five times with the last increase to the value of the scholarship taking effect on July 1, 2022. Present scholarship values for freshmen and sophomores at four-year colleges are $4,500 per year, $5,700 per year for juniors and seniors at four-year colleges, and $3,200 per year for students at two-year colleges.
Twenty years after the creation of the Tennessee Lottery, the HOPE Scholarship remains the largest expenditure for lottery-funded scholarships. For the just completed 2022-2023 fiscal year, HOPE scholarship expenditures to Tennessee’s post-secondary institutions were $314.5 million and financially assisted 70,633 students. This is the highest annual expenditure since the program’s inception; however, the number of scholarship recipients has declined after reaching a high of 75,814 recipients in 2020-2021.