Our 2022 update of It Pays to Prep: Tennessee is now complete! This is our easy-to-read guide for merit-based scholarships in Tennessee. We hope that It Pays to Prep will encourage students to consider schools they may not currently be entertaining and motivate them to raise their ACT scores. It Pays to Prep is designed to be user-friendly. However, there are some symbols and terms that may be unfamiliar. Therefore, we have included an explanation for all terms and symbols below.
To utilize It Pays to Prep in its simplest form, look down the left-hand column to find the ACT score and GPA necessary to obtain certain scholarships. If there is no GPA or ACT score listed, the school does not require them for that scholarship. The columns to the right will indicate students' amount per year and over four years if they receive that scholarship. Most of these scholarships are guaranteed scholarships. So, if the student meets the requirements, they will receive that scholarship as long as they get everything turned in on time to that school.
Please note the purpose of this graph is simplicity. We hope to make it easier to compare scholarship and tuition amounts at these different schools. We had to work harder for some schools than others to make them fit in this table, which may lead to a less than complete picture of that scholarship. Once you find scholarships that interest you, please investigate further to find the exact specifications.
This year's update has several new features. The chart is interactive and searchable. All you need to do is click any header to rearrange the data according to that column. You can search for any college to pull up the main merit-based scholarships for that school. We also include weighted (w) and unweighted (u) GPA requirements, whether or not the school accepts superscores, and the last ACT accepted for scholarships. We listed the GPA as weighted (w) for any school that said they would take the highest GPA presented. A school accepting a superscore means using the highest ACT section score across all ACT attempts to create a new composite. For the "Last ACT accepted," there may be specific requirements for the school to take that ACT. For example, some schools will no longer accept an ACT after a student has chosen their classes. Please always investigate further.
There are a few things to know about how we have added Hope (☆) and GAMS (★) (General Assembly Merit Scholarship, which is essentially the second level of the Hope scholarship). Technically, Hope is $3,500 per year the first two years and $4,500 per year the last two years. GAMS is $500 per semester. Therefore, if a student takes summer classes, it would be $1,500 per year. To keep it simple, we use the average of $4,000 per year on Hope and $1,000 per year for GAMS. A student receives Hope if they have a 21 ACT OR a 3.0 GPA. A student wins the GAMS if they have a 29 ACT AND a 3.75 GPA. There are certain places where we have calculated in Hope or GAMS where the student might not receive them. The reason is that Hope and GAMS do not use superscores and the scholarship listed does. Therefore, it's possible to meet the requirements of the scholarship listed but not receive the Hope or GAMS amount that we have calculated into the total award amount. Please be mindful of this situation, and if none of that makes sense, please ignore it.
We have verified all of the information on these scholarships by contacting the school directly. And all of the statistics on the schools are from collegescorecard.ed.gov. However, it is always possible that the school has updated their information since then or that we inaccurately keyed in something in the final form. So if you ever find something incorrect, have any questions about the data, or are a school that wants information added, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you like this chart, you may also enjoy two of our others. First, you can use our FREOPP's ROI calculator to find a searchable list of the expected salary at age 25 and age 45 for the majors at each of these schools below. You can also use our It Pays to Prep: America to search hundreds of out-of-state, guaranteed scholarships across the country.
(Almost all increases are based on official ACT scores before and after the program.)