Hardship Application FAQ

When can I get a hardship application?

Applications are available for you to print from our Hardship Transfer Request website or you may pick one up from any Hamilton County School including Central Office.

When and where does my hardship application need to be turned in?

Applications must be received by the Office of Equity and Advocacy by May 31st for consideration for hardship approval by the committee. You can drop off the application at any Hamilton County School, or at our Central Office location in either the inside or outside drop box or via USPS to Hamilton County Schools, Attn: Office of Equity and Advocacy, 3074 Hickory Valley Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421. If mailed via USPS, the application and supporting documentation must be received by May 31st.

When will I know if my hardship has been approved?

Letters with the committee’s decision regarding hardship placement will be sent out by letter via the United States Postal Service to the address submitted on the application by the end of the first week in July.

Can I apply for hardship to a Magnet or Open Enrollment school if I didn't get awarded a seat through the lottery application?

 No, hardships are not approved for any school that participates in the Choose Hamilton: School Choice program. Please visit the School Choice page for a listing of participating schools. For schools that participate in the School Choice program, non-Hamilton County resident students are automatically placed on a waitlist and HCS resident students are seated before seats can be offered to nonresident applicants.

If my student is currently on hardship, do I need to reapply?

For Hamilton County resident students on current hardship, you do not need to reapply unless your student is changing schools (going from elementary to middle or middle to high). Hardships remain in effect at the current school if the student is in good attendance and behavior standing. If they are not, the family will receive a letter informing them that the student’s hardship status has been revoked and they must enroll the student at their zoned school for the upcoming school year. Per Board Policy 6.204, students on a tuition hardship must reapply each year and tuition must be paid in full or payments arranged with the first payment received by the first of August. If payments are being made, missing two consecutive payments could result in the loss of a tuition hardship.