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Eligibility Criteria

To receive aid from any of the federal student aid programs, you must meet all of the following qualifications:

  • Be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security Number
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate or pass an approved ability-to-benefit (ATB) test
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree
  • Register (or have registered) with the Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25. You can give Selective Service permission to register you on the FAFSA. You can also register online at:
  • Have financial need. Financial need is determined by a standard formula established by Congress to calculate your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards set by the Federal Guidelines
  • Certify that you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes (on the FAFSA)
  • Certify that you are not in default on a federal student loan and that you do not owe money on a federal student grant (on the FAFSA)
  • Must maintain at least half-time enrollment status to receive student loans, TSAA, or Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship. Most grants are prorated based on the number of credit hours enrolled.
  • Developmental/Remedial Coursework Policy: Per Federal Regulations (34 CFR 668.20), a student may receive financial aid for developmental/ remedial (DSP) courses. However, a student can only receive Financial Aid for a maximum of 30 attempted hours* in developmental/remedial coursework. Once a student reaches this limit, their Financial Aid may be affected.

Example: John Smith is enrolled in 12 credit hours (ENGL 1010, COMM 1010, ART 1030 and DSPM 0850). This is equivalent to 9 semester credit hours and 3 developmental/ remedial hours. John has already reached the 30 attempted hours in developmental/ remedial coursework. John is only eligible to receive three-quarter of his Financial Aid.

*Attempted hours are all developmental/remedial coursework that has been passed (P), failed (F), incomplete (I), and withdrawn (W, FA, FN).

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