The Best Scholarships in Tennessee

​The costs of college continue to rise causing many people to believe they will be unable to afford higher education. A college education has been proven to provide higher salaries and better opportunities for advancement than a high school diploma. The fact is that the college does not have to be out of reach regardless of your family income.

There are many college scholarships available for people who want to attend college. Many of them do not have income requirements, and there are even some for adult learners who wish to return to school. These Tennessee scholarships can help defray the cost of college and help anyone achieve their higher education goals.

1. AQHA Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship

Sponsored by the American Quarter Horse Association, the Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship. Applicants must be affiliated for one year with an AQHA chapter in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi or Tennessee. Also, the applicant must compete in AQHA-approved shows. Those interested must apply in their senior year of high school or while enrolled at an accredited college or university. Awardees must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Current or previous recipients may not apply.

You can learn more about the ​AQHA Swayze Woodruff Memorial Mid-South Scholarship here.

2. ASHRAE Donald E. Nichols Scholarship

A qualified undergraduate engineering student enrolled full-time in an ABET-accredited program at Tennessee Technological University is eligible to apply for the ASHRAE Donald E. Nichols Scholarship. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and class standing in the top 30 percent. Students must provide official transcripts and three letters of recommendation. One letter must be from an instructor or faculty advisor, one from the past or current employer and one from a character reference other than a family member.

You can learn more about the ​ASHRAE Donald E. Nichols Scholarship here.

3. Ann Buchanan Scholarship Fund

Students graduating from public high school in Williamson County who are not in the top ten percent of their graduating class but have overcome unique life challenges may apply for the Ann Buchanan Scholarship Fund. The challenges may include life-threatening illness, injury or other extraordinary circumstance. Students must plan to attend an accredited college, vocational or technical school. The scholarship is non-renewable.

You can learn more about the ​Ann Buchanan Scholarship Fund here.

4. Ann Wright Hart/Nashville Alumnae Chapter Scholarship

A freshman, junior or senior collegian member of Alpha Eta at Vanderbilt University or Eta Phi at Belmont University, who is a permanent resident in the greater Nashville area, is eligible to apply for the Ann Wright Hart/Nashville Alumnae Chapter Scholarship. Initiated members in good standing are eligible while new members may apply but must be initiated by the deadline. The scholarship may be used for tuition, books, and course-related fees. Students may be attending either full- or part-time.

You can learn more about the Ann Wright Hart/Nashville Alumnae Chapter Scholarship here.

5. BJ Dean Scholarship

The BJ Dean Scholarship is for women who plan to enter full-time Christian ministry. Applicants do not have to seek ordination or serve in any particular denomination. Applicants must be residents of Tennessee or Texas. Students who plan to attend Yale Divinity School are also eligible to apply. The scholarship is in honor of B.J. Runnels Dean whose service to churches and state Baptist conventions advanced the cause of women in ministry.

You can learn more about the ​BJ Dean Scholarship here.

6. Belle Meade Country Club Employee Scholarship

The Belle Meade Country Club Employee Scholarship was established for employees of the Nashville country club who work 30 hours per week and have been employed for three years or more. In addition to current employees, their children may also apply for the scholarship. The scholarship is non-renewable and is awarded only once. The scholarship is available for students who plan to attend two- and four-year colleges or universities as well as vocational and technical schools.

You can learn more about the ​Belle Meade Country Club Employee Scholarship here.

7. Belmont University Commercial Music Showcase Scholarship

Belmont University offers high school seniors, college freshmen, sophomores or juniors the opportunity to apply for the Commercial Music Showcase Scholarship. Students must attend Belmont University and be enrolled as a commercial music major. Commercial music majors are trained to perform, compose, arrange, produce and sell the music that Nashville’s reputation was built on. The scholarship was established by the LifeWorks Foundation to assist students who are seeking careers in commercial music.

You can learn more about the ​Belmont University Commercial Music Showcase Scholarship here.

8. Bird Dog Foundation Essay Contest

The Bird Dog Foundation Essay Contest focuses on those who are interested in training and education in wildlife or wildlife conservation. Applicants must be high school seniors who plan to enter their freshman year of college. Applicants must reside in Tennessee, Mississippi or Arkansas and must be United States citizens. Employees, sitting board members and their relatives are not eligible to apply. There is no application for the scholarship, but applicants must include their full name, mailing address, email address, phone number, date as well as the name and address of the school they attend on the cover sheet of the essay.

You can learn more about the ​Bird Dog Foundation Essay Contest here.

9. Brad Butkiewicz Memorial Scholarship

The Brad Butkiewicz Memorial Scholarship is for a graduating student from Stewart County High School. The scholarship is in memory of Brad Butkiewicz, a student at Stewart County High School, who loved football and the Health Occupation Students of America. Brad died on his way home from an early morning football practice. Applicant must be involved in football or the Health Occupations Students of America. They must also have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and a high need for financial assistance to continue their education.

