The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) is charged with evaluating the effectiveness of Tennessee Education Lottery scholarship and grant programs. The Commission accomplishes this through an annual statistical report focusing on student success and scholarship renewal, as well as a variety of other analyses and alliances. Recent collaborative efforts have included:

     • The Wharton Committee, an ad hoc committee appointed by the chair of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. In April 2008, the Committee issued a report with policy recommendations to promote racial and socioeconomic equity among scholarship recipients.

     • UT Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER). In August 2010, CBER was commissioned to develop long range projections of scholarship expenditures, pursuant to statutory requirements. These projections are presented by THEC and TSAC staff to the State Funding Board twice annually, in the fall and spring.

     • Higher Education Working Group. Throughout the fall of 2010 a group of representatives from the higher education community met in support of the work of the Lottery Scholarship Stabilization Task Force. In February of 2011, the Working Group issued a report containing several policy alternatives for bringing the lottery scholarship program into greater alignment with the productivity agenda of the Complete College Tennessee Act.

Annual reports

T.C.A. § 49-4-903(b) charges the Tennessee Higher Education Commission with responsibility for researching and analyzing data concerning the scholarship and grant programs created under the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program. This research is to include, but is not limited to, student success and scholarship retention. THEC must submit an annual report to the Education Committees of the Senate and House of Representatives by the 2nd Tuesday in January.

Lottery Scholarship Stabilization Task Force

The THEC staff provided support to the Lottery Scholarship Stabilization Task Force, which was convened in response to data from the State Funding Board and a report from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville’s Center for Business and Economic Research that lottery scholarship annual program expenditures were outpacing annual net lottery proceeds. The Task Force considered ways to rein in program expenses and better align lottery scholarship policy with the state’s new college completion agenda.

State Funding Board report

UTK CBER report
“A Forecast of Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Expenditures” (August 2010)
This report provides estimates of expected annual expenditures under the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship programs for academic years 2010-2011 through 2013-2014. As the TELS programs continue to grow, it becomes imperative to accurately track expected expenditures relative to corresponding revenue streams in an effort to ensure the fiscal sustainability of the programs.
Potential cost-saving scenarios
As requested by the Senate Lottery Stabilization Task Force, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) conducted analyses to determine how each of the potential cost savings policy options currently under consideration by the Task Force would impact students. Specifically, the report provides a one page summary for each of the policy options, and presents the policy’s impact on student demographics and progression.

THEC staff compiled some 20 lottery scholarship cost-savings scenarios for consideration by the Lottery Stabilization Task Force. This Excel spreadsheet shows the range of cost-saving options, from $2 million to $75 million.

Report from the Higher Education Working Group (February 2011)
Working in an advisory capacity to the Lottery Stabilization Task Force, a Higher Education Working Group analyzed the Complete College Tennessee Act (CCTA) of 2010 and identified four broad objectives within the state’s completion agenda: 1) the ultimate goal of increased numbers of degree completers; 2) increased retention; 3) timely progress toward degree completion; and 4) ease of transfer between 2‐ and 4‐year institutions. This report focuses on the alignment between these CCTA policy objectives and the TELS program, to determine whether the scholarship program in its current form serves Tennessee’s college completion agenda.

Institutional Reports

Institutional Profiles

The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Institutional Profiles provide information on lottery scholarship programs for every public community college and university. Each institutional profile includes:
• Scholarship recipients and dollars awarded;
• Percentage of first-time freshmen who received a lottery scholarship, by student demographic characteristics;
• Median income of TELS first-time freshmen;
• 2nd-year and cumulative scholarship renewal rates by scholarship type;
• 5-year graduation rates by scholarship type; and
• Bachelors graduates by major for TELS and non-TELS graduates.

County and Public High School District Level Reports

Legislative county higher ed profiles

Please see Legislative reports.

First-year TELS recipients by HS district, 2005-2009

The Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship (TELS) Institutional Profiles provide information on lottery scholarship programs for every public community college and university. Each institutional profile includes:

Special / ad hoc reports

An examination of TELS grant and loan forgiveness programs for special populations

This report provides a descriptive overview of five of the smaller TELS programs, including: the Dual Enrollment Grant, the HOPE Foster Grant, the Helping Heroes Grant, the Math & Science Teacher Loan Forgiveness program, and the Rural Health Loan Forgiveness program. The goal of this report is to provide legislators, policymakers, and researchers with a basic understanding of these five TELS programs and the students they serve. Specifically, the report examines the number of students served by each program, their demographics, academic preparation, postsecondary enrollment trends, and their postsecondary progression and success.

Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant Program Report (January 2010)

This January 2010 report was the Commission’s first look at recipients of the Wilder-Naifeh Technical Skills Grant Program, which provides $2,000 per year to Tennessee residents who enroll in certificate or diploma programs at one of the 27 Tennessee Technology Centers across the state. The report includes information on the numbers of grantees, recipients’ demographic composition, most popular majors, program completion rates, and program completers’ rates of transfer to other institutions.

Wharton Committee report and recommendations (April 2007)

An ad hoc committee, chaired by Mayor A C Wharton of Shelby County, was convened following the THEC regular quarterly meeting of January 2007. The Wharton Committee held a series of four meetings over the ensuing two-month period to address the issue of lower-than-expected scholarship retention rates coupled with the findings of socioeconomic disparity in scholarship qualification and retention. In April 2007 the Committee issued its recommendations to the Commission and the General Assembly.

A Comparison of States' Lottery Scholarship Programs

This report examines lottery funded merit-based scholarship programs in eight states. Specifically, this report addresses questions about: 1.) How programs are similar or different regarding eligibility rules, award details, and renewal and restoration rules. 2.) What changes to the programs have occurred over time, and what was the impetus behind these changes (i.e. was it a policy decision, due to fiscal constraints, or both). 3.) Finally, to understand how the programs are related to college access and completion.

Legislative reports and communications

Legislative county higher ed profiles

The Tennessee County Higher Education Profiles provide basic information with respect to higher education for each county in Tennessee. Various data sources are used to provide the following information:
• US Census Bureau – county socioeconomic profile;
• THEC student information system – enrollment at institutions within the county, and enrollment by county residents in other counties around the state;
• TN Student Assistance Corp - lottery scholarship awards and renewals, and need-based TN Student Assistance Award recipients and unfunded eligible students;
• TN Department of Health – county health outcomes; and
• Bureau of Labor Statistics – county business patterns.