Freshman Finish Line Scholarship Guidelines

  1. Guiding principle for the program
    1. To incentivize and reward students to complete their undergraduate degrees within four years by offering a Finish Line Scholarship that offsets tuition increases since their first enrollment as a freshman[1]

  2. Eligibility
    1. Begins fall 2015 for first time freshmen[2]
      1. This program is available only for Tennessee resident students
    2. Meets the MTSU definition as a first-time, full-time freshman
    3. Completes and signs the Finish Line Scholarship agreement within 30 days of the beginning of the regular semester[3] in which the student first enrolls
    4. Is on track to graduate no later than the eighth regular semester of enrollment at MTSU
      1. As the Finish Line Scholarship is awarded in the final semester, the student must have successfully completed no fewer than 105 MTSU transcripted credit hours that are applicable to their degree at the close of their seventh regular semester of studies
    5. As this is a “rebate” program intended to offset out-of-pocket tuition increases, students who receive full tuition scholarships[4] are not eligible for the Finish Line Scholarship
    6. All institutional, state and federal financial aid provisions will be followed in packaging aid for eligible students

  3. Expectations for maintaining eligibility
    1. Must complete a degree map no later than the conclusion of the first semester, and update the map each semester thereafter
    2. Must be continuously enrolled (fall and spring semesters) as a full-time MTSU student
    3. Must meet with academic advisor prior to assigned registration time each semester
    4. Maintain good academic standing with the university and within the major
    5. Selection of a major by the third regular semester
    6. Consult with academic advisor prior to changing major
    7. Consult with academic advisor prior to adding or dropping courses
    8. At all times upholds the “True Blue Pledge” and adheres to the “MTSU Community Values
    9. Complete all academic and business related tasks on time such as registering for classes, resolving holds, and if required to do so submitting the FAFSA by March 1st of each year
    10. Apply for graduation by the published deadline

  4. Calculation of the scholarship award amount
    1. The scholarship award amount will be calculated by assessing the following:
      1. In-state tuition increases will be based on MTSU Board of Trustees approved tuition rates over the four year term.[5]
      2. The base year for measuring tuition increases will be based on the first semester of full time enrollment, excluding summers.
      3. Increases in tuition will be evaluated based upon four year cohorts
        1. Matriculation fall 2015 – Cohort evaluation will be fall 2015 – spring 2019.[6]
      4. Analysis of tuition increases will be restricted to enrollment during fall and spring semesters only.
      5. The calculation will be based on students taking an average of 15 credit hours each fall and spring semester.
      6. All students within a cohort will receive the same award as other students in that cohort.[7]
      7. Scholarship amount will be awarded in the final semester of studies
        1. Fall 2015 matriculation – scholarship award term will be spring 2019.
      8. Hypothetical illustration of the scholarship calculation – fall 2015 matriculation 

        Fall 2015 matriculation (assuming 3% tuition increases)
        Term 2015-16 2016-17  Increase 2017-18  Increase 2018-19  Increase  Total Increase
        Fall 3,456 3,560 $104 3,667 $211 3,777 $321 $636
        Spring 3,456 3,560 $104 3,667 $211 3,777 $321 $636
        Total Award     $208   $422    $642 $1,272
  5. Administration of the program
    1. With assistance from the Registrar, Director of Financial Aid and the Vice Provost for Student Success, academic advisors in the student’s major area of study will be responsible for tracking and assessing eligibility for the Finish Line Scholarship.
    2. The Bursar/Business Office will work closely with the Director of Financial Aid to process awards and apply them to student accounts.
    3. With assistance from the Registrar and Director of Financial Aid, administrative oversight including appeals will be the responsibility of the Vice Provost for Student Success.  
[1] Students who receive a dependent discount on tuition will have the scholarship rebate reduced accordingly.
[2] First time freshmen who first begin their studies in summer 2015 will be eligible for inclusion in the program.
[3] “Regular semester” is defined as the fall and spring semesters of the academic year.
[4] For example, students who are Buchanan Fellows and those receiving certain “full ride” athletic scholarships are ineligible for the Finish Line Scholarship program.
[5] In the event there is no tuition increase for a given year or years, there will be no rebate or scholarship for those years.
[6] In any case where a student graduates prior to the eight semester (e.g., due to credit accumulation through completing additional courses, dual enrollment credits, etc.), an adjustment/reduction will be made in the amount of the finish line scholarship. This is because the finish line scholarship functions as a tuition rebate.
[7] Notwithstanding any case where institutional, state or federal financial aid provisions would preclude the student from being eligible for all or part of the Finish Line Scholarship. Also, students who graduate in less than eight semesters would have their scholarship rebate adjusted accordingly.