You can learn more about the ​Brad Butkiewicz Memorial Scholarship here.

10. Cheatham County Community Foundation Scholarship

Residents who have lived in Cheatham County for at least one year are eligible to apply for the Cheatham County Community Foundation Scholarship. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED and have a grade point average of 2.0 or greater. Students must plan to attend an accredited college, university or technical school. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher while in college as well.

You can learn more about the ​Cheatham County Community Foundation Scholarship here.

11. Choose Your Future Scholarship Fund

Graduates of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools of Davidson County are eligible to apply for the Choose Your Future Scholarship Fund. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a score of at least 21 on the ACT. Students may attend any accredited college or university in the United States. Preference is given to students who are the first in their family to attend college. The scholarship is renewable, and preference is given to previous recipients if they remain in good standing with the college or university.

You can learn more about the ​Choose Your Future Scholarship Fund here.

12. David Anderson Scholarship Fund

Seniors at Coffee County High School in Manchester, Tennessee, are eligible to apply for the David Anderson Scholarship Fund. Applicants must have a minimum weighted GPA of 2.5 and show a willingness to work hard as well as a positive work ethic. Applicants must have a sense of team without needing to be a star athlete. Applicants must plan to attend an accredited college or university and must plan to begin college the year immediately following high school.

You can learn more about the ​David Anderson Scholarship Fund here.

13. Dody Boyd Scholarship Fund

Seniors graduating from Cheatham County Central High School are eligible to apply for the Dody Boyd Scholarship. Applicants must plan to attend either a two-year community college, technical school or four-year college or university. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.5 or higher and an ACT score of 20 or better. The scholarship is non-renewable. Dody Boyd was a bus driver for and a graduate of Cheatham County Central High School, who instilled an appreciation for good grades and successful graduation in the students she came in contact with.

You can learn more about the ​Dody Boyd Scholarship Fund here.

14. Dora Mclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship

The Dora Mclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship is for Christian men and women who are from the greater Chattanooga area. Applicants must be theologically and biblically conservative and seeking a master’s degree at a theological seminary or at a school approved by The Generosity Trust. Students who plan to enter pulpit ministry are given priority. Applicants must submit an application and one-page testimony of faith. They also must submit evidence of their call to ministry in a one-page essay as well as official transcripts and a current resume. Two letters of reference are also required as well as a geographical eligibility statement.

You can learn more about the ​Dora Mclellan Brown Ministry Scholarship here.

15. George Oliver Benton Memorial Scholarship

Legislative interns are eligible to apply for the George Oliver Benton Memorial Scholarship. Applicants must be attending an accredited four-year college or university in Tennessee or must be residents of Tennessee. Extracurricular activities related to an interest in government are given preference in awarding the scholarship. The scholarship is named in honor of George Oliver Benton, who served as Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee and served as a lobbyist after leaving office.

You can learn more about the ​George Oliver Benton Memorial Scholarship here.

16. Herb Society of Nashville

As a recognized source of knowledge regarding the cultivation and use of herbs, the Herb Society of Nashville offers a scholarship to a college freshman, sophomore or junior who is enrolled in the study of horticulture, agriculture, golf course and landscape management, landscape design, plant and soil sciences or plant sciences. Applicants must be United States citizens and must be a permanent resident of Tennessee. The winner of the scholarship must attend a Herb Society meeting. Students may be attending college in any state and may be enrolled in either a two- or four-year program. Only students in their first year of a two-year program may apply. Applicants must be attending full-time.

You can learn more about the ​Herb Society of Nashville here.

17. Howard A. Clark Horticulture Scholarship Fund

A graduating senior from Avery County High School is eligible to apply for the Howard A. Clark Horticulture Scholarship Fund. Applicants must plan to attend a two- or four-year college or university to study horticulture or agriculture. The applicant must also have a GPA of 2.5 while in high school The scholarship is named for Howard A. Clark, a man who spent almost five decades cultivating the Earth, growing high-quality shrubs, and trees. From the age of 12, he worked in the nursery business, teaching himself everything he needed to know, but always said that he wished he could have obtained a traditional education in the horticulture field.

You can learn more about the ​Howard A. Clark Horticulture Scholarship Fund here.

18. JY Carter Excellence in the Arts Scholarship

Macon County High School seniors are eligible to apply for the JY Carter Excellence in the Arts Scholarship. The scholarship is named in honor of J.Y. Carter, a teacher at the school whose love of the performing arts was well known. Applicants must have demonstrated an aptitude for visual or performing arts during their high school career. They must plant to attend an accredited college or university. Recipients can reapply, but are not guaranteed to receive the award more than once.

