May 22, 2024  
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Costs, Financial Aid & Scholarships

Tuition and Fees

No tuition and fee bills are mailed to students. Account statements are available on GoldLink. Tuition and fees of the university are subject to change at any time by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Application Fee - All applications for admission to Graduate School must be accompanied by a $25 domestic, $35 international, application fee. The application fee is nonrefundable.

Graduate In-State Tuition - $308 per semester hour, up to 10 hours; $15 per credit hour for 11 hours and above, in addition to other fees.*

Graduate Out-of-State Tuition - $546 per semester hour, up to 10 hours; $28 per credit hour for 11 hours and above, in addition to other fees.*

Auditing Fees - The fees are the same as regular tuition.

Pre-Summer Fees - The university offers a three-week pre-summer between the end the spring semester and the beginning of the summer term. Students may enroll for concentrated course offerings, special courses, and/or workshops during this period. Maintenance fees will be assessed by the credit hour.

Summer Fees - The summer semester is divided into two (2) sessions, each five (5) weeks in duration. Students may enroll for either session separately or for both sessions at the beginning of the summer term. If students who have registered for first-session courses decide later to enroll for second-session courses, they may do so by adding and paying for such courses on or before the day the second session begins. Summer maintenance fees are assessed per credit hour with no maximum. During summer sessions, the full per credit hour maintenance fee is assessed.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change. For the most current information, please contact the Office of the Bursar.

In-State Tuition for Residents of Bordering Counties

Residents of Avery, Madison, Mitchell, Yancey, and Watauga counties in North Carolina, and residents of Lee, Scott, and Washington counties in Virginia may request an in-state tuition rate. To be considered for the special rate, students should be fully admitted to the School of Graduate Studies, and for the in-state rate to be renewed, the students must remain in good academic standing. This fee waiver is NOT applicable to the James H. Quillen College of Medicine or the College of Pharmacy. To obtain the in-state tuition rate, students must file a request form by census date (the 14th day of classes) for the semester in which the reduced tuition is sought. The form is available at (under Residency). In-State Tuition requests filed after this date will be considered for the following semester. Students may also be asked to provide documentation concerning their place of residence.

In-State and Out-of-State Tuition Regulations for Classifying Students

Excerpted from TBR Policy No. 34:05:01:00

The Graduate School must classify all applicants for tuition purposes based on all available information. The following regulations guide this process.

Intent - It is the intent that the public institutions of higher education in the State of Tennessee shall apply uniform rules, as described in these regulations and not otherwise, in determining whether students shall be classified “in-state” or “out-of-state” for fees and tuition purposes and for admission purposes.

Rules for Determination of Status

  1. Every person having his or her domicile in this State shall be classified”in-state” for fee and tuition purposes and for admission purposes.
  2. Every person not having his or her domicile in this State shall be classified “out-of-state” for said purposes.
  3. The domicile of an unemancipated person is that of his or her parent. Unemancipated students of divorced parents shall be classified “in-state” when one parent, regardless of custodial status, is domiciled in Tennessee.
  4. The spouse of a student classified as “in-state” shall also be classified “in-state.”

Out-of-State Students who are not required to pay Out-of-State Tuition - Part-time students who are not domiciled in this State but who are employed full-time in the State, or who are stationed at Fort Campbell pursuant to military orders, shall be classified out-of-state but shall not be required to pay out-of-state tuition. This shall apply to part-time students who are employed in the State by more than one employer, resulting in the equivalent of full-time employment.

Presumption - Unless the contrary appears from clear and convincing evidence, it shall be presumed that an emancipated person does not acquire domicile in this State while enrolled as a full-time student at any public or private higher educational institution in this State, as such status is defined by such institution.

Evidence to be Considered for Establishment of Domicile - If a person asserts that he or she has established domicile in this state he or she has the burden of proving that he or she has done so. Such a person is entitled to provide to the public higher education institution by which he seeks to be classified or reclassified in-state, any and all evidence which he or she believes will sustain his or her burden of proof. Said institution will consider any and all evidence provided to it concerning such claim of domicile but will not treat any particular type or item of such evidence as conclusive evidence that domicile has or has not been established.


