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Incoming Freshman Scholarship Checklist

It's never too early to start getting ready for college! Take the following steps in high school, to help you qualify for college scholarships.

Freshman and Sophomore Years

  • Focus on earning high grades and preparing for the ACT and SAT. A great start will help you reach your academic goals and qualify for more scholarships!

  • Build your scholarship resumé! Many scholarship committees will consider your activities, leadership, and community service in high school. Find some areas of interest in your school and/or community, and get involved in those areas. Join clubs at school, and take on leadership roles such as officer positions in those clubs. Watch for opportunities to perform community service; aim for services which make a significant impact on your community. Keep good notes on your leadership roles and community involvement, so that you can brag about yourself on your scholarship applications!

Junior Year

  • All Year: Continue to focus on your grades. Many scholarships will consider your GPA only through the end of your junior year.

  • Fall: Start searching for scholarship opportunities; visit our Private Scholarships webpage for suggestions on where and how to search. Begin a scholarship folder with information about scholarships in which you are interested. Note the source of the scholarship, requirements, application process, and deadline to apply.

  • Spring: Take the ACT and/or SAT at least twice, including the test with your high school class in April and one other test date. Take an ACT prep class or use software to prepare for the test.

  • Summer: Begin applying for private and institutional scholarships.

Senior Year

  • All year: Continue to focus on your grades. The lottery scholarship and some private scholarships will consider your GPA through the end of your senior year.

  • Fall: Continue to search for and apply for private and institutional scholarships.

  • Take the ACT one more time, if needed. Take the SAT at least once; some students score higher on one test than on the other!

  • Apply for admission to MTSU and submit test scores and transcripts by December 1 to be considered for MTSU academic scholarships. (Please Note: We will accept your ACT and/or SAT scores through the December test date, though these scores will arrive after the December 1 deadline.)

  • Submit a Buchanan Fellowship application by December 1.
    (Please Note: The Honors College will accept your ACT and/or SAT scores only through the October test date.)

  • Attend MTSU's College Goal Sunday FAFSA Prep Workshop in January, and/or one of several College Goal Sunday FAFSA Assistance events in January or February.

  • Spring: File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the application for federal grants and loans, the lottery scholarship, and other aid. File your FAFSA in early January to qualify for need-based aid, or by April 1 if you do not expect to receive need-based aid.

  • Submit a "Consolidated Application for Scholarships through Financial Aid & Scholarship Office" to be considered for a DREAM Scholarship or Foundation Scholarships awarded by the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office by February 15; check with your academic department to learn about scholarship opportunities and application requirements for students in your major.

  • Submit scholarship acceptance forms or other required paperwork by the stated deadline.

  • If you have been offered multiple scholarships, initially accept all that are offered. Make a final decision by May 1, then notify schools or donors of any scholarships you wish to decline.