You can learn more about the ​JY Carter Excellence in the Arts Scholarship here.

19. Jack Diller Education Award

Up to four students residing in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee area may be awarded the Jack Diller Education Award. Each scholarship recipient is honored in an in-arena presentation at a Predators home game in the Bridgestone Arena. Applicants must be college-bound seniors attending a Nashville or Middle Tennessee high school and must plan to attend college the year following graduation. Applicants must demonstrate leadership in the classroom or inspirational qualities on the athletic field. Students must have a 3.0 GPA and demonstrate good work ethic, the value of education and community outreach. Immediate family members, relatives, and front office employees, as well as sponsoring sports teams, are not eligible to apply.

You can learn more about the ​Jack Diller Education Award here.

20. James A. Hyter Vocal Scholarship Fund

Named for James A. Hyter, who devoted his life to serving the Memphis community, the James A. Hyter Vocal Scholarship Fund is for college-bound students with vocal talent and who have a love of music. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 and live in the Memphis Metropolitan area. Applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll in a two- or four-year college program at an accredited institution. Applicants will be invited to a vocal audition and should be prepared to perform a musical selection from classical, folk and show tune categories.

You can learn more about the James A. Hyter Vocal Scholarship Fund here.

21. Kathy D. and Stephen J. Anderson Scholarship Fund

Graduates of any public high school in Williamson County, who attended the school for at least three years, may apply for the Kathy D. and Stephen J. Anderson Scholarship. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher and a minimum ACT score of 22 or SAT score of 1100. Applicants must be involved in at least one outside extra-curricular activity which may include a part-time job. The scholarship is renewable after reapplication as long as the student maintains a GPA of 2.75 as a freshman and a 3.0 each year after that while remaining in good standing as a citizen. The student must continue with at least one extra-curricular activity while in college or hold a part-time job.

You can learn more about the ​Kathy D. and Stephen J. Anderson Scholarship Fund here.

22. Lt. Holly Adams Memorial Scholarship Fund

Lt. Holly Adams is established for an Air Force Academy graduate from Colorado Springs, who was the first female class president in the history of the Academy. Holly was killed in a car accident in 2002 on her way to celebrate Christmas with loved ones, and an Air Force Commendation Medal was awarded posthumously. The scholarship benefits students from Page High School in Williamson County who possesses the integrity, courage and caring spirit that helps others achieve. The applicant must demonstrate integrity, courage, and selflessness. Applicants must be academically qualified for college but must demonstrate financial need.

You can learn more about the ​Lt. Holly Adams Memorial Scholarship Fund here.

23. MaryEllen Locher Foundation

Children of breast cancer patients who are either survivors or deceased may apply for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation. Applicants must reside within a 50-mile radius of Chattanooga. Applicants must be a current high school senior or have earned a GED and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students must be a legal resident of the United States and be accepted as a full-time enrolled in a two- or four-year program at an accredited college or university. The awards are for undergraduate studies only. Community service, financial need, and an essay are used to determine the recipients of the award. Although the committee may review grades, they are not a dominant factor in choosing a recipient as it is understood the diagnosis of cancer in a family may impact academic performance. Winners must participate in at least one breast cancer awareness project during the year they receive the award.

You can learn more about the ​MaryEllen Locher Foundation here.

24. NAJA Graduate Scholarship Program

The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries provides scholarships to graduate students who plan to work directly with children. Applicants must be pursuing graduate level studies such as counseling, psychology, special education, speech pathology, exceptional children, remedial skills and other programs related to helping children. Applicants must be United States citizens and be permanent residents of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. Students must plan to attend a United States university or college and attend full-time.

You can learn more about the ​NAJA Graduate Scholarship Program here.

25. Rachel Allison Cate Scholarship Fund

Rachel Allison Cate knew she wanted to be a teacher from a young age. She worked with children in numerous settings and was active in drama, student government as well as her church youth group. A graduate of Overton High School, she was studying education at Western Kentucky University when she was killed in an automobile accident. This scholarship in her memory is for seniors of Metro Nashville Public School who plan to enter the field of education. Applicants must plan to attend a four-year college or university and have a 3.0 GPA or higher. Students must also score no less than 21 on the ACT.

You can learn more about the ​Rachel Allison Cate Scholarship Fund here.

26. Robert Churchwell, Sr. Scholarship

College juniors, seniors or graduate students in the field of journalism may apply for the Robert Churchwell, Sr. Scholarship. Students must complete an essay on “The Role of Professional Journalism in Today’s Society” and provide samples of their journalistic works. Applicants must also have a GPA of at least 3.0 and provide documentation of extracurricular and community service activity. Students must demonstrate financial need.