  1. “Public higher educational institution” shall mean a university or community college supported by appropriations made by the Legislature of this State.
  2. “Residence” shall mean continuous physical presence and maintenance of a dwelling place within this State, provided that absence from the State for short periods of time shall not affect the establishment of a residence.
  3. “Domicile” shall mean a person’s true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation; it is the place where he or she intends to remain, and to which he or she expects to return when he or she leaves without intending to establish a new domicile elsewhere.
  4. “Emancipated person” shall mean a person who has attained the age of eighteen years, and whose parents have entirely surrendered the right to the care, custody, and earnings of such person and who no longer are under legal obligation to support or maintain such deemed “emancipated person.”
  5. “Parent” shall mean a person’s father or mother. If there is a non-parental guardian or legal custodian of an unemancipated person, then “parent’ shall mean such guardian or legal custodian; provided, that there are not circumstances indicating that such guardianship or custodianship was created primarily for the purpose of conferring the status of an in-state student on such unemancipated person.
  6. “Continuous enrollment” shall mean enrollment at a public higher educational institution or institution of this State as a full-time student, as such term is defined by the governing body of said public higher educational institution or institutions, for a normal academic year or years or the appropriate portion or portions thereof since the beginning of the period for which continuous enrollment is claimed. Such person need not enroll in summer sessions or other such inter-sessions beyond the normal academic year in order that his or her enrollment be deemed “continuous” notwithstanding lapses in enrollment occasioned solely by the scheduling of the commencement and/or termination of the academic years, or appropriate portion thereof, of the public higher educational institutions in which such person enrolls.

Appeal - The classification officer of each public higher educational institution shall be responsible for initially classifying students “in-state” or “out-of-state.” Appropriate procedures shall be established by each such institution by which a student may appeal his or her initial classification.

Effective Date of Reclassification - If a student classified out-of state applies for in-state classification and is subsequently so classified, his or her in-state classification shall be effective as of the date on which reclassification was sought. However, out-of-state tuition will be charged for any quarter or semester during which reclassification is sought and obtained unless application for reclassification is made to the admissions officer on or before the last day of registration of that quarter or semester.

Classification of Employees, Their Spouses and Children, and Graduate Assistants for Purposes of Fees and Tuition (TBR Policy No. 5:01:04:10) - (1) All regular full-time employees, their spouses and children, shall be classified as in-state students for purposes of fees and tuition when enrolled in courses at any institution in the State University and Community College System. (2) Graduate assistants shall be classified as in-state students for purposes of fees and tuition at the institutions where they are pursuing graduate studies as graduate assistants.

Housing Fees

(subject to change without notice)

Family and Graduate Housing
(Apartment rents listed below are 2009-2010 prices and includes all utilities.)

Buccaneer Village Apartments

  Deposit $150.00


  Efficiencies $1,955/semester
  One bedroom $2,125/semester
  Two bedroom $2,355/semester

Buccaneer Ridge Apartments (Phase I)

  Deposit $150.00

Rent (per person)

  Two bedroom-academic year lease $2,740 per semester/per person
  Two bedroom-extended (12 month) lease $2,370 per semester/per person
  Four bedroom-academic year lease $2,470 per semester/per person
  Four bedroom-extended (12 month lease) $2,100 per semester/per person

Buccaneer Ridge Apartments (Phase II)

  Deposit $150.00

Rent (per person)

  Two bedroom-academic year lease $2,840 per semester/per person
  Two bedroom-extended (12 month lease)
$2,460 per semester/per person

General Expenses

University Meal Plans (estimate/semester) $399-$1299/semester
Books (estimate per semester $500 - $700

For the most current information about university tuition and program fees, see

Academic Common Market

The Academic Common Market is an interstate agreement among southern states for sharing academic uncommon programs. Participating states are able to make arrangements for their residents who qualify for admission to enroll in specific programs in other states on an in-state tuition basis.

To enroll as an Academic Common Market student, you must (1) be accepted for admission into an ETSU program to which your state has obtained access for its residents through the Academic Common Market; (2) obtain certification of residency from the Common Market Coordinator in your home state. Contact the State Coordinator for certification information; (3) Process certification in ETSU Office of Admissions (undergraduate programs) or Graduate Office (graduate programs). Important - Certification must be processed by the 14th day of the semester (official census date) in order to be effective with that semester. Certification processed after that date will be effective with the next semester.

* Note: Programs are subject to change by the university, the states, or the Southern Regional Education Board without notice.

Approved Programs in Graduate Studies State
Master of Science in Engineering Technology Virginia
Master of Science in Environmental Health Florida
  West Virginia
Master of Arts in Reading Alabama
Master of Arts in Reading (Storytelling Option) Alabama
  South Carolina
Master of City Management Delaware
Master of Public Administration Delaware
Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition South Carolina
Doctorate of Audiology Georgia
  South Carolina
Master of Science in Technology North Carolina
(Geoscience option)  

Regulations Governing Fee Payment

The university operates on the semester system and on a cash basis. Students are required to pay all university fees when registering at the beginning of each semester.

The student ID card is used for admission and identification for athletic contests, social functions, and other activities during the semester.

