MTSU Lowers ACT Scores Needed For Scholarships In Response To Tennessee Promise

MTSU Graduation. Cap and Gown. Not exactly a hard hat, but we couldn't resist including it. Image: TN Photo Services

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks at MTSU’s spring 2013 commencement in Murfreesboro. Credit: TN Photo Services

Middle Tennessee State University is lowering the scores needed on the ACT to earn merit scholarships. For example, for a guaranteed $5,000 scholarship, students now only need a 30 on their ACT instead of a 32.

The university is making this move as the state rolls out Gov. Haslam’s “Tennessee Promise” plan. Tennessee Promise will use state lottery funding to pay for part or all of students’ tuition at community colleges, but it will put less money into HOPE Scholarships for freshman and sophomores at four-year colleges.

Debra Sells, the university’s vice provost of enrollment, says the school is lowering the barrier for merit scholarships to help offset that decrease for lowerclassmen. She says the new rules will translate to about 250 more scholarships next year.

“Our concern of course is, we want the very best and brightest students not to take a financial hit when they come to the university,” Sells says.

Sells says this will help MTSU compete with the University of Tennessee and University of Memphis to aggressively recruit students.

MTSU will also begin guaranteeing scholarships for students transferring from community colleges in Tennessee.

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