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Financial Aid & Scholarships

College is a big investment and parents clearly need a financial plan that begins as early as possible. Financial assistance for college is either need-based or merit-based. Financial aid, which involves outright grants, loans, and work-study, is based on your family's ability to pay the cost of education, which includes tuition, room, board and fees. In order to determine the amount you can afford, a college requires that your family complete and submit forms that document your financial circumstances. You must fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to be eligible for federal assistance. Many colleges require additional forms, too. Be sure to contact the financial aid offices at the colleges you apply to so that you find our what you will be required to submit.

For those who qualify, most colleges will offer a financial aid package consisting of grants, loans, and work-study in order to bridge the gap between the estimated family contribution and the cost of tuition and other expenses. The amount of your financial aid package may vary from college to college. Sometimes private colleges can offer enough aid to be competitive with less expensive schools.

State Funded Scholarships

The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program offers the Hope Scholarship (up to $2,250 for freshman/sophomore years and $2,850 for junior/senior years for 4-year school and $1,600 for 2-year school), the General Assembly Merit Scholarship ($1,000 supplement), the Aspire Award ($1,500 supplement), and the Hope Access Grant ($2750 for 4-year school and $1,750 for 2-year school) to qualified students. Parents and students who want to know more about the HOPE Scholarships and the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Programs can now call a toll-free hotline. Scholarship specialists are available to answer questions about eligibility and the application process. The phone number for the HOPE Hotline is (615) 741-1346 or (800) 342-1663 .

  • Only courses leading to a student's eligible program of study (associate or baccalaureate degree program) can be awarded under the HOPE Scholarship program.
  • Award amounts are available for summer enrollment
  • Determination of class status is made buy the postsecondary institution.

For the Hope and other scholarships, one must apply with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible. You will need your Social Security Number, driver's license, income tax return, bank statements and investment records before filling out the form. Each year Maryville College hosts a financial workshop for parents in December.

The CSS/Financial Aid Profile is a College Board program that many schools and Scholarship programs use to gather information to help them award institutional funds.

Merit Scholarships

Merit scholarships differ from financial aid in that they are not based on a family's ability to pay. These awards are given in recognition of outstanding achievement in academics, the arts, athletics, leadership, community service and other areas. Generally the college admission and financial aid officers are the ones that determine which students will be offered scholarship awards. Some awards require the student to submit a scholarship application and could require the student to come to campus for an interview.

Students are encouraged to explore other scholarship opportunities as well. National Merit Scholarships are awarded on the basis of the PSAT taken during the junior year. Companies often provide scholarships for their employee's children while local foundations, religious organizations, and other community groups sometimes have money to help students finance college. Private scholarships are usually based on applications with specific deadlines and they frequently require essays. It is imperative that students adhere to these deadlines in order to be considered. Scholarship information, which is sent to MHS, is published in the College/Scholarship newsletter.

Financial Aid Resources

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The CollegeBoard CSS Profile is an online application used by colleges and scholarship programs to award non-federal institutional aid. CSS Profile is the leading nonfederal aid common application used by hundreds of institutions and scholarship programs. With a single application, students and families reduce the number of times they provide the same information for financial aid to each institution.

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Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. The office of Federal Student Aid provides approximately $112 billion in grant, work-study, and loan funds each year to help pay for college or career school. FAFSA online is the basis for all federal financial aid.

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Finaid was established in the fall of 1994 as a public service. This award-winning site has grown into the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools — on or off the web. This is an excellent site for getting answers to your questions about financial aid.

visit has helped students find money for college and learn about the entire financial aid process. We are among the most widely-used and trusted free college scholarship search and financial aid information resources on the Internet and have been recognized by high schools, colleges and universities nationwide, among others.


College For TN

College for TN is a free, online resource schools and districts can use to expand college and career advising. With students in mind, we inventory students’ interests, values, and skills and then navigate each student through career and college pathways. We’re a free one-stop resource for college and career information in the state of Tennessee.


SmartScholar's Ultimate FAFSA Resource Guide

SmartScholar was founded to save student time and money. We noticed that the scholarship information available on the internet was often incomplete or inaccurate, and decided to create a better set of resources for students and parents planning for college.