Jul 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Costs, Financial Aid & Scholarships



Financial Aid



Account statements are available in GoldLink after registration. Bills for tuition and fees are not mailed. For the most current information about university tuition, program service fee, course fees, and deposits see What You Should Know about Tuition.  Estimate costs with the online Tuition Estimator. Tuition and fees of the university are subject to change at any time by the East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees. The listing of fees in the catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student.

Maintenance Fees

Undergraduate maintenance fees are assessed at the full per-credit-hour rate for hours 1-12 and are assessed at a reduced per-credit-hour rate for each additional hour. Graduate maintenance fees are assessed at the full per-credit-hour rate for hours 1-10 with a reduced rate for each additional credit hour. The full per-credit-hour rate applies to all credits in the summer and winter terms. Fees are presented in the ETSU Tuition and Fee Schedule.

Program Service Fee

In addition to the maintenance fee, students are required to pay a program service fee that covers the cost of campus programs and services. Program Service Fee is based on the number of credit hours in which a student is enrolled and is capped at eight credit hours. The program service fee includes activity, technology access, postal services, graduation, drop/add, CPA, debt service, international education, and other fees. 

Consult the ETSU Tuition and Fee Schedule for more information.

Out-of-State Tuition

Out-of-State Tuition is charged for non-residents of the State of Tennessee in addition to maintenance fees.  Undergraduate non-resident students are assessed full per-credit-hour out-of-state rate for 1-12 credit hours and a reduced rate for 13 credits hours and above; graduate non-resident students are assessed full per-credit-hour rate for 1-10 credit hours and a reduced rate for 11 credit hours and above. Residency classification is determined by the ETSU Office of Admissions for undergraduate students or the ETSU College of Graduate and Continuing Studies for graduate students.

ETSU Course Fees

ETSU Course Fees (Incidental Fees) are assessed by academic departments to support specialized instruction, academic technology, and/or materials.

eRate Fees

ETSU eRate Fees are available for students classified as non-Tennessee residents and registered for all online credits. Students meeting these criteria pay the eRate. The eRate is 150% of the approved undergraduate or graduate maintenance fee. Contact the Online Student Success Coordinator (Chelsie Dubay) at 439-8616 for additional information.

Short Session Fees (Summer and Winter)

The summer term is divided into multiple short sessions. Additionally ETSU offers a short session (winter) between fall and spring semesters. Students may enroll for all sessions before the beginning of the term or separately during the term. If enrolling separately, fees are due before each session begins. Summer and Winter maintenance fees and out-of-state tuition are assessed at the full per-credit-hour rate for all credit hours. 

Housing and Residence Life Costs

Housing and residence life costs include dorm or apartment rent and meal plans. There are a variety of choices for students in housing and meal plans. The Housing and Residence Life office has additional information about deposits, rates and amenities. Meal plans are available for resident and commuter students. 

Other Costs

Additionally, books and supplies are needed for courses. Consult the ETSU Bookstore. Costs that can be avoided include late registration fee, returned checks, parking fines, and library fines.

Fee Payment

Students are expected to make payment for all classes for which they are enrolled on or before the payment deadline. Payments may be made through GoldLink or at the cashier windows, second floor, Dossett Hall. Students may not re-enroll, graduate, or receive a transcript of records until all debts to the university are paid. Regulations governing fee payment can be found in the ETSU Fee Payment Policy.

Fee Payment for Financial Aid Recipients

The final step in registration for financial aid recipients is payment of fees. Fee Payment for Financial Aid Recipients provides detailed information on confirmation and fee payment. The student’s responsibility depends on whether full or partial financial aid is received. 

Payment in Full by Financial Aid: The student must confirm fee payment through GoldLink when the award is complete and fees are paid in full. This action completes registration.  

Partial Payment with Financial Aid: The student also must confirm fee payment and pay the balance of fees with credit card, debit card or electronic check through GoldLink. This action completes registration.    

