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Student Scholarships, Grants, Loans & Financial Aid Programs :

Policy/Guideline Area

Student Policies

Applicable Divisions

Community Colleges


This policy covers the establishment of and participation in student scholarship and financial aid programs by TBR community colleges. (TCATs are covered by separate policy.)


  1. Federal, State and Private Financial Aid, Loan, and Scholarship Programs
    1. All institutions are hereby authorized to participate in any private, federal, or state programs providing financial aid, loans, scholarships, grants, and other forms of educational assistance to students. Institutions must meet the eligibility requirements for participation and comply with all federal and state laws and regulations related to said programs.
    2. In participating in educational assistance programs, institutions shall comply with all applicable laws, including anti-discrimination laws. Institutions may participate in any educational assistance programs provided by the federal government or the State of Tennessee.
  2. Institutional Scholarships and Grant Programs
    1. General Parameters
      1. State appropriations shall be expended or applied only to Access and Diversity grants.
      2. Each institution is authorized to employ students under local work programs.
      3. Institutions may award scholarships and grants, in any of the programs listed below in Sections II. C. and D., to students who are full-time, part-time, out-of-state, or Tennessee residents.
      4. The maximum amount of an individual academic service scholarship awarded for any one semester or summer session shall be the amount of the maintenance fees (and/or out-of-state tuition) for the semester or summer session plus an allowance for books and supplies. The maximum books and supplies allowance shall be commensurate with the book and supply allowance component of the standard student budget compiled by the institution's financial aid officer. The maximum amount that may be awarded to any individual during a single fiscal year shall not exceed the total amount of combined fees and book allowances defined herein. For the purposes of this policy, maintenance fees (and\or out-of-state tuition) shall be defined as all mandatory fees payable by a student for continued enrollment at the institution, including but not limited to debt service fees, student activity fees, and registration fees. The maximum amount awarded to a part-time student shall be prorated based on the number of hours for which the student is enrolled. Refunds shall be handled in accordance with TBR refund policy outlined in TBR Guideline B-060. The provisions of this section do not apply to privately funded scholarships or grants.
      5. Each institution shall establish specific criteria for the scholarship programs listed below in Sections II. C. and D. Such criteria must meet the minimum limitations set forth in this TBR policy; however, the institution may set criteria which is more restrictive than the TBR policy. The written procedures implementing this policy and all requirements for eligibility, maintenance, and renewal shall be clearly published in the official catalog of the institution and through the institutional website.
    2. Funding Sources for Scholarships and Grant Programs
      1. Academic Scholarships and Institutional Grants may be funded by a maximum of l0% of total tuition and fees received by the institution in any one year. An exception to this limitation may be made upon approval of the Chancellor and subsequent approval of the budget by TBR.
      2. Athletic and Performance Grants may be funded by private contributions, donations, endowment earnings designated for scholarships and grants, revenues derived from the activities in which the student participates, and student fees specifically programmed and approved for such assistance.
      3. Access and Diversity Grants shall be funded by state funds and may be supplemented by other campus revenue sources.
    3. Scholarship and Grant Programs Requiring Service to the Institution
      1.  Athletic Grants
        1. Each institution is authorized to award grants for students involved in athletics.
        2. Grants for athletes awarded by institutions shall be subject to applicable limitations imposed by any national, regional, or other conference or association of which the institution is a member.
        3. The requirement of service to the institution is satisfied by student performance of athletic endeavors.
      2. Performance Grants
        1. The institution may award grants to students who perform a service to the institution, such as band members, cheerleaders, spirit squad members, staff of student newspapers and yearbooks, etc.
        2. The service requirement is fulfilled by the performance of the activity by the student.
      3. Other Institutional Grants
        1. Institutional Grants may be provided for assisting handicapped, physically disadvantaged, and economically disadvantaged students.
      4. Academic Service Scholarships
        1. Awards to first-time freshmen shall be limited to students who had a minimum high school average of 2.9 or the equivalent. In addition, first-time freshmen shall have a minimum enhanced ACT composite score of 19 to be eligible for consideration. Awards to GED students shall be based upon evidence of comparable scholastic ability. Institutions may make exception to the requirements of this paragraph when admitting freshmen who have not attended high school or another postsecondary institution for at least four years.
        2. Awards to transfer and other than first-time freshman students will require a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.5 earned on the basis of at least twelve (12) credit hours. Students who have completed less than twelve (12) credit hours shall, for the purposes of this policy, be considered first-time freshmen.
        3. Renewal of academic service scholarships after the initial academic year of the freshman shall require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. All subsequent renewals shall be reviewed at the end of each semester and require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.
          1. Students must complete a minimum amount of twelve credits, if full time and six credits, if part time.
        4. Awards of academic service scholarships shall be made on a semester basis. Failure to maintain the required grade-point average or a satisfactory standard of conduct will result in the automatic forfeiture of the scholarship. A student who forfeits a scholarship for any of the above reasons may be eligible for consideration after the lapse of at least one full semester. Exceptions to this provision may be made when approved by the institution's president or designee.
        5. Economic status and need of the applicant will be considered a favorable factor only when all other conditions appear equal. Consideration may be given to the student's potential for the future as well as his or her area of specialization in relation to the needs of the state and the nation.
        6. An Academic Service Scholarship shall involve a service obligation to the institution of 75 hours per semester.  The service obligation will be structured to primarily provide an educational benefit to the student, not a work benefit to the institution.  The service requirement for part-time and summer session students shall be prorated based on the number of hours for which the student is enrolled.
          1. Students must complete a minimum amount of twelve credits, if full time and six credits, if part time.
          2. The institution may define service for the purpose of the scholarship to include academic or co-curricular activities, such as study abroad, undergraduate research, service learning, student teaching, nursing clinical, social work practicum, and approved institutional service.
      5. Recipients must work not less than 300 hours per calendar year. Activities will include but not be limited to participation in research projects, generation of publications, support of activities related to increased extramural findings, and other scholarly activities as deemed appropriate by the Special Research Project Review Committee. This Committee, made up of basic scientists, clinical practitioners/research and research project administrators, will oversee the selection of and assignments to work-study projects.
    4. Grants Which Do Not Require Service to the Institution
      1. Access and Diversity grants may be provided to students in accordance with the terms of such grants.
      2. Students receiving Access and Diversity grants are not required to provide service to the institution.
      3. Students enrolled in institutional Honors programs which require significant enrichment activities by the student over and above normal course requirements are not by this policy required to provide service to the institution.
      4. Students receiving privately-funded or publicly-funded scholarships which require an institutional match are not by this policy required to provide service to the institution.
    5. Exceptions
      1. The President or designee is authorized to approve other scholarships/grants so long as the total amount of these and other academic scholarships and institutional grants funded under this policy do not exceed a maximum of 10% of total tuition and fees received by the institution in any one year.



T.C.A. § 49-8-203


TBR Meetings: December 8, l978; March l8, l983; September 30, l983; June 29, l984; June 29, l990; December 11, 1992; March 30, 2001; April 2, 2004; June 30, 2006: June 19, 2009; TBR Board Meeting September 25, 2009; December 8, 2011; TBR Board Meeting June 19, 2015; September 7, 2023 (ministerial changes).