HOPE Information for Incoming Freshmen

Welcome to the University of Memphis. We are glad that you have chosen to attend our institution. The following is important information regarding the HOPE Lottery Scholarship.

Basic Eligibility Requirements of the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship:

  1. Resident of Tennessee for at least one year as of September 1 of the year entering college.
  2. Enroll in college within 16 months of your high school graduation.
  3. Graduate from an accredited Tennessee high school (special provisions apply to home school students).
  4. Make a 21 or higher on the ACT or 980 or higher on the SAT OR compile a 3.0 or higher unweighted high school GPA.
  5. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have results sent to the University of Memphis. It is recommended that the FAFSA be completed prior to March 1, but no later than September 1 to still meet lottery requirements.
  6. HOPE Aspire students must meet all of the HOPE Scholarship criteria, and also have an adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less.
  7. HOPE Merit students must meet all of the HOPE Scholarship criteria, and have a 29 on the ACT and a final unweighted GPA of a 3.75.

Eligibility Determination Process

Once you have met the basic requirements listed above, the process begins with your high school counselor.

  1. Your high school counselor will report your final unweighted GPA and test scores to TSAC (Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation) once you have officially graduated from high school.
  2. Those scores will be used by the state to determine your eligibility and that information will be made available to the University of Memphis.
  3. In the event, your final unweighted GPA and/or test scores are not reported to TSAC by the high school counselor, it is your responsibility to contact your high school counselor and ask them to do this.


You must complete a FAFSA each year that you are in school.

Eligibility shall be reviewed by the institution at the end of the semester in which the student has attempted a total of 24, 48, 72, 96, and any subsequent multiples of 24 semester hours thereafter. Additionally, at 72 attempted semester hours and beyond, students may be reviewed at the end of each semester if they maintain the award on a provisional basis. The student:

  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 after 24 and 48 attempted semester hours. After attempting 72 hours and beyond, a student may retain the award by either:
    • Achieving a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 OR
    • Achieving a 2.75; 2.99 cumulative GPA after 72, 96, and any subsequent multiples of 24 attempted semester hours thereafter AND a semester GPA of at least a 3.0 in the preceding semester in which the student will receive the award as a full-time enrolled student. (The student will be reviewed on a semester-by-semester basis and must maintain full-time enrollment).
  • Must maintain continuous enrollment AND satisfactory academic progress.
  • Be enrolled in at least 6 hours; 12 if a provisional student.
  •  As of Fall 2015, if a student who first receives the HOPE Scholarship in the Fall semester of 2009 or thereafter, the HOPE Scholarship is terminated after the first of the following occurs: attainment of baccalaureate degree OR 5 years have passed from initial enrollment OR the student has attempted at any postsecondary institution a total of one hundred twenty (120) semester hours or has received the HOPE Scholarship for eight (8) full-time equivalent semesters, whichever occurs last.

If you have questions about the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship program, visit the Scholarship office in 201 Wilder Tower or call (901) 678-3213 OR contact TSAC for details.