The Tennessee Student Assistance Award Program (TSAA) was established to provide non-repayable financial assistance to financially-needy undergraduate students who are residents of Tennessee. Applicants must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment, at least half time, at a public or an eligible non-public postsecondary institution in Tennessee. The TSAA is a state-funded grant program and includes funds from the Tennessee Education Lottery.
To receive priority consideration, students are strongly encouraged to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1 each year.
Starting with the 2014-2015 academic year, prior-year recipients (renewals) will receive the award if they meet all eligibility requirements and complete the FAFSA on or before March 1. After March 1, remaining funds will be awarded to the neediest applicants who apply by March 1 based on the availability of funds. Awards are made until funds are depleted.
Maximum award amounts are determined by the TSAC Board of Directors prior to the beginning of the fall term. The amount of the award is based on the institution indicated on the student’s FAFSA. Award amounts for an academic year are:
The final amount is determined by the institution. The financial aid office may revise the amount of the award for one of the following reasons:
Overaward - the TSAA is one of several government-funded programs of financial aid for students. A variety of privately funded programs are also available as well as the assistance many parents are able to provide their children. TSAC policy requires the institution to certify that each recipient’s aid, when combined with other resources, does not exceed the cost of attending the institution. If a situation arises in which a student’s aid and resources exceed the cost of attendance, the financial aid office at the institution must reduce or cancel the award to prevent an overaward.
Part-Time Enrollment – TSAA’s initial award is based on full-time enrollment. The student’s institution will certify each term of enrollment and if a student is enrolled less than full time the institution must adjust the award accordingly.
Early Withdrawal – award recipients who withdraw prior to the completion of a term may have a portion of the award reduced in accordance with the institution’s published refund policy.
Award recipients must use the TSAA for educational expenses. Funds are disbursed to the institution on behalf of the recipient and will be credited to the student’s account in accordance with the institution’s published policy.
Award recipients may receive awards until the program of study is complete or for the following, whichever comes first:
Eligible Institution – award recipients must attend an eligible Tennessee school, college or university and be enrolled at least half time. You must list the eligible institution as your first choice when you initially complete your FAFSA.
Thank your Legislator for TSAA here.