Can you attend MTSU tuition-free?

Yes! MTSU’s traditionally low tuition coupled with the Tennessee Education Lottery (HOPE) Scholarship and the maximum federal Pell Grant, could allow you to attend our world-class university with tuition and fees paid!  Any remaining funds could be applied to housing, meal plans, and other expenses. Even students who receive a partial Pell Grant can still attend very inexpensively.  In fact, 48% of our students graduate debt-free.

Please remember that these apply only to first-time freshmen who are Tennessee residents and attend school full-time. This is available for students who are starting in Fall 2022 or Fall 2023 and later. 

Let's Find Out! 

Every student’s situation is different. To help you determine your personalized benefits, our Enrollment Coordinators are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Click here to talk to an Enrollment Coordinator. Below are a few examples of how this program works.

For Students Starting Fall 2022 

Scenario #1:  Sally is an incoming marketing major with a high school GPA of 3.1 and a 21 on the ACT test. She wants to start in the fall of 2022 but did not get her application in before December 1, 2021. Her family income level allows her to receive the maximum Pell Grant.  Her yearly tuition and fees look like this: 

 
MTSU Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,592
Pell Grant (Full) -$6,895
HOPE Lottery Scholarship -$4,500
Balance in student account +$1,803*


Scenario #2:
  Ben plans to study recording industry management and has a high school GPA of 3.6 and a 23 on the ACT. He wants to start in the fall of 2022 but did not get his application in before December 1, 2021. His family income level allows him to receive the maximum Pell Grant.  His yearly tuition and fees look like this:
 

 
Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,592
Pell Grant (Full) -$6,895
HOPE Lottery Scholarship -$4,500
MTSU Future Alumni Scholarship -$1,000*
Balance in student account +$2,803*

*If Ben’s ACT score was between 25 and 29, his MTSU scholarship would be $2,000 and, if it was 30 or above, it would become $3,000.  

For Students Starting Fall 2023 

Scenario #1:  Rachel is undecided on her major with a high school GPA of 3.0 and a 21 on the ACT test. She submits her application by December 1, 2022. Her family income level allows her to receive the maximum Pell Grant.  Her yearly tuition and fees look like this: 

 
Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,592*
Pell Grant (Full) -$6,895
HOPE Lottery Scholarship -$4,500
Balance in student account +$1,803

*Assumes 2022-23 tuition and Pell rate. 

Scenario #2:  Keith plans to study photography and has a high school GPA of 3.5 and a 23 on the ACT. He submits his application by December 1, 2022. His family income level allows him to receive the maximum Pell Grant.  His yearly tuition and fees look like this: 

 
Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,592*
Pell Grant (Full) -$6,895
HOPE Lottery Scholarship -$4,500
True Blue Scholarship -$2,000
Balance in student account

+$3,803

*Assumes 2022-23 tuition and Pell rate. 
Scenario #3: Mary plans to study psychology and has a high school GPA of 3.5 and a 25 on the ACT. She submits her application by December 1, 2022. Her family income level allows her to receive the maximum Pell Grant.  Her yearly tuition and fees look like this:
 
Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,592*
Pell Grant (Full) -$6,895
HOPE Lottery Scholarship -$4,500
Presidential Scholarship -$4,500
Balance in student account

+$6,303

*Assumes 2022-23 tuition and Pell rate. 

Scenario #4:  John plans to study Mechatronics and has a high school GPA of 3.5 and a 30 on the ACT. He submits his application by December 1, 2022. His family income level allows him to receive the maximum Pell Grant.  His tuition and fees per year look like this: 

 
Tuition and Fees (15 hours per semester) $9,592*
Pell Grant (Full) -$6,895
HOPE Lottery Scholarship -$4,500
Trustee Scholarship -$5,000
Balance in student account

+$6,803

*Assumes 2022-23 tuition and Pell rate.

Let's find out how this will work for you!

We realize that everyone’s situation is a little different. We want to help you find the answers specific to you. Additional scholarships and discounts are available for State Employees, University Employees, Military Dependents, and others. Click below to contact an Enrollment Coordinator at MT One Stop who will personally answer your questions and help you get the most you can in scholarships and savings. 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I find out if I’m eligible to be tuition-free at MTSU?

To be eligible to attend MTSU without paying out-of-pocket for tuition and fees,  students must complete the FAFSA, must receive the full Federal Pell Grant, and must qualify for the Tennessee HOPE scholarship (or Tennessee HOPE scholarship-nontraditional).

How is the Pell Grant awarded?

A Federal Pell Grant is funded by the government and does not have to be repaid. The Federal Pell Grant may only be awarded to undergraduate, degree-seeking students who have not already obtained a bachelor's degree. A student may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time. Award amounts vary based on a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) resulting from the FAFSA and the student’s enrollment status. Awards will be adjusted if the student is not enrolled full-time (12 or more credit hours). The Federal Pell Grant may be available in the summer semester. Eligible students may receive the Federal Pell Grant until the completion of the bachelor’s degree OR until the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters of the grant.

How is the Tennessee HOPE Scholarship awarded?

Funded by the proceeds of the Tennessee Lottery, the HOPE Scholarship is available to incoming freshmen who graduate from an eligible state high school. They must also meet the following criteria:

  • Enroll within 16 months of high school graduation
  • And meet one of the following:
    • Minimum 21 ACT; or minimum 1060 SAT; or Overall minimum 3.0 GPA
    • Homeschool graduates- minimum 21 ACT
    • GED recipients- minimum 21 ACT; minimum average Revised GED score is 170
    • HiSet recipients- minimum 21 ACT; minimum average HiSet score is 15 

In some cases, student might also qualify for the Tennessee Nontraditional Hope Scholarship.  Eligibility requirements have recently changed.  Once we receive clarification of the new requirements, we will update this FAQ.

In-state transfer students can use their existing HOPE Scholarships at MTSU. To be considered, they must:

  • Send all prior college final transcripts to MTSU to be reviewed prior to HOPE Scholarship payment to student.
  • Confirm that MTSU is listed as their institution of preference on the TSAC student portal for the academic year they are transferring to MTSU.

Am I eligible for other scholarships if I am part of this program?

Yes. Qualifying students are also eligible to receive other scholarship awards, including MTSU’s guaranteed academic scholarships. These awards require a minimum GPA of 3.5 for freshmen and a 3.0 with 60 credit hours earned for a new transfer student.  Scholarship amounts for freshmen vary by ACT performance.  The application deadline for our freshmen guaranteed scholarships is December 1, prior to the fall in which you will be attending. Transfer students must apply by February 15, prior to the fall in which you will be attending. This year, there is an additional group of these scholarships still available for incoming freshmen for the Fall 2022 class! Click here for more information on scholarships,

What if there is a positive balance after scholarships are awarded? 

Positive balances can be applied to other university services such as Housing and meal plans. The amount would be split between fall and spring semesters.

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