The engagement of a room in the dormitory is for the full year, payable on a semester basis. However, if a student enters the residence hall after the semester begins, the charges are prorated for the remainder of the semester. Dormitory rent may be paid on installment if the student does not have sufficient grant, scholarship, or loan funds to pay all registration fees including dormitory rent at the beginning of the semester. There is a $5 charge for this service.

Students shall be held responsible for damages, breakage, or loss of university property. The room reservation fee of $100 is retained as a room breakage deposit for all living in the dormitories.

Students may not re-enroll, graduate, or receive a transcript until all indebtedness to the university is removed.

A student’s registration is not completed until the university receives payment in the amount of fees due the university. If payment is made with a check that is not honored (acknowledged bank error excepted), a late fee will be charged when the student redeems the unpaid check. The late fee will be in accordance with the catalog schedule of charges for late registration. If the check is not redeemed in 10 days, the student’s class schedule is subject to cancellation.

Deferred Payment Plan

Although all charges are due and payable at the beginning of each term, students in good financial standing at ETSU may request the deferment of up to 50 percent of his/her tuition, fees and housing for fall and spring semesters. The deferment of fees is not available for summer terms.

To be eligible for the Deferred Payment Plan, each participant must be prepared to make a minimum down payment of 50 percent of the tuition, fees and dorm rent. A student who has failed to make timely payments in a previous term may be denied the right to participate in the Deferred Payment Plan in additional enrollment periods.

The amount deferred will be payable in two monthly installments. For the fall term, installment payments are due by October 1 and November 1. For the spring term, installment payments are due by March 1 and April 1. Participants in this plan must apply all financial aid received, including student loans, toward payment of tuition and room before a deferment will be considered.

Each participant will be charged a $50 service fee each term to defray administrative costs. This fee is payable along with the 50 percent down payment on or before the registration payment deadline listed in the Schedule of Classes. An additional late payment charge of $25 will be assessed for each installment not paid on or before the 10th day of the month that a payment is due.

Dropping a course or withdrawing from the university will not remove charges. Students who drop or withdraw are required to complete the deferred payment. Any refund due under the regular refund policy will be credited to the unpaid balance.

Fee Adjustment Policies

Fee adjustment policies for maintenance fees, out-of-state tuition, and debt service fees are outlined below. Fee adjustments due will typically be processed two weeks after the changes in enrollment status.

Change of a Student’s Status Which May Not Permit a Fee Adjustment - Student(s) who are suspended or expelled from the university or residence facilities are not eligible for a fee adjustment of housing rent/deposit or university tuition fees.

Change of a Student’s Status Which May Permit a Fee Adjustment - Change in a full-time student’s schedule which results in the reclassification to a part-time student.

Change in a part-time student’s schedule which results in a class load of fewer hours.

Situations Which May Permit a Fee Adjustment - Dropping a course or courses; Withdrawing from the institution; Cancellation of a class by the institution; Death of the student.

Fee Adjustment Procedures - Fee adjustments are defined as the reduction of maintenance and/or tuition, fees and university housing charges from a student dropping credits, withdrawing, or being expelled from the university. The amount of the fee adjustment is determined according to the schedule below.

Fee adjustments are 100% for courses canceled by the institution.

Dropping or withdrawing from classes during either the 75% or the 25% fee adjustment period will result in a fee adjustment of assessed maintenance fees based on the total credit hours of the final student enrollment. The fee adjustment is calculated as the difference between (1) the cost of originally enrolled hours and (2) the per credit hour cost of the courses at final enrollment after adjustments have been applied for all courses dropped. Adjustments are calculated at the full per credit hour rate less the fee adjustment credit at the applicable fee adjustment percentage. For students dropping courses resulting in a change from full-time status to part-time status, a fee adjustment in the tuition and fees will result only if the new calculated charges are less than the original charges. Not all drops/withdrawals will result in a fee adjustments.

Return of Title IV Federal Student Aid

This requirement applies to you ONLY if: You receive federal student aid, and you withdraw prior to completing 60 percent of the period for which the aid was provided.

Federal law requires federal aid recipients to “earn” the aid they receive by staying enrolled in college. Students who withdraw prior to completing 60 percent of the semester for which they received federal student aid may be required to return some or all of the aid they were awarded.

The new law assumes that you used the Title IV student aid to pay your institutional charges - tuition, fees, dorm room, and board. Thus, if you withdraw prior to completing 60 percent of the semester for which you were awarded aid, a prorata amount of your aid must be returned to the federal government.

First, the university will restore to the appropriate federal fund source a proportional share of the institutional charges that you paid. In general, the effect of this “return of Title IV aid” by the institution will be to reduce your outstanding loan balance. Second, if the amount returned by the university is not enough to repay the entire “unearned” amount of student aid according to the length of your enrollment, you will be required to return portions of the federal student aid you received to pay non-institutional charges.

