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Appalachian Students Promoting the Integration of Research in Education (ASPIRE)

3M1A3044wThinking about going to college, but worried you can’t afford it? We are looking for academically talented Appalachian students who want to attend the University of Tennessee.

The ASPIRE scholarship is an undergraduate scholarship program available to Appalachian high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the University of Tennessee. ASPIRE scholars have access to generous financial support for up to 4 years, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to connect with other Appalachian students while at UT. ASPIRE Scholars come from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and from rural, suburban, and urban communities. Many Scholars are the first in their families to pursue higher education.

The ASPIRE scholarship program, offers 4-year scholarships of up to $9,375 per year, depending on need, for students enrolling at UT for the first time in fall 2017 and fall 2018.


slide2To be eligible, the applicant must:

*Pre-med and pre-dental students interested in the ASPIRE grant will need to choose a major from the list above.

Although all eligible applicants will be reviewed, special consideration will be given to students from the 34 counties classified by the Appalachian Regional Commission** as economically distressed or at-risk, as well as to students who would be the first in their families to attend college and those scoring 25 or higher on the math subsection of the ACT.

* Appalachian Counties in Tennessee: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White

** Distressed Counties in Tennessee: Bledsoe, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, De Kalb, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Lewis, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Scott, Unicoi, Warren, and White


PurcellAdditional funding above the ASPIRE scholarship may be available through the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number generated by the FAFSA determines your eligibility. Some awards have limited funding, and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. More information can be found on their site. Your first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). UT’s federal school code is 003530.


students_research_mse2Students who receive the ASPIRE Scholarship will:

  • Live in the Discovery Living and Learning Community for 2 years
  • Participate in First-Year Studies Classes as a group
  • Be paired with a faculty mentor, LLC Peer Advisors, and mentors through the Appalachian Mentoring Program (AMP)
  • Receive funds to help with travel to campus for orientation and several trips home
  • Participate in special events for your family during Parents Weekend
  • Eligible for funded summer internships after their sophomore year


Maintaining the Scholarshipslide9

To maintain the ASPIRE Scholarship, students must remain enrolled as a full-time student making satisfactory progress in an Arts & Sciences STEM major, remain in the Discovery Living Learning Community through the first two years, participate in a mentoring program, and maintain good academic standing using criteria comparable to those for maintaining eligibility for the HOPE scholarship.


The ASPIRE program is funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program  (S-STEM) program.