Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Rules & Regulations

  1. September 1 is the priority renewal deadline to reapply for TELS funds each Fall semester. Reapplication is done through the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be completed FAFSA online. Verification may be required, in which case ALL requested documents must be submitted before TELS funds can be disbursed to the student account.

  2. Please be advised that you must enroll in a degree-seeking program in order to receive TELS. Certificate programs do not qualify for TELS nor does undeclared major.

  3. The amount of the TELS award will be based on the hours in which you are enrolled as of the census date (14th calendar day of classes). Your enrollment status and award amount will be certified at that time, unless there are required documents lacking from your financial aid file. Fund disbursement should occur at least 14-18 business days after certification.

  4. Grades will be checked each semester to ensure that students are maintaining Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined in our policy.

  5. Student progress also will be verified at certain benchmark hours.

  6. The TELS GPA and Columbia State GPA may differ. To determine your TELS GPA, access your lottery information on myCN or check with the Financial Aid Office.

  7. Prior approval to drop or withdraw is required if a student wishes to continue receiving TELS funds. This approval can only be obtained through completing the “TELS Appeal” form. Keep in mind that requests for prior approval and appeals for reinstatement of eligibility MUST be based on documented medical or extreme personal reasons and must be reviewed by the Institutional Review Panel (IRP).

  8. In order to request a leave of absence, students must complete the “TELS Appeal” form.

  9. If there is a grade change or completion of an incomplete grade, the Financial Aid Office must be notified within 30 days using the Request for Reinstatement Due to Grade Change form