You can learn more about the ​Robert Churchwell, Sr. Scholarship here.

27. Scarlett Family Foundation Scholarships

The Scarlett Family Foundation offers scholarships to Middle Tennessee, high school seniors who will graduate or obtain a GED before June 1 as well as to college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue a business degree at a four-year, not-for-profit college. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and may also be pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math degree. They must plan to enroll in the fall and attend college full-time.

You can learn more about the ​Scarlett Family Foundation Scholarships here.

28. SE4A Scholarship

The SE4A Scholarship assists students who intend to pursue a career in gerontology or geriatrics. Applicants must be a junior, senior or graduate student enrolled at an accredited college or university in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina or South Carolina. Nominations are ranked using 25 percent financial need, 25 percent application aptness, and ten percent writing skills. Also, the committee attributes ten percent to the student’s commitment to volunteer with the elderly. The final 15 percent is based on the student’s GPA, which must be a minimum of 2.5 cumulative.

You can learn more about the ​SE4A Scholarship here.

29. Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. Scholarship

The Sigma Gamma Rho Scholarship is for a Hamilton County, Tennessee, graduating high school senior. The student must plan to attend an accredited college or university in the fall after graduating from high school. Students may also be attending a technical or community college. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 in order to qualify for the scholarship. The application must be mailed or delivered to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, 1270 Market Street, Chattanooga TN 37402.

You can learn more about the ​Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc. Scholarship here.

30. TCAT Reconnect Grant

The TCAT Reconnect Grant pays the remaining balance of tuition and fees after other state, and federal grants have been applied. The grant is available for students who plan to attend the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology. Applicants must be Tennessee residents and be noted as independent on the FAFSA. Students must enroll full-time at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology and be in pursuit of a certificate or diploma. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress and continuous enrollment.

You can learn more about the ​TCAT Reconnect Grant here.

31. Tennessee Christa McAuliffe Scholarship

Created in honor of Christa McAuliffe, a high school teacher who lost her life on the space shuttle Challenger, is designed to assist a Tennessee resident who has demonstrated a commitment to a career in education. Applicants must be enrolled, full-time, in a teacher education program at an accredited Tennessee institute of higher learning. Applicants must have completed at least the first semester of their junior year and have at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Students must also have ACT or SAT scores that meet or exceed the national norms. Official transcripts and official test scores must accompany the application.

You can learn more about the ​Tennessee Christa McAuliffe Scholarship here.

32. Tennessee Grocers Education Foundation Scholarship Program

The Tennessee Grocers Education Foundation was established to support and promote the education of students who wish to enter the food industry in Tennessee. Applicants must be high school seniors, college freshmen, sophomores or juniors. In addition, there are scholarships available for students holding bachelor’s degree who wish to pursue a master’s or doctorate. Applicants must be student employees who have worked for a Tennessee grocer for at least six months or be the child or spouse of an employee.

You can learn more about the ​Tennessee Grocers Education Foundation Scholarship Program here.

33. Tennessee HOPE Scholarship - Nontraditional

The Tennessee HOPE Scholarship for nontraditional students is for those who have been a Tennessee resident for at least one year by September 1 and are 25 years or older. Applicants must be an entering freshman at a Tennessee institute of higher learning and have not enrolled in college for at least two years after last attending any post-secondary school. Applicants must have a household adjusted gross income of $36,000 or less and be continuously enrolled in a college or university, maintaining satisfactory progress. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 after attempting 12 semester hours.

You can learn more about the ​Tennessee HOPE Scholarship - Nontraditional here.

34. Tennessee Minority Teaching Fellows Program

The Minority Teaching Fellows Programs was created to encourage minority students to enter the teaching field in Tennessee. Applicants must plan to pursue a teaching certification at an eligible Tennessee college or university. The applicant must be a minority resident of Tennessee and a United States citizen. They must be a high school senior or continuing college student as well. High school students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 and college students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5. High school students must also have a minimum composite score of 18 on the ACT or 860 on the SAT.

You can learn more about the ​Tennessee Minority Teaching Fellows Program here.

35. Tennessee Ned McWherter Scholars Program

The Academic Scholars Program was created by the State of Tennessee in order to assist with the cost of tuition, fees, equipment books, supplies as well as room in board. Applicants must be residents of Tennessee and be a United States citizen. Students must attend an accredited college or university full-time. They must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 and minimum ACT composite of 20 or SAT score of 1280. Transcripts must be provided. The scholarship is renewable for up to three years as long as the student maintains a 3.2 GPA and continues to attend full-time.

You can learn more about the ​Tennessee Ned McWherter Scholars Program here.

​We've worked hard to include a variety of scholarship opportunities within our list. If you have any suggestions on additional scholarships, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.