Amounts that must be returned to federal aid sources, whether by the university or by you, will first be applied to your federal loans. With respect to any amount you owe after the university has returned its share, you will be permitted to repay loans based on the original terms of the loan. In the event you received a grant or scholarship from a Title IV source you may be required to return portions of the grant or scholarship. In the case of “unearned” portions of federal grants or scholarships, you will be expected to pay 50 percent of the “unearned” portion immediately.

(This policy is based on 34 CFR, Section 668.22 of Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.)

Distribution Order of Refunds - Refunds will be credited back to student aid program accounts in the following order:

Title IV programs:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans
  3. Federal Perkins Loans
  4. Federal PLUS Loans
  5. Federal Pell Grants
  6. Federal SEOG program
  7. Other refunds will be credited to
    1. state, private, or institutional aid;
    2. the student.

Refund Appeals Procedure - Students contesting the refund policy may file a refund appeals form which may be obtained in the Comptroller’s Office, 202 Dossett Hall. It is the student’s responsibility to provide written documentation substantiating his/her reasons for the appeal. Withdrawals or reductions in course load due to personal illness/injury require a statement from a licensed medical physician stating withdrawal was necessary due to the health of the student; a death in the immediate family can be verified with a copy of the obituary. Immediate family includes spouse, child, stepchild, parent, stepparent, foster parent, parent-in- law, sibling, grandparents, and grandchildren. Other reasons must be supported by written documentation.

Refund of Residence Hall Rent - Refunds of residence hall rent after registration will be prorated on a weekly calendar basis when the student is forced to withdraw from the residence hall: (1) because of personal medical reasons confirmed in writing by a licensed physician; or (2) at the request of the institution for other than disciplinary reasons. Full refund will be made in the case of death. Withdrawals for other reasons, except disciplinary reasons, will be subject to the same 75/25 percent amounts and time periods as maintenance fees. Student(s) who are suspended or expelled from the university or residence facilities are not eligible for a refund or housing rent/deposit or university tuition/ fees. No refund will be made under any other than the above conditions.

Refund of Residence Hall Reservations and Breakage Deposits - Full deposit will be refunded if the institution is notified a minimum of 14 calendar days prior to the first official day of registration, the student is prevented from entering the university because of personal medical reasons confirmed in writing by a licensed physician, or residence hall space is not available. Full refund will be made in the case of death.

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid at East Tennessee State University provides a broad spectrum of programs to assist students in financing their college education. The university is committed to providing access to students through a variety of resources. Types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, fee waivers, fellowships, assistantships, work-study, and student loans. Financial Aid is a supplement to an applicant’s personal resources. Types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, fee waivers, fellowships, assistantships, work-study, and student loans.

Financial Aid is a supplement to an applicant’s personal resources. Reasonable family contributions are expected. The majority of financial aid awarded at the university is based on the student’s financial need. Scholarship funds are awarded based on academic merit or other criteria specified by the donor or organization managing the program. Need is defined by federal formulas and based on a student’s estimated cost of attendance less any expected family contribution.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA- is the federal government’s form for applying for financial aid. Students must complete the FAFSA every year as soon after January 1st as possible using accurate tax information from the prior year. The FAFSA provides a comprehensive review of the family’s financial status. The results, including the Expected Family Contribution, are generated on the Student Aid Report (SAR), sent to the student, and sent electronically to colleges and universities listed by the student on the FAFSA. Read your SAR comments only if you are selected for verification. Visit our website, check GoldLink frequently for Unsatisfied Requirements, and respond promptly. Students will find links to other helpful financial aid information at

Financial aid programs, rules, and regulations are subject to change. Federal funds are conditional upon congressional appropriations and receipt of those funds at ETSU. the Office of Financial Aid is sometimes required to adjust or cancel awards because of changes in financial or academic status, change of academic program, or other extenuating circumstances. Each award is contingent on the receipt of funds by the university. Students must regularly attend classes to receive financial aid. Financial aid will be adjusted or canceled for not attending classes. Please see the Policies and Procedures for further information.

Students should always notify the Office of Financial Aid if any awards such as scholarships, assistantships, or other types of assistance are not listed on the financial aid award screen in GoldLink. These funds must be counted as a funding resource toward the cost of attendance. When a student receives funds after being notified of or receiving the original financial aid award, adjustments to the original financial aid award may be required. Federal regulations require the university to prevent over-awarding a student’s financial aid need and/or cost of education. Changing a student’s residency classification from out-of-state to in-state will impact financial aid eligibility and may create an over-award. In some instances, a portion or all of a student or parent’s loan or other funds may have to be returned to the source due to the over-award. If the student has already received a Direct Deposit or Balance of Aid Refund Check, (student/parent), the student may owe funds to the university. The student will be required to repay any financial aid funds received in error. The Financial Aid Policies and Procedures Guide located at gives additional detail on program requirements.

