Lottery qualifications get approval

Highlights of lottery legislation approved Monday night by the Tennessee Senate:  Qualifying students must have a 3.0 grade-point average in  high school. After their freshman year in college, students must  have a 2.75 GPA, which must reach a cumulative 3.0 at the completion of their sophomore year. The House bill is identical.- Students at four-year public or private institutions would  receive $4,000 "General Assembly Merit Scholarships" under the Senate version. The House version calls for awards equalized at $3,000.  Students attending two-year community colleges would receive  $2,000 awards, while those at technical schools would get $1,500 under the Senate bill. In the House bill, students at community colleges would get $1,500 and technical school students would get $1,250.  Qualifying students from families with an annual income of less than $36,000 per year would receive $1,000 supplements.  Homeschooled students with a 19 GPA must complete their  freshman year of college with a 2.75 GPA to qualify for a retroactive reward. Renewal after their sophomore year would require a cumulative 3.0 GPA. The House bill would require a 23 ACT with a 3.0 GPA after their first year to receive the retroactive award, but would allow students to qualify immediately if they have taken six college level hours in high school (two courses) and maintained a 'B' average.  Any extra money after scholarships have been awarded can be allocated by the General Assembly for early childhood education programs. The House bill would fund early childhood education for 5,000 at-risk 4-year-olds and allocate lottery proceeds for K-12 capital improvements.  Allows dependents of soldiers killed or totally incapacitated during a war to receive the scholarship, regardless of their GPA or ACT score.