ETSU students may get lottery money

JOHNSON CITY - East Tennessee State University students will soon have the opportunity to receive much-needed financial assistance with their college educational costs when the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) bill is enacted.
   Although the final version of the bill is still pending in the legislature, ETSU officials are already making preparations to serve the students who are eligible for the landmark scholarship opportunity.
   Currently enrolled high school seniors who will graduate from a Tennessee high school in 2004 may be eligible for the Tennessee Hope Scholarship worth up to $3,000 per academic year. Eligible students must have a composite score of 19 on the ACT exam or an unweighted high school grade point average of 3.0 and a college core unweighted GPA of 3.0. In addition, they must have completed all college core and university track courses.
   Tennesseans who are homeschooled may also be eligible for this scholarship, depending upon their academic credentials.
   ETSU's currently enrolled freshmen who graduated from a Tennessee high school in 2003 may be eligible for the Tennessee Hope Scholarship if they meet the same high school requirements as the 2004 graduates and have completed 24 semester hours in their first year of college with a minimum 2.75 GPA. At this time, there are no provisions in the bill for currently enrolled sophomores or higher-level college students.
   And, entering ETSU freshmen who have a composite score of 29 on the ACT, an unweighted 3.75 GPA and a college core unweighted GPA of 3.75 may be eligible for an additional $1,000 per academic year from the General Assembly Merit Scholarship. These students also must have completed all college core and university track courses.
   Dependent students whose parents' adjusted gross income on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is $36,000 or less, and independent students whose adjusted gross income (including spouse's income) on the FAFSA is $36,000 or less, may be eligible for the Need Based Supplemental Award worth an additional $1,000 per academic year. Students who qualify may receive either a General Assembly Merit Scholarship or a Need Based Supplemental Award in addition to the Tennessee Hope Scholarship.
   Students who do not qualify for the Tennessee Hope Scholarship, but who have a composite score of 18 on the ACT and at least an unweighted 2.75 GPA and a college core unweighted 2.75 GPA may qualify for the Tennessee Hope Access Grants. To be eligible, students must have completed all required college core courses and must demonstrate the same financial need requirements as those students receiving the Need Based Supplemental Award. The Hope Access Grant award will be $2,000 at ETSU.
   All eligible students who wish to apply for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship must complete the 2004-05 FAFSA or the renewal 2004-05 FAFSA starting Jan. 1, 2004. Students may apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov <http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/> . The application priority date for these scholarships is May 1, and applications received after this date will be considered in the order received to the extent that funding is still available.
   For more information, contact Kathy Feagins in the ETSU Scholarship Office at (423) 439-7094 or feaginsk@etsu.edu by e-mail.