Financial Aid counselors are assigned to students according to the student’s last name. Students may contact their counselor with any questions or concerns regarding their eligibility.

In an effort to adhere to federal privacy laws, the ETSU Office of Financial Aid restricts the release of certain private student information. Students must contact the Office of Financial Aid personally to check the status of their financial aid application and awards. Often, we will be unable to release information to third parties (i.e., parents, spouses, etc.) without a signed release form on file from the student. To obtain a Release of Information Form, the student must visit our office in person and present a photo ID. This Release of Information does not authorize third parties to complete documents that, by law, require the student’s completion and/or signature. Access to financial aid information is limited and does not include access to information from other university departments. This release will remain in place until the student submits a written cancellation request to the Office of Financial Aid.

Any applicant who has a concern that cannot be resolved between the student and a financial aid counselor may appeal in the following order: to the Client Services Coordinator, the Assistant Director of Financial Aid, then the Director of Financial Aid. The student may appeal to the
Vice Provost if none of the previous steps resolved the issue.

“Funding Education Beyond High School,” a publication by the United States Department of Education, is a helpful source of information regarding the federal financial aid programs. Copies are available in the Office of Financial Aid or directly from the government.

Student Eligibility

To be eligible for federal financial aid programs, students must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be accepted for admission;
  2. Be enrolled as a regular student, attending classes in a degree or certificate program;
  3. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  4. Meet the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy;
  5. Males must be registered with the Selective Service;
  6. Not be in default on a student loan or owe a repayment of Title IV federal financial aid funds. (A repayment occurs if the student receives funds for living expenses and then withdraws within the first 60% of the term (officially or unofficially) from the university.

Students not enrolled in a degree or certificate program may be eligible for financial aid if enrolled in pre-requisite classes for admission into a graduate degree program or enrolled in classes to complete teaching certification requirements. Federal Stafford Loans may be awarded to these students for a maximum of 12 consecutive months and a one-time occurrence during educational career.

Federal Financial Aid Application Procedures

  1. Apply for a personal identification number (PIN) for yourself if you do not already have one.
  2. Every year, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1st using accurate tax information from the prior year. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA electronically at the following web site: List the ETSU school code, 003487, on the FAFSA for ETSU main campus to receive the data electronically.
  3. ETSU will review the student’s financial aid record electronically with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS.) If the student has attended another institution and discrepancies are found, the student must resolve the discrepancy with that institution.
  4. The Federal Processor sends the Student Aid Report (SAR) to the student in response to completing the FAFSA. ETSU will receive the SAR data electronically when the student lists ETSU on the FAFSA. If ETSU was not listed on the FAFSA, the student should go to and add the ETSU school code, 003487. The student is encouraged to review the SAR for accuracy. If corrections are required, ask the Office of Financial Aid and read SAR comments for assistance. If the student is selected for verification, the student should visit our website, check GoldLink frequently for Unsatisfied Requirements, respond promptly, and contact the ETSU Office of Financial Aid for further instruction or assistance. The Office of Financial Aid may require other information.
  5. The Office of Financial Aid begins sending award offers to new and transfer students beginning mid-April each year. Continuing students begin receiving award offers by the end of May each year. Awards can be viewed, accepted, and/or declined through GoldLink by clicking on the Financial Aid tab. Check your Financial Aid Status frequently for any Unsatisfied Requirements because new requirements can be added each time changes are made to your financial aid. Allow 2-3 days for Student Requirements to be satisfied; they are not satisfied immediately. All students must complete the “Financial Aid and Prior Balances Form” electronically. No financial aid can be applied to a student account until this form has been completed and submitted through GoldLink.
  6. ETSU Stafford and PLUS (Parent and Grad) Loans are through the Federal Direct Loan Program. If you accepted the Federal Direct Stafford Loan through your GoldLink account, you will need to East Tennessee State University 22 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog proceed to the Direct Loan Program website at to complete your electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN). Stafford Loan borrowers will also need to complete the Direct Loan Entrance Counseling at After you complete the entrance loan counseling, you will be given confirmation. Please print this out and keep for your records. ETSU will be notified that you completed your entrance counseling. If you have accepted a PLUS loan, the promissory note must be signed each year through the Direct Loan website at

If you accepted the Perkins Loan for the first time, you will receive an email from ESCI instructing you to complete and sign the Perkins Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. You will also need to complete Perkins entrance loan counseling online at If you qualified for Federal Work Study (FWS) or Academic Performance Scholarship (APS) and have been awarded FWS or APS, check the job listings at

Notify the ETSU Office of Financial Aid of residency changes and other scholarships, loans, or assistance that is not listed on your GoldLink account under “Awards.” Awards are subject to change.

