MTSU’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ campaign to honor ...

MTSU’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ campaign to honor untapped scholarships affected by COVID-19 [+VIDEO]

Middle Tennessee State University announced Thursday, Oct. 1, that it will reinstate untapped academic scholarships awarded to new freshmen and transfer students for fall 2020 who paused their educations because of the pandemic or chose another college or university and are reconsidering their choice.

“We believed in you and wanted to recognize your academic record as new students joining the MTSU family for fall 2020, and we still believe in you now,” President Sidney A. McPhee said in an announcement broadcast on the university’s social channels.

“We want to provide a strong financial incentive to get you back on track toward your goal of completing your bachelor’s degree.”

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU president

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Believed to be the only such program in the state, MTSU’s “Bridging the Gap” campaign reinstates scholarships for certain students who took a gap year or semester off and deferred enrollment because of COVID-19 or other reasons.

It also offers scholarship reinstatement for students who enrolled at a local community college or another institution, but who are ready to join MTSU beginning with the spring 2021 or fall 2021 term.

“We understand the profound impact that this worldwide health crisis is having on both prospective and current college students,” McPhee said. “In response, Middle Tennessee State University has created ‘Bridging the Gap’ to help students get back on track with their academic goals and help mitigate the pandemic’s disruptive effects.”

Dr. Debra Sells, vice president of student affairs and vice provost for enrollment and academic services

Dr. Debra Sells

Dr. Debra Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services, said MTSU implemented the initiative “to encourage students who were not able to enroll for fall 2020 to reach out to MTSU advisers now to determine their scholarship eligibility and get an early start on the enrollment process for a future semester.”

The president added that MTSU is “committed to helping students during this pandemic.”

“We offer personalized coaching and counseling to help students tackle challenges to achieve their academic goals and life plans,” he continued. “We offer courses in a variety of modes, ranging from direct to remote. And we offer you an opportunity for you to get back on course and pursue your objectives.”

The ‘Bridging the Gap’ plan

• For anyone who was accepted to attend MTSU this fall and received an MTSU guaranteed academic scholarship, but took a gap year and didn’t attend college anywhere else, MTSU will reinstate the scholarship so the student can begin attending MTSU in 2021. Those students should contact a recruiter about their intentions to enroll and complete a new application for admission by Dec. 1.

• For anyone accepted to MTSU for this fall and awarded a guaranteed scholarship but who chose to attend another college this semester, MTSU will reinstate the offered scholarship so the student can transfer and begin attending MTSU in 2021. Eligible students should contact a transfer recruiter and complete a transfer application by Dec. 1.

Any current student who has an MTSU guaranteed academic scholarship and is thinking of not attending in the spring but who plans to return next fall should contact academic advisers and the MT One Stop ( to discuss options — or risk losing their MTSU and Tennessee Education Lottery scholarships.

• For any current MTSU student thinking of completely withdrawing from MTSU now, in mid-semester: Contact to talk about alternatives and the financial impact of withdrawing from classes. Military-connected students should contact the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center.

• For students who can’t complete the ACT or SAT, contact a recruiter, who will offer information about the MTSU personal statement. Those students should then complete the statement, and the university will provide a holistic review for admission in lieu of the ACT/SAT score.

For more information, visit, call the MT One Stop at 615-898-2111 or email

— Randy Weiler (