As a resident of the state of Tennessee, you probably would have heard about Tennessee state grants but may still not know how to apply for one. These grant awards are aimed at making life easier for you and the good news is that you are eligible for a number of them as long as you are a lawful resident of America’s Volunteer state.
These programs can provide financial assistance for a variety of needs, including education, business start-ups, and housing. However, even as a resident of the state of Tennessee, you may not be eligible for every available grant award in the state. This is because there are different eligibility criteria for Tennessee state grants, which means that you only need to go for the ones you qualify for while leaving the rest for others.
In this article, we will look to touch on a number of Tennessee state grants, while also looking to give you insight into the application processes for each of these grants, so that you can get easy access to the funds you need. But, we get into all that, just what are grants?
What are grants?
Grants are a type of financial aid that are made available by government (federal government or state government), agencies and other sources, such as private foundations or nonprofit organizations to help you pay for imperatives that you would otherwise have not been able to afford. The good thing about grants is that they do not have to be repaid, meaning that you could make use of them without needing to worry about paying off the debt afterwards.
Sounds easy, right? Yeah it may, but getting grants are far as you may have noticed if you have been trying for sometime, without success. Also, the basic prerequisite for getting grants, is that you have to really need the help (most grants will insist that you demonstrate this, albeit in different ways). This is because grants are usually need-based, meaning they are awarded to students who demonstrate the need for financial aid.
The federal government is the largest provider of grants, but your state government may also award grants. For example, the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) offers several state-funded grants to eligible Tennessee residents.
If you’re considering pursuing a grant, it’s important to do your research. There are many different types of grants available, so you’ll want to find the one that best suits your needs. You should also make sure you understand the eligibility requirements and any deadlines that apply.
The TSAC website provides detailed information about all of the grants offered by the agency. You can also visit the websites of other grant-making organizations to learn more about their programs.
Also, be sure to complete the application carefully and submit all required documentation. And if you happen to get one eventually, make sure you keep track of any deadlines and fulfill any obligations associated with the grant so as to have a smooth experience.
Some Tennessee state grants
Example of Tennessee state grants include:
The Tennessee Student Assistance Award Program (TSAA) is designed to help students who can prove they need financial assistance and who live in Tennessee pay for their college expenses. (If you have dependents, they must also live in the state.) You must attend school at least half-time at a public school in Tennessee, a private school that has received state approval, or both, and achieve adequate academic progress in order to qualify.
Your Expected Family Contribution, as determined by the federal formula, must not exceed $2,100. You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you have already received aid, your previous loans must not be in default and you must not be obligated to pay back any unused awards.
Depending on the type of post-secondary institution you attend, you may be eligible for grants totaling $1,000 at the Tennessee Technology Center or $4,000 at a private school for a given academic year.
The financial assistance office at your school will determine how much you need, and a number of factors will affect the amount you receive:
- Your school may lower the amount of your TSAA grant in order to prevent an overaward, which occurs when your overall financial aid package exceeds your cost of attendance (COA).
- The amount of classes you sign up for will also be taken into account. The yearly figures above reflect full-time enrolment.
- Your prize can be lessened if you leave the program before the term is over. Schools have different refund procedures.
The money from a TSAA grant is sent straight into your student account and can only be used for educational expenses. This grant can often be used for half of your undergraduate studies.
Depending on the length of your program of study—from one semester of a six-month program to eight semesters of a four-year program—the maximum amount of time covered by your award varies.
The amount of money allocated to TSAA is limited, so submit your FAFSA as soon as you can to improve your chances. You will find a College Pays user account useful for managing the application process.
To be eligible for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award, students must:
- Be a Tennessee resident
- Attend an eligible postsecondary institution in Tennessee
- Demonstrate financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
For more information on the Tennessee Student Assistance Award Program, please visit the Tennessee Higher Education Commission website.
2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Tennessee
The Tennessee Families First is the temporary assistance for needy families programs for the state of Tennessee. In accordance with a statute established by Tennessee lawmakers last year, the reserve sum is limited to $191 million, which is equal to one year’s worth of the funds the state receives from the federal government to operate the program.
Tennessee’s TANF registrants’ monthly cash benefit increased from an average of $277 per family to $387 as a result of the new law last year. One of the nation’s lowest cash payouts has been made under the state’s TANF program, known as Families First.
3. The Tennessee Reconnect Grant
Tennessee Reconnect is a last-dollar scholarship that enables adults to pursue a technical certificate or associate degree without paying tuition.
Steps to applying for a Tennessee reconnect grant.
- Create an account for the site of the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC).
- Select “Apply for Scholarships” on the TSAC portal after creating an account, and then select “Tennessee Reconnect.”
- Fill out the application, then send it in.
- You will then get a unique Reconnect Success Plan. Check it out, print it off, or save it on your computer.
