Student Information

What is Tennessee Scholars?

Tennessee Scholars has a clear and focused mission: to increase the percentage of Tennessee high school graduates prepared for post-secondary education, the workforce, or the military. It is a rewards and incentives program for students who graduate high school with the required courses and additional expectations of attendance, discipline, and volunteer service. Any student can be a Tennessee Scholar who chooses. The key to success is to prepare early.

Checklist & Volunteer Form

Tennessee Scholars requirements are the minimum requirements one needs to prepare for college. The benefits are scholarships to many Universities, job preferential hiring, recognition at graduation, obtaining the distinction of being a scholar that will be on your permanent record for the rest of your life. You can never go back and repeat high school so become a Tennessee Scholars today. The list of participating Universities are on the website.

  • Apply by completing the Application for Tennessee Scholars.
  • Tennessee Scholars must be documented on the checklist each year. The requirement must be completed without exception.
  • Seniors must complete the student checklist before the deadline of your senior year (usually March 1st). Your counselor must approve your checklist to be eligible for the honor.
  • Graduating seniors must complete the online survey that is available in January of each year. (Only high school seniors should complete this survey)

Tennessee Scholars supports Tennessee Promise and tnAchieves. The barrier of tuition to attend school has been eliminated by the state of Tennessee by offering every graduate the opportunity to attend a two year University or a Tennessee College of Applied Technology tuition free.   Tennessee Scholars compliments this program by providing the tools and resources to students, parents, educators, and business leaders to motivate students to begin in the 9th grade preparing to receive the TN Promise funding and retain these funds while in school.  Retention of the funds to complete a degree or certification is one goal for TN Scholars and TN Promise recipients.

Below is a comparison of each

Tennessee Scholars (Preparation) Tennessee Promise (Funding)
Mission: To motivate and prepare students to graduate high school prepared for success in post-secondary, workforce, or the military. Mission: To provide last dollar tuition for all Tennessee students to attend a Tennessee University in a two year program of study or a Tennessee College of Applied Technology.
Has a defined course of study that would be acceptable for entrance in any school in the world.  Bridge math does not count for the 4th year of math.  SAILS math will count. Must meet the requirements for the TN path for graduation

Bridge math can be the fourth math.

Requirements of 95% attendance, 60 hours of volunteer service, no out of school suspensions, and maintain a C average. 60 hours of volunteer service
Can apply to be a Tennessee Scholar at any time 9-12th grade. Must register by set deadline in the fall of each  year
Must complete all requirements and online survey by May 1st each year. Must complete all requirements before graduation plus requirements while in post-secondary
Mentors work with students to help them stay on track as Tennessee Scholars. These mentors also are TN Promise mentors. Mentors work with TN Promise Schools from January the senior year through post-secondary
Tennessee Scholars receive recognition at graduation and awards days and a gold seal on their diploma, and jobs at numerous places across Tennessee as well as additional scholarships. TN Promise students receive last dollar funding for Tuition
For more information contact Ruth Woodall at 615-686-8883  or For more information go to
  • Up to $1000 per year from Union University to any Tennessee Scholars graduate
  • $1500 per semester scholarship from Cumberland University (Wilson County TN Scholars)
  • $500 from Bryan College to any Tennessee Scholars graduate
  • $300 Scholarship dollars from TCAT.
  • Other Post-Secondary offering scholarship dollars (East TN State Univ.)
  • All students who plan to attend a TCAT or Community College must apply for Tennessee Promise to get tuition free.

Student should always ask the school they apply to if they have extra dollars for Tennessee Scholars.

Other Benefits:

  • Rewards and recognition at graduation
  • Job preferential hiring at businesses across Tennessee;
  • Recognized by Drive to 55 as a tool to help students attain and keep the TN Promise funds.
  • Tennessee Scholars can use the volunteer service hours for both TN Scholars and TN Promise

Application for Tennessee Scholars must be completed by 9-11th grade at the beginning of each year. This must be given to your counselor. Application for 9-11th grade must be signed by student and parent and returned to school counselor at beginning of the year. A student can apply to be a Tennessee Scholars anytime from 8th grade to 12th. The criteria begins with 9th grade courses.

A student has endless possibilities to serve the community. The only requirements are

  • It must be done before or after school unless the student gives up a activity period to tutor another child in school. Not during class time.
  • They cannot paid money or in-kind or accept a grade such as extra credit for this activity.
  • They cannot count family chores as voluntary.
  • They cannot count church activities such as singing in the choir (unless the choir goes into the community to volunteer sing), playing in the church band, and anything they would normally do in service to God and the church.
  • They can count mission trips but only 40 hours per trip.
  • They can count volunteer activities that are considered outreach ministries from the church or school.
  • They can also look at the list provided to see what other students have done in the path.