Scholarship FAQs

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The deadline for most 2021 scholarships is February 15, 2021.

The Steven L. Coffey Middle College Memorial Scholarship and the Spenser F. Powell Memorial Law Scholarship applications will be available April 1, 2021, and the deadline is June 1, 2021.

Are all scholarship applications required to be submitted online?

All scholarship applications, with the exception of the Tennessee Judicial Conference Scholarship, must be submitted online.

How do I know which scholarships I am eligible for?

Based on your answers to the eligibility questions on our Common Application, you will see a list of ETF scholarships for which you are eligible to apply. You will then need to answer additional questions in order to complete the applications for the specific scholarships listed.

In addition, there are seven individual scholarship opportunities that require separate applications. They are listed and described on the How to Apply page of our online scholarship portal and our website.

Can I receive both Tennessee Promise and an ETF Scholarship?


Tennessee Promise covers the cost of tuition and mandatory fees NOT MET from the Federal Pell Grant, HOPE Scholarship, or Tennessee Student Assistance Award Programs. Because ETF scholarships may cover other educational expenses, (for example, non-mandatory fees, books, supplies, room and board, gas/transportation, technology, childcare, etc.), you may be able to apply your ETF scholarship award to these additional educational expenses.

Do I use the same user code and password to log on to complete all scholarship applications?

Yes. Please DO NOT create more than one user code (email address) and password.

Do you accept late applications?

No. Please be sure to allow plenty of time for questions you may have, technology issues, gather all required documents, and to answer all application questions well before the deadline.

Can I submit the scholarship applications by the deadline and then upload required documents, for example, transcripts, SAR, etc. after the deadline?

No. The uploaded document questions are required for your application to be complete, and we do not accept incomplete applications. While you are waiting for documents to upload, you can work on other parts of your application, as you can save your application as a draft and return to it at any time until the deadline. Before the deadline, make sure all documents are uploaded, all questions are answered, and your complete application is submitted.

How are my letters of recommendation submitted?

Letters of Recommendation submitted for your application are uploaded directly from your recommender. Follow the steps below, which can also be found on your application and in Guide to Completing Your Common Scholarship Application and/or Guide to Completing Your Individual Scholarship Application:

  1. Enter the email address of the individual from whom you are requesting a Letter of Recommendation. We strongly suggest you confirm the individual has agreed to write your letter. NOTE: Do not send more than one email for each Letter of Recommendation question.
  2. Click on "Compose Email" in your application Letter of Recommendation questions and compose an email to your recommender requesting they write a Letter of Recommendation for you. Be sure to include your full name and the name of the scholarship in the email.
  3. Click on "Send."
  4. The recommender will then receive your email and an email from East Tennessee Foundation.

Check with your recommenders to be sure they received the emails. This is very important because emails can be blocked by spam filters.

You may submit your application before the Letter of Recommendation has been uploaded; HOWEVER, Letters of Recommendation must be received by the deadline for your application to be complete!

What financial documentation is required for those scholarships for which financial need is a consideration?

A copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). See an example SAR.
The FAFSA is an application students and their families must complete in order to be considered for federal financial aid and the Tennessee HOPE Lottery Scholarship. The SAR is the report received by the student that summarizes the student's financial need and provides the official EFC (Expected Family Contribution) number. If you do not have your SAR, we will accept a copy of your completed FAFSA. Click on Guide to Completing Your Common Scholarship Application or Guide to Completing Your Individual Scholarship Application for detailed instructions regarding financial need documents.

How do I upload the required documents to my application?

  1. If the required document exists in an electronic format on your computer, you may upload it by clicking the "Upload a File" button below the application question and choose the desired document from your computer.
  2. If you do not have an electronic version, but have access to a scanner, scan the document to create an electronic file and upload it. NOTE: Please do not upload an encrypted document. For documents that are more than one page, make sure you upload all the pages as one document. If you upload pages individually, the new upload will overwrite the previous upload.
  3. If you do not have access to a scanner, you may use "Fax to File" to obtain an electronic copy. Click on "Fax to File" at the top of the screen and follow the directions provided.
  4. If you are unable to upload your required document, you must upload an attachment stating this fact, and it is your responsibility to ensure the required document is received by East Tennessee Foundation by the deadline.
  5. If you are unable to access the required document because of the pandemic, upload a statement explaining your circumstances AND contact Beth Heller at or Ashley Siferd Butler at for alternate instructions. DO NOT wait until the deadline to contact us. It is important to allow enough time to submit the required information in an alternate format.

How will I be notified if I am awarded a scholarship?

East Tennessee Foundation makes every effort to notify all applicants of their status; however, if you have not received notification by July 1, you may assume you have not been selected to receive a scholarship.

What if I have questions about a scholarship or about completing my application?

Contact Beth Heller, Vice President for Scholarship Programs, at or Ashley Siferd Butler, Program Officer, at or by telephone toll free at (877) 524-1223.

What if I cannot access required documents due to the pandemic?

If you are unable to access a required document because of the pandemic, upload a statement explaining your circumstances AND contact Beth Heller at or Ashley Siferd Butler at for alternate instructions. DO NOT wait until the deadline to contact us. It is important to allow enough time to submit the required information in an alternate format.

Please Note: If your school building is operating virtually, we suggest you contact your school counselor who should be able to access your transcript and email it to you so that you can upload it to your application.

Where can I explain a change in my or my family’s circumstances due to the pandemic?

There are questions on the application where you can describe any special financial, family, pandemic-related, or other extenuating circumstances impacting your and your family’s ability to pay for your post-secondary education that you would like us to consider.