MTSU almost doubles amount of True Blue Scholarshi...

MTSU almost doubles amount of True Blue Scholarship for qualifying freshmen

Middle Tennessee State University announced Tuesday, Sept. 20, that it substantially increased the value and broadened eligibility of its True Blue Scholarship, almost doubling the amount of the award offered to qualified incoming freshmen.

President Sidney A. McPhee said the True Blue Scholarship, the first tier of MTSU’s array of guaranteed academic scholarships, will now be available to first-time freshmen scoring 22 to 24 on the ACT with at least a 3.5 high school GPA.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU president
Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

McPhee raised the scholarship payout from $8,000 to $14,000 total, making it $3,500 a year for four years. As a guaranteed scholarship, it is awarded automatically to all who meet its criteria — but only if they apply to the university before Dec. 1.

McPhee also announced a new top-tier offering to the university’s guaranteed scholarships: The designation of Centennial Scholar, which provides $32,000 over four years, or $8,000 per year, to students scoring 34 to 36 on the ACT test and earning a 3.5 high school GPA.

“Our True Blue Scholarship is now the largest guaranteed academic award given by any public university in Tennessee to students with these credentials,” he said. “Coupled with our new Centennial Scholar designation, MTSU is yet again making significant new investments in our scholarship offerings.”

MTSU continues awarding its guaranteed Trustees Scholarship to students with ACT scores of 30 to 33 and a minimum 3.5 GPA, paying $20,000 over four years, or $5,000 per year.

MTSU wordmark

Students scoring 30 and above on the ACT and with a minimum 3.5 high school GPA can apply for MTSU’s highest academic award, the Buchanan Fellowship, a competitive and selective full-tuition scholarship offered through the University Honors College.

The Buchanan award requires a separate application, which is also due Dec. 1. For more information, go to

The president made the announcement as MTSU prepares to visit prospective students in Clarksville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, the first off-campus stop in the True Blue Tour, a 13-city, four-state road trip organized by the Office of Admissions that showcases the university’s academic advantages.

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

McPhee said the expanded True Blue Scholarship and the Centennial Scholar designation will begin with new, first-time freshmen who enter in fall 2023. 

The slate of MTSU’s guaranteed scholarships, when combined with the recently enhanced Hope Lottery Scholarship, “substantially reduces or eliminates the cost of tuition for these high-ability students to attend the university,” said Dr. Debra Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services.

Sells said more information on ways qualified students can reduce or eliminate tuition expenses can be found at

McPhee said the university reallocated existing funds in its budget to pay for the scholarship enhancements.

“We feel strongly that MTSU, as a major comprehensive university with a broad array of top-notch majors, is the best choice for these high-ability students,” he said.

“These scholarships will make it even more practical and affordable for them to pursue their higher education goals on our beautiful campus.”

For more information about admission to MTSU, go to, email or call 615-898-2233.

— Andrew Oppmann (