Important Dates

Early application remains the most important action in securing funds to assist with financing the student’s education. The university recommends the following dates as a guideline:

January 1                                                  Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible with income and accurate tax information.
Feb. 15 Priority date to apply for TSAA using the FAFSA form. Check your Student Aid Report and read the comments. Deadline for new freshmen to apply for ETSU APS scholarship.
March 1 Follow up with Office of Financial Aid on FAFSA status. Deadline to apply for ETSU scholarships.
April 15 Priority date to have FAFSA filed, verification complete, all corrections made, and file ready to award for fall term. Go Online to GoldLink and check your financial aid status.
May 15 Deadline for new transfers to apply for the ETSU APS scholarship.
June 15 All financial aid awards must be accepted or declined and all student requirements met for aid to be ready at start of fall classes.
Nov. 15                                                  Priority date to have aid file complete to be ready for spring term. Deadline to have FAFSA processed to be considered for the TN Lottery Scholarships:

September 1 - fall
February 1 - spring and summer

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

Federal regulations require that all student financial aid recipients make satisfactory academic progress toward achieving a degree. Progress is measured by the student’s cumulative grade point average, percentage of credit hours earned in relation to those attempted, and the length of the academic program. In order to assure that students make progress toward the degree both in terms of number of hours completed and cumulative GPA, East Tennessee State University uses the following satisfactory progress policy:

  • PROGRESS STANDARDS: Students must earn a satisfactory grade in at least 66% of the semester credit hours they attempt each semester.
  • SEMESTER PROGRESS: Students must, as a minimum, receive a satisfactory grade (*) in the courses they attempt each semester.
    *For purposes of financial aid, satisfactory grades are A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, S, SP or P. Unsatisfactory grades are F, W, WF, U, or I. Audits do not count as attempted hours and are not eligible for financial aid.
  • Note: Unsatisfactory grades will not be counted as earned credit hours, but will count as attempted credit hours.
    • Academic progress is reviewed at the end of each Spring term, and students who do not make satisfactory academic progress are notified in writing.
    • Students who receive all “I”, “F”, “W”, “WF”, or “U” grades in courses attempted in ANY term (fall, spring, summer) will become ineligible for financial aid (see below in reference to Regaining Eligibility).
    • Repeat courses will be counted in earned credit hours. (Note: ALL courses attempted, except audited courses, count in total credit hours attempted.)
    • Transfer courses recognized by ETSU will be counted in attempted and earned credit hours.
    • All distance education, telecommunications, television, and web-based courses are considered in total attempted hours.
    • Academic Fresh Start (See Admissions ) students will have their satisfactory academic progress evaluated on work attempted after returning to the university under the Academic Fresh Start Policy. However, the appeal limits and maximum eligibility requirement (150%) still apply (see below in reference to Maximum Eligibility).
    • Second-degree students will have their satisfactory academic progress calculated from the credit hours attempted beyond the first degree. (Note: Additional credit hours for the second-degree coursework will be limited to the credit hours required to complete the second degree.) A second-degree student is defined as a student with a previous degree at the same classification, either undergraduate or graduate. For example, a student pursues a bachelor’s degree in a new field after earning a previous bachelor’s degree.
    • Students classified as “Undergraduate Special” (SPU) may not be eligible for federal financial aid because they are a visiting student or not seeking a degree; check with a Financial Aid Counselor.
    • Students classified as “Graduate Non-Degree” (SPG) are eligible for federal financial aid for a maximum of one year if they are enrolled in classes that are:
      • Required for a teacher certification program (the loan limit is that of a fifth-year undergraduate); OR
      • Necessary as pre-requisite courses for enrollment into a graduate program (the loan limit is that of a fifth-year undergraduate).
      • Students may receive aid for no more than 30 attempted hours of remedial coursework. English as a Second Language (ESL) classes are included in the 30 credit hours.
  • CUMULATIVE PROGRESS: Students must, in addition to the above, meet the retention standards of ETSU as outlined in the current ETSU Undergraduate and Graduate catalogs.
  • MAXIMUM ELIGIBILITY: Students who have attempted 150% of the required credit hours for their degree will become ineligible for financial aid. Maximum eligibility is checked each semester.
    • SATISFACTORY PROGRESS APPEAL: Students who fail to meet these standards and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal that decision to the Office of Financial Aid. The appeal must be prepared in writing on the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form, and must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documents. The appeal form can be found below. Reasons that may be acceptable for the appeal are:
      • Serious illness or accident on the part of the student;
      • Death, accident, or serious illness in the immediate family;
      • Class canceled by ETSU; and
      • Other acceptable extenuating circumstances considered
    • MAKING UP DEFICIENT CREDIT HOURS WITHOUT AID: In the event that the student does not qualify for an appeal, he or she may be eligible to have financial aid reinstated by taking the following actions:
      • Earn at ETSU the number of deficient credit hours in which aid was received;
      • Pay for these hours without federal financial aid;
      • Maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA for the term average for those credit hours; and
      • Notify the Office of Financial Aid when the deficient hours have been earned.
  • APPEAL LIMITS The maximum number of appeals any student may normally have granted during an academic career is two (2). Under extreme circumstances, a third appeal may be granted during an academic career, provided that the student has documented proof of the circumstances. In the case of a student who files a third appeal, the reasons for the student’s two previous appeals will be reviewed and considered when making a decision. Additionally, the student’s progress within the academic program will be a determining factor in third appeals.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form