- Submit an application to a Tennessee Reconnect-eligible institution or your local community college. Click here for a comprehensive list of institutions that qualify.
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) here.
- If you require assistance with the FAFSA, get in touch with your neighborhood community college, Tennessee
- College of Applied Technology (TCAT), or Reconnect Navigator.
Enroll in a diploma or degree program part time or full time, and you are good to go.
The Tennessee Promise Scholarship is a need-based grant that covers the cost of tuition at any two-year public college in the state of Tennessee. To be eligible, students must:
- Be a Tennessee resident
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Not have been convicted of a felony
To apply, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
5. The Tennessee Helping Heroes Grant?
Additionally, the Helping Heroes Grant only receives a small amount of state funding, so applying early is advised. There are several requirements for eligibility, and the ones that concern your military service are as follows:
- You must have served in the military and have received an honorable discharge. The Tennessee National Guard and military reserves who meet the requirements for active duty are acceptable.
- You need to have spent at least a year calling Tennessee home.
- You must be in possession of a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal that was awarded to you on or after 9/11, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, or both.
There are other requirements that relate to you and your present situation:
- You must not hold an undergraduate degree and attend a state-approved institution.
- You cannot be in arrears on a Title IV loan program loan from the federal government or the state of Tennessee for educational expenses. You cannot be in debt for either type of financial aid.
- To be eligible for financial help, you must comply by all current federal eligibility requirements. For instance, a drug conviction can make you ineligible. You can’t be locked up.
- Following a successful semester, you will be given your grant.
Students enrolled in between six and eleven credit hours receive $500, while full-time students receive $1,000 per semester from Helping Heroes.
If you are a Tennessee resident who is looking to attend college and are in foster care, or were in foster care until age 18, you may be eligible for the HOPE Foster Child Grant. This grant is available to cover tuition at any two- or four-year public college or university in Tennessee.
To be eligible for the HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant, you must:
•Be a Tennessee resident
•Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
•Have been in foster care for at least one day between your 16th and 18th birthdays OR were adopted from state custody on or after your 16th birthday
•Be enrolled as an undergraduate student taking at least 6 credit hours per semester
•Not have been convicted of a felony
If you meet all of the above criteria, you can apply for the HOPE Foster Child Tuition Grant by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and listing Tennessee as your state of legal residence. You will also need to submit a copy of your high school transcript or GED certificate, as well as proof of foster care placement or adoption from the relevant state authority.
Students enrolled in a Tennessee College of Applied Technology are eligible for the Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant, which was founded and is supported by the net proceeds of the Tennessee state lottery.
Freshmen must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the Tennessee HOPE Access Grant:
- A measured GPA of 2.75
- An ACT score between 18 and 20
- A SAT score between 860 and 970 (without the essay section or subject tests)
- An adjusted gross household income of no more than $36,000 annually. If you are a dependent, that refers to your parents’ income; otherwise, it relates to your own income and, if applicable, your spouse’s income.
If you have all this, you are qualified for a HOPE Scholarship even if you won’t be given a second award.
The Dual Enrollment Grant program is a scholarship for postsecondary study that is funded by the state lottery’s net proceeds and given to students who are enrolled in college courses at eligible postsecondary institutions in order to receive college credit while also attending an eligible high school.
The Tennessee Lottery provides funding for and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation oversees the Dual Enrollment Grant program. Through this program, students can receive their first technical credential or a semester’s worth of college credit while still working toward their high school graduation.
How do I get a grant in Tennessee?
There are many different types of grants available in Tennessee, and the best way to find out which ones you may be eligible for is to contact your local Tennessee State Grant office.
Once you have found a grant that you may be eligible for, the next step is to fill out an application. The application process will vary depending on the grant, but most applications will require some basic information about yourself and your finances.
After you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the grant committee. And if you are approved for the grant, you will be notified and given instructions on how to receive the funds. Such funds can then be used for a variety of purposes, including education, housing, medical bills, and more.
The application process for Tennessee state grants
The process for applying for Tennessee state grants can vary depending on the specific grant program. However, there are some general tips that can help make the process go more smoothly.
Before beginning the application process, ensure that you read through all of the information about the grant program to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements. Once you have gathered all of the required materials, you can begin filling out the application.
Also, make sure you answer all questions as thoroughly and accurately as possible. Incomplete or inaccurate applications may be rejected outright. If you are unsure about any part of the application, it is best to consult with someone who is familiar with the process.
Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed. If your application is approved, you will be notified and will need to provide additional documentation to complete the grant process.
There are many different types of grants available from the state of Tennessee, ranging from financial assistance for college students to funding for businesses and organizations. So, no matter what your need is, there is likely a grant available to help you achieve your goals.
This article touched on a few of those Tennessee state grants, but there are more depending on your needs. Just commit to researching about them and you will find great options for yourself.