Financial Aid

A Sampling Of Top Scholarship Programs For Tennesseans

When Tennesseans think of scholarships, they usually think of the state’s Educational Lottery Scholarships aka HOPE Scholarships. Generated though the state’s lottery, it covers an incredible number of potential recipients. It also comes with some very tough restrictions, such as the financial aid can only be used at a state-sponsored university or trade school.

Luckily, Tennessee students who can’t find what they want within their state borders can find that the state does offer solace from an incredible number of other charitable houses. In fact, there are nearly 100 of them if you do a little research. Here’s just a small sample of them.

For starters, like the rest of the nation, the state has its equivalent of the Robert C. Byrd Honors program. In Tennessee’s case, a student must either have a minimum of a straight-up 3.5 grade point average or greater or at least a 3.0 average supported by a 24 score on the ACT or a 1090 score on the SAT. The award is $1,500 to any college in the U.S.

For those who would prefer vocational school, there’s the General Motors Automotive Educational Scholarship Program. It is open to students of Hispanic origins interested in taking a two-year course to be an automobile technician. It must be at a recognized technical center. The scholarship is $2,500 a year and administered through the car manufacturer itself.

One scholarship program Tennesseans should not ignore is one provided by a large beverage consumer product. Like the Byrd, it is a national program open to all high school students who graduate with a 3.0 average or better with plans to enter the world of the arts, business, education or government. It will eventually narrow the nominees down to 250 finalists, of which 50 will receive $20,000 and the remaining 200 receive $10,000.

For those who are interested in careers in teaching, Tennessee also recognizes the Christa McAuliffe Scholarship Program. It is open to all college juniors and seniors who have a 3.75 grade point average. It supplements an education major’s financial aid package by $500 provided that after graduating he/she comes back to Tennessee to teach.

One very unique program offered to high school students located in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi is the Bird Dog Foundation Essay Contest. It is open to all interested in pursuing careers in wildlife conservation and related fields. Each year, the Foundation prepares a number of subjects to write about and anyone interested in competing must produce a 900-1,000 word essay on one of them. First place receives $1,500 to the school of his/her choice; second receives $1,000.

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