Bursar’s Office Fee Adjustment Policy

Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Scholarships

Application Process-Students who wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship or tuition scholarship should so indicate in the appropriate place on the degree application for admission to Graduate School. When the degree application is forwarded to the department or program, the student’s qualifications for an assistantship or tuition scholarship are reviewed as part of the admission process.

Students who wish to be considered for assistantships or scholarships in programs or offices outside his/her major discipline should submit a letter of interest and a current resume directly to the office or department posting the vacancy.

The Graduate Office posts graduate assistantship and tuition vacancies at

Applicants will not be approved for assistantships or tuition scholarships until they have been admitted to a graduate degree program and have registered for at least nine hours. International students must sit for the Oral Proficiency Interview before the contract can be approved.

Graduate Assistantships - Students receiving graduate assistantships must register for at least nine graduate hours per semester within his/her approved graduate program unless a waiver is obtained from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. During the summer terms, graduate students on assistantships must register for a total of six hours. Out-of-state tuition is waived for graduate students who hold assistantships. All or part of the in-state tuition may be waived, depending on the level of the award. Graduate assistants may not take more than 15 hours of graduate credit per semester without prior permission from the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Students normally do not hold a graduate assistantship for more than two years.

Tuition Scholarships - A limited number of tuition scholarships are available to qualified first-time graduate students. A tuition scholarship award waives the tuition and maintenance fees for in- and out-of-state recipients. Tuition Scholarship recipients must register for at least nine graduate hours each term and perform eight hours of service per week at his/her assigned location.

Resignations - Graduate assistants and tuition scholars who resign his/her positions during a term must notify the Graduate School immediately upon resignation and are responsible for a prorata portion of tuition and fees accrued during that term.

Handbook for Graduate Assistants and Tuition Scholars - Additional guidelines and policies pertaining to graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships are available in the Graduate Assistant Handbook, which is available at

Residence Hall Assistantships - Residence hall assistantships are available to students pursuing an advanced degree. Graduate students may serve as a Resident Director where they will supervise and be assisted by an undergraduate staff. Resident Directors are responsible for the overall management of a residence hall such as staffing, counseling, group advising, program development, and housing administration.

Preference is given to those majoring in psychology, guidance and counseling, education, educational administration, and with residence life experience and/or group work of a related nature. Students must maintain nine credit hours of enrollment. Selection will be based on the above listed criteria, acceptance into the School of Graduate Studies, letters of recommendation, a personal interview, and a background check.

Appointment is for a nine-month period with the possibility of summer work when available. Remuneration includes a furnished apartment with utilities, in-state and out-of-state fee waiver and a monthly stipend. Further information and applications are available from the Department of Housing and Residence Life, ETSU Box 70723, Johnson City, TN 37614-1710 or email

Graduate Assistantships in the Division of Student Affairs - In addition to the Residence Hall Assistantships, approximately 20 other graduate assistantships are available through the Division of Student Affairs. These positions offer a wide range of experience and opportunities, such as the Counseling Center and Campus Recreation. Students from all majors are eligible to apply, although efforts are made to match the students’ abilities, interests and particular degree program with an assistantship. Most Student Affairs Graduate Assistants work 20 hours/ week on a nine month contract, although exceptions do exist. For more information concerning these assistantships you may contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs by phone, 439-4210, or by email,


The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program offers employment opportunities to students with financial need. Students are paid minimum wage bi-monthly.

The Regular Student Work Program (RSWP) offers employment to students not eligible for need-based, Federal Work-Study. Students may work up to 8 hours per week and are paid minimum wage.

Available positions for FWS and RSWP are listed at under Student Work Positions.

The ETSU Office of Career Development has information about off-campus jobs and the Cooperative Education (CO-OP) Program. The CO-OP Program gives students the opportunity to gain work experience related to his/her academic major and career objective.