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 a deferment of up to 50 percent of maintenance fees, tuition, program service fee, course fees, and housing for fall and spring semesters.

Students who choose the deferred payment plan pay a service fee and are required to pay 50% when fees are due at the beginning of the semester. Additionally, the remainder may be paid in two installments.

Fee Adjustment and Refund Policies

East Tennessee State University adheres to The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system-wide policy for calculating fee adjustments and refunds. This refund policy primarily affects full-time students who adjust their schedules to part-time status, including complete withdrawal, after the conclusion of the 100% fee adjustment/refund period. Students will be assessed a pro-rated fee for the dropped hours. TBR policy is available online (see section XII. Refunds).

Fee adjustment and refund policies for maintenance fees, out-of-state tuition, program service fee and course fees are outlined below. Fee adjustments and refunds typically are processed two weeks after changes in enrollment status.  See the Tuition and Fee Payment Calendar for fee adjustment and refund dates and calculate the amount of adjustment or refund with the Tuition Refund Estimator.

Refund Appeals Procedures

Students contesting the refund policy may file a refund appeal. Please follow the instructions on the form and return it to the Records Office, 101 Dossett Hall. Students must provide written documentation substantiating reasons for the appeal.  Refund appeals may be granted for withdrawals or reductions in course load due to personal illness or injury, death in the immediate family, or other extenuating circumstances. A personal illness/injury appeal requires a statement from a licensed medical physician stating withdrawal was necessary due to the health of the student. 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.

A student may file a refund appeal request, including verifiable documentation of extenuating circumstances, within one academic year from the last day of the appeal term.

Refund of Residence Hall Rent

Refunds of residence hall rent after registration are prorated on a weekly calendar basis if a student has to leave a residence hall only under two conditions: personal medical reasons confirmed in writing by a licensed physician, or at the request of the institution for reasons other than disciplinary ones.

Withdrawals, except disciplinary reasons, are subject to the same 75/25 percent amounts and time periods as maintenance fee refunds.  Full refund will be made in the case of death of the student.

A student who is suspended or expelled from the university or residence facilities is not eligible for a refund of housing rent/deposit or university fees. 

Refund of Residence Hall Deposits

Residence hall deposits can be refunded under these conditions:

  • the institution is notified in writing by June 1.
  • the student is prevented from entering the university because of personal medical reasons confirmed in writing by a licensed physician, 
  • residence hall space is not available, or
  • death of the student.

Financial Aid

Important Information about Applying and Receiving Financial Aid at ETSU

The Office of Financial Aid at ETSU assists graduate students in finding resources to help them finance their college education. The university is committed to providing access to students through a variety of resources. Types of financial aid include scholarships, grants, fellowships, assistantships, student-service positions, and student loans.

In order to receive financial aid, students must meet and maintain student eligibility requirements and comply with the ETSU Office of Financial Aid Policies and Procedures. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the policies and procedures and comply with the requirements for financial aid.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

It is important to follow the steps listed below in order to successfully apply for financial aid. The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on or soon after October 1. The FAFSA must be renewed each year. Students may use the ETSU Office of Financial Aid Six Steps to Start to assist them with the process. Remember, the FAFSA is the application for all federal financial aid.

The application takes several weeks to process. ETSU encourages students to apply as early as possible. To avoid delay in Financial Aid offers, students should regularly check their ETSU Email and GoldLink. The Office of Financial Aid recommends students use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA application.

Each year at least 30% of financial aid recipients are randomly selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. After the FAFSA has been submitted and processed, students will receive notification from the Department of Education that their Student Aid Report (SAR) is ready to review. Students need to read the comment section to see if they have been selected for verification. If selected for verification, the student will receive an email from the Financial Aid Office at ETSU requesting submission of specific documents. Students must provide the requested documents to the ETSU Office of Financial Aid before financial aid can be offered to students. This documentation may include, but is not limited to, federal tax return transcripts, W-2 forms, and proof of untaxed income of the student and/or spouse/parents/stepparents.

