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Researching scholarships and financial assistance is the responsibility of the parents and the student. It is our desire, however, to be of assistance whenever possible. The following is a list of resources for scholarship information. We recommend that parents and students start researching, preparing, and applying for scholarships as early as the beginning of the junior year. Many scholarships have early deadlines. For example:

  • Tennessee Promise Scholarship: applications by November 1 of senior year

  • FAFSA’s deadline for state grants: February 15 of the senior year

  • Sam Walton Scholarship: usually January deadline

  • Tennessee Hope Scholarship: FAFSA deadline September 1 of senior year

    • To be eligible for the TN Hope Scholarship, students must be enrolled in a home-education program for one full school year immediately prior to graduation.

Online Scholarship & College Information

Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC)

Tennessee Hope Scholarship

TSAC awards the TN Hope Scholarship to home-educated students who make an ACT composite score of at least 21 (or SAT equivalent) and have been enrolled with a home-education program for a full school year immediately prior to graduation. For more information on this scholarship, go to

Tennessee Promise Scholarship

This TSAC-administered scholarship offers two free years of college. It requires the student to meet a series of requirements with strict deadlines (e.g., application for the scholarship by November 1 of the senior year). For more information on this scholarship, go to

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)


(Automatically enters student for the TN Hope Scholarship)
May 15th deadline

Other Sites

How to Get Scholarships


General Considerations

1) Take a practice ACT/SAT or the PSAT to prepare for the ACT/SAT. See our ACT/SAT page here.

2) Take the ACT or SAT and make a score acceptable for the scholarship/financial aid you seek. (The ACT/SAT score often determines college entrance as well.)

3) Participate in community service and/or volunteer opportunities. This can be used as part of the student’s portfolio and is looked upon favorably by scholarship committees.

4) Research available scholarships, paying particular attention to their requirements and deadlines. Remember that preparation of Gateway transcripts and other paperwork may take up to two weeks. Submit your requests early to make sure you meet scholarship deadlines.

5) If the scholarship requires an essay, make sure yours represents your best writing and includes real-life experiences (if appropriate).

6) Include portfolio information. This requires planning early in the student’s high- school career. It is helpful for the portfolio to indicate an interest and aptitude for the major the student will pursue or the field related to a specific scholarship.

More About Portfolios

Admission into certain colleges and universities, as well as application for certain scholarships can involve serious competition.  When colleges or scholarship committees evaluate applications in a highly competitive situation, they may prefer students who appear to be well-rounded, successful, and likely to make a difference in the world.  A high-school transcript reflects the student’s academic work, but not necessarily his/her other abilities, successes, and interests.  A portfolio can showcase a student’s character, qualities, skills, talents, hobbies, accomplishments, honors, and involvement in the community.  It may include volunteer work, club/organization participation, leadership experience, performance awards, mission work, etc. Most college and scholarship applications include space for such information.  A portfolio may also physically accompany a transcript when submitted to a college or scholarship committee.

Recommended Books


On Preparing for College

The Homeschooler’s Guide to Portfolios and Transcripts

by Loretta Heuer, M.Ed.

ISBN: 0-02-863738-0


Homeschooling High School: Planning Ahead for College Admission

by Jeanne Gowen Dennis

ISBN: 1-932096-11-6


Home School, High School, and Beyond

by Beverly Adams-Gordon

ISBN: 1-888827-22-X


An Instruction Book for the Parents of College-Bound Students
by Linda O’Brien

The Guidance Manual for the Christian Home School
by David and Laurie Callihan
ISBN 1564144526

On College Funding

Cash for College
by Cynthia Ruiz McKee & Philip C. McKee, Jr.
ISBN 0688161901

Free Money for College
by Laurie Blum
ISBN 081603

How to Go to College Almost for Free
by Ben Kaplan
ISBN 0-06-093765-3

For ACT/SAT Preparation

SAT Strategies for Super Busy Students*
Kaplan Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4195-5161-1
(ACT) ISBN: 978-1-4195-5160-4

ACT Premier Program (2008 Ed.)*
Kaplan Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4195-5163-5
(SAT) ISBN: 978-1-4195-5138-3

*These books have a “Higher Score Guarantee.”

See also information under "ACT/SAT/PSAT" on our High School page.

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