The Alumni Loan Fund - Made available by donations from alumni. Loans of up to $250 are made to students who demonstrate financial need having a satisfactory academic record (2.0 or better). Two cosigners are required. Interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum will begin on the date the maker ceases to be enrolled full time at ETSU.

The George Washington Bradley Memorial Loan Fund - Established to honor the memory of Dr. Bradley, former ETSU Assistant Professor of Education and Psychology. Available funds may be loaned to worthy graduate students majoring in education, counseling, or guidance who demonstrate financial need and are making satisfactory progress in school. The repayment may be deferred until after graduation, with interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum beginning at that time.

The East Tennessee State University Loan Fund - A short-term loan fund administered by ETSU for those students having temporary needs to meet his/her educational expenses for tuition/fees. There is a processing charge, and repayment is due at least two weeks prior to the end of the semester in which the loan is made. A Short-Term Loan Application is required. A cosigner is required.

The loan fund was established by an original gift of $1,000 from the business and professional men of Johnson City. It has been augmented with gifts from other sources, which include: a gift from Mrs. Elizabeth Allison in memory of her husband, Mr. M.H. Allison; the American Legion Auxiliary, Kings Mountain Unit No. 24, in memory of Mrs. Ferne Fisher Miller; the Business and Professional Women’s District Loan Fund; the Lt. (e.g.) William C. Dunn Memorial Loan Scholarship Fund; the Ada Hornsby Earnest Loan Scholarship; the Eastern Star Loan Fund, Nolichucky Chapter 194; the Faculty Women’s Club Loan Fund; the Frieberg Memorial Loan Scholarship, established by the Col. D. Henley Chapter of the U.S. Daughters of 1812; the Sidney Gordon Gilbreath Loan Fund, established in memory of the first president of the university; the Sarah Hawkins Chapter, DAR Loan Fund; an annual contribution from Home Federal Savings and Loan Association; the Johnson County Loan Fund, established by the Weitzel-McBride Chapter of the U.S. Daughters of 1812; the Jesse M. Jones Memorial by Mr. and Mrs. Doyle Jones; the Theona Main Memorial established by the East Side PTA, Elizabethton; the Ferne Fisher Miller Memorial Loan Scholarship, established by the Col. D. Henley Chapter of U.S. Daughters of 1812; the Mae Nave Memorial Loan Fund; the William R. Rigell Memorial Loan Fund; the C.C. Sherrod Memorial Loan Fund, established in memory of the second president of the university; the P.W. Alexander Alumni Memorial Fund; the John Sevier Chapter, DAR Loan Fund; the Tennessee Students’ Loan Fund, a memorial to Hortense Cocke Hayes and J. Norment Powell; the U.S. Daughters of 1812 Loan Scholarship, established by the Weitzel-McBride Chapter, the Gen. Nathaniel Taylor Chapter, and the Watauga Chapter; and the YMCA Student Loan Fund.

The Patience Myers McLain Fund - Established by the late Roy B. McLain in memory of his mother. This is a loan fund whereby needy students preparing for ministerial or social welfare work may borrow up to $300 per semester. Repayment begins six months after the maker ceases to be enrolled full time, with interest at the rate of 3 percent per annum.

Federal Stafford Loan Program - Stafford loans are awarded based on a student’s dependency status, financial need, cost of attendance, and grade level. Both undergraduate and graduate students may borrow in this program. These loans will be subsidized when based on need and the federal government will pay the interest while the student remains enrolled at least half time. Unsubsidized loans are also available based on the student’s cost of attendance and other financial aid. These loans require the student to pay or accrue the interest while enrolled, although the principal amount of the loan is deferred. Borrowers begin repaying both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans at the end of at least halftime enrollment. Interest rates are currently 6.8% but may vary with legislative changes.

Federal Perkins Loan Program - Federally funded loans borrowed from the university at 5 percent interest for both undergraduate and graduate students. Repayment begins nine months after a student ceases at least half-time attendance.

Tennessee Teaching Scholars and Graduate Nursing Loan Forgiveness Programs - Information about these programs is available at

Veterans Affairs

To find information on Veterans Affairs, go to the Student Services section of this catalog.

Regard for the student as a person, and provision of opportunities for participation in the co-curricular life of the university are basic commitments of East Tennessee State University. Dedicated, caring individuals strive to give the student a sense of belonging to ETSU.

Student services include an orientation program, financial aid, housing, personal counseling, and advising to help plan a program of study or choose a vocation. Student services are available to meet the special needs of minority groups, students with disabilities, and those with specific health or academic problems.

Various student services are described below. Additional information about any of these services can be secured by contacting the Office of Student Affairs, upper level of the D.P. Culp University Center, phone (423) 439-4210 -

Other Scholarships