Don't Lose Hope

If you have received a Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS), we hope that you will make every effort to maintain your eligibility so that you can continue to receive the scholarship while completing your degree at ETSU.  Please carefully read ALL of the policies below.  These policies apply any semester you are receiving the scholarship, including summer.  And if you have lost your scholarship, these policies apply for the semesters in which you are attempting to regain your eligibility.

What can you do to maintain your eligibility?

  • Study
  • Go to class
  •  Make good grades
  •  Meet with your advisor regularly
  •  Register for classes carefully
  •  Don't drop from full-time to part-time status or from part-time to below half-time status after census date
  •  Decide upon a major ASAP
  •  Stay in school
  •  Complete the FAFSA every year before September 1 for fall term and before February 1 for spring and summer terms

Attempted hours and grades

Your academic record will be reviewed at the end of the semesters in which you reach one of the checkpoints. The grade point averages required to maintain your eligibility at the checkpoints are:

  •  24 attempted hours        2.75
  •  48 attempted hours        2.75
  • 72 attempted hours         3.00
  • 96 attempted hours         3.00
  • 120 attempted hours       3.00

But if at the 72,96 or 120 hour checkpoint you have a cumulative TELS gpa of at least 2.75 AND a term gpa of 3.0, you can keep your TELS award for the next term if you are enrolled as a full-time student. As long as you continue to be a full-time student and to earn a term gpa of at least 3.0, you can keep the scholarship on a term by term basis.

You must also maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as defined by the ETSU Office of Financial Aid. You can find the SAP policy on the Office of Financial Aid webpage:  www.etsu.edu/finaid

Regaining your TELS award

If you lose your TELS award due to your gpa, you can earn it back by improving your grades. We will review your gpa again when you reach the next checkpoint. If you then have the required gpa, you will regain your scholarship for the next major semester. You will not receive a retroactive TELS award for the semester(s) during which you improved your gpa. You can only regain your TELS award one time.

If you lose the General Assembly Merit Scholarship due to grades and then regain your eligibility, you will only receive the Hope Scholarship (or Need Based Supplement, if you qualify) and you will not be entitled to the additional General Assembly Merit Scholarship funds.

Attempted hours do not include:

  • College level classes completed before high school graduation or any credit hours earned by examination (AP, CLEP, or challenge exams)
  •  Classes that you audit

 Attempted hours include:

  •  All classes for which you have registered, including developmental studies classes and classes in which you have received a "W" or an "I"
  •  All classes dropped after the end of the second week of classes (census date)
  •  All previous classes taken, even those that are considered ;non-transferable (if you transferred from another school)
  • Any class for which you have received a grade, even if you repeat the class. But, you can petition to have ONE repeated grade replace a previous grade in your TELS gpa. (Both classes will count in your total number of attempted hours.) You can do this ONE TIME ONLY. But, even if using the repeated grade raises your gpa to the required level, you will only regain your TELS award at the next checkpoint. Use your ONE TIME wisely. The forms are available in the Records Office, room 101 Burgin Dossett Hall

TELS GPA VS. ETSU GPA

Under TELS rules, your "TELS gpa" is calculated and reviewed after every 24 attempted hours as described above. It is this figure that determines whether you have met the gpa requirement to remain eligible to receive the TELS award. Your "TELS gpa" may be different than your "ETSU gpa".  The "ETSU gpa" reflects all hours earned and recalculates when you repeat a course, but it is not used for determining TELS eligibility. You can track your "TELS gpa" through GoldLink.

  Dropping Classes

Students receiving TELS who are full-time (12 hours or more) as of the census date and change to part-time status will lose eligibility for a TELS award for all subsequent semesters, unless you request, and the TELS Institutional Review Panel approves the change. You must have documented medical or personal grounds such as illness, death or illness of immediate family member, or extreme financial hardship. Part-time students receiving TELS who drop below 6 hours will lose eligibility for a TELS award for all subsequent semesters unless you request, and the TELS Institutional Review Panel approves the change. You must have documented medical or personal grounds such as illness, death or illness of immediate family member, or extreme financial hardship.

Full-time vs. Part-time status

Award amounts are determined by the number of hours for which you are registered as of census date.  (See ETSU's Academic Calendar).  Eligible students who are registered for 12 hours or more will receive a full award.  Part-time students may also receive an award:

  • Eligible students enrolled in 6-8 hours receive half of a TELS award
  • Eligible students enrolled in 9-11 hours receive 3/4 of a TELS award

Continuous Enrollment Required

Think twice about taking a break from school!

You MUST maintain continuous enrollment in at least one class in order to maintain your TELS eligibility. That means you MUST be enrolled for the fall and spring semester every year. You do not have to be enrolled in summer school. If you need to take a break for verifiable and documentable personal or medical reasons such as illness or medical treatment of yourself or of an immediate family member, extreme financial hardship of your immediate family, or to fulfill a religious commitment expected of all students of your faith, you MUST petition ETSU's Institutional Review Panel for a Leave of Absence IN ADVANCE. Emergency situations, which will not become verifiable and documentable until after the fact (such as injuries sustained in an accident or the death of an immediate family member), will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but in most circumstances, you will have adequate opportunity to request a leave of absence BEFORE you leave ETSU for all non-emergency medical and personal situations. Students who choose to participate in a short course or other personal or professional development program for which ETSU does not grant academic credit MUST request a leave of absence BEFORE they withdraw from their current enrollment. Failure to request the leave of absence BEFORE participating in such programs necessitating not being enrolled at ETSU will result in loss of the scholarship. If you are mobilized for active duty military service, you can receive a personal Leave of Absence and your TELS eligibility will not be affected. 

Finish each semester you start

If you fail to complete a semester for any reason, you must repay your TELS award unless you file and are granted a refund from the bursar's office. You must provide written documentation substantiating your reasons for the appeal.

Grade changes

If you have lost your TELS award and receive a grade change which reinstates your eligibility, you must notify the Office of Financial Aid within 30 calendar days of the grade change. This includes changing an Incomplete grade. If you fail to complete the "I", or if your completed grade makes you ineligible for the TELS award, you must repay any award you received since the "I" grade was posted.

Transient (visiting) students

You may be eligible for a TELS award if you visit another TELS eligible school for a semester. You should contact the Office of Financial Aid at your home institution for the appropriate form.  Because the hours and grades for these classes will be calculated as part of your TELS gpa, you should have an official transcript of these classes sent to the Admissions office within two weeks of completing these classes.

Limits on Awards

If you initially received a TELS award before the 2009 fall term you can receive a TELS award until the first of the following occurs:

  • You earn a baccalaureate degree
  • Five years have passed since you initially enrolled at any postsecondary institution

If you initially received a TELS award in the 2009 fall term or thereafter you can receive a TELS award until the first of the following occurs:

  • You earn a baccalaureate degree
  • Five years have passed since you initially enrolled at any postsecondary institution
  • You have attempted 120 lottery scholarship hours


Summer Awards

If you initially received a TELS award before the 2009 fall term you are NOT eligible for a TELS award for summer terms (unless you have not received a full TELS award for the preceding fall or spring terms).

If you initially received a TELS award in the 2009 fall term or thereafter you may be eligible to receive a summer TELS award.   You are subject to all TELS rules during any term you receive a TELS award.

  You must reapply every year!

You must complete the renewal FAFSA every year. The application deadline is September 1 for fall term and February 1 for spring and summer terms. Apply on-line at www.FAFSA.ed.gov.