Tennessee Tech Celebrates HOPE Scholarship Extension to Five Years


Recent changes from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission are putting postgraduate studies closer in reach for Tennessee Tech University students, and the university is celebrating with a free graduate school application month from May 1 – 31, 2024.

Effective last fall, qualifying Tennessee students may now use their HOPE lottery scholarship for up to five years, equipping Golden Eagles with up to $5,700 in financial assistance toward the first year of graduate school or an additional year to complete their undergraduate degree.

Julie Baker, interim associate provost and dean of the College of Graduate Studies at Tech, says the extended scholarship opportunity is a game changer for students.

“For students who qualify, it provides them with an opportunity to essentially get up to half of their tuition and fees paid for in their first year of graduate school,” said Baker. “It could mean that, for students who didn’t see graduate school as an option, now it’s an option for them.”

Baker adds that Tech’s College of Graduate Studies offers specific tools to help students maximize the impact of the five-year scholarship. For example, the university’s Master’s of Professional Studies (MPS) track allows students to take seven-week courses, potentially doubling the coursework they can complete in a single semester. Likewise, Tech’s Fast Track program, available in more than a dozen academic departments, allows students to begin earning graduate-level credit hours during their undergraduate studies.

“Our Fast Track is something that is a great option for students to have. It’s a way to get ahead and get extra hours during their undergraduate program,” said Baker. “If students have Fast Tracked in and have a handful of graduate courses already under their belt then, after that fifth year, they could be finished or almost finished with their master’s program.”

For students to retain HOPE scholarship eligibility, they must begin their graduate coursework immediately following the completion of their undergraduate degree. Additionally, to maintain the full scholarship amount, students must be enrolled in at least nine credit hours. Partial HOPE scholarships are available to students enrolled in fewer hours.

As students consider what the extended HOPE scholarship means for them, Tech is making the decision to enroll in the College of Graduate Studies easier by waiving application fees throughout May.

“That’s something we’re really excited about,” added Baker. “Domestic students will not pay a graduate application fee when they complete their application for graduate school.”

Baker encourages prospective graduate students to connect with their advisor, the Office of Financial Aid and/or the College of Graduate Studies to discuss their options, including using the HOPE scholarship for a fifth year.

The College of Graduate Studies’ application deadline for fall 2024 is July 1. Learn more and apply online at tntech.edu/graduatestudies/how-apply.php.

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