GoldLink is the entryway to ETSU’s financial aid online services. Students should check the status of their financial aid often. Complete all the steps on the GoldLink Guide to Financial Aid to avoid delays in receiving financial aid offers. Consult the Six Steps to Start to successfully navigate your way through the financial aid process.  

Important Dates & Deadlines for Financial Aid

The university recommends consulting the Important Dates & Deadlines for Financial Aid each year to avoid any delay in processing and missing important deadlines.   

Types of Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid at ETSU offers a variety of financial aid programs that include:

Graduate Assistantship or Tuition Scholarship; Loans; Scholarships, Grants, and Awards for Graduate Students, and Student Service Positions.

Once admitted to a graduate program, students may apply for a graduate assistantship or tuition scholarship. Unsubsidized, and PLUS loans are borrowed and processed through the Direct Loan Program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Student Service Positions are funded from federal and institutional resources and allow students to earn part of their educational expenses through a part-time position at the university. Other Resources such as Veterans’ Benefits, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Disability Benefits may be available to assist students with educational expenses. Find these resources here.

Consult the ETSU Office of Financial Aid before dropping or withdrawing from classes as you may owe funds back to the university. For more information, Financial Aid Counselors are available to assist students with any questions they may have.

Maintaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Federal regulations require financial aid recipients to adhere to the ETSU Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (SAP). Federal regulations require evaluation of both quantitative and qualitative academic progress as well as completion of the degree or eligible certificate program within 150% of the normal time frame for completion.

All enrollment periods will be included in the evaluation of SAP. Terms in which the student enrolled but did not receive financial aid will be included in the evaluation. All accepted transfer credits reflected on the ETSU transcript are evaluated and included in the SAP calculation. Financial aid cannot be disbursed to a student account until all transcripts from all previously attended universities and colleges have been received, evaluated, and entered into the student’s academic history. For transfer students, SAP will be evaluated after all transcripts have been received, reviewed, and entered into the student’s academic history.

Enrollment and Attendance

• Federal Direct Loans for graduate students require 5 hours of enrollment. If you are enrolled in 5 hours and only 3 hours are required for your officially declared program of study, you are not eligible to receive a Federal Direct Loan.

• Full-time enrollment for graduate students is 9 hours. You do not need to be full-time in order to receive Federal Direct Loans; you only need to be enrolled in 5 hours. You will receive the same amount of Federal Direct Loans whether you are enrolled in 5 hours or 9 hours.

• Financial aid will be adjusted for all students who have not attended classes. Deadlines for attendance verification vary by term. Please visit the Academic Calendar for specific dates.

• If you add, drop, or stop attending classes your financial aid funds could be impacted. Students are responsible for any balance owed due to changes in their enrollment/attendance status.

Repeating, dropping, or withdrawing from a class, may impact financial aid eligibility. Students should review the SAP Policy and contact their Financial Aid Counselor BEFORE repeating, dropping, withdrawing from a class. Students can make FastPass Appointments to meet with their counselor. Students should read Things You Should Know When Withdrawing.


The ETSU Office of Financial Aid has answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about General Financial Aid, Verification, GoldLink, Tuition & Fees, Loans, Scholarships, Student Service Positions, Withdrawing/Dropping Classes, Transferring, and other Information. In addition, the department has two online services to assist students - a Chatbot named “Bucky” and Financial Aid TV. For important updates, students may also follow Financial Aid on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Finding ETSU Scholarships

Many scholarship programs are available to assist students, including those awarded by the ETSU Scholarship Office, individual Colleges and Academic Departments, and the University Honors College. Athletic scholarships are also available and are awarded by Intercollegiate Athletics. For more information on athletic scholarships, contact the head coach regarding a particular sport.

Applying for ETSU Scholarships

Search and Apply for ETSU scholarships and apply online for general scholarships. Begin the scholarship application process with a search to determine eligibility for ETSU scholarships. Just answer the questions and then click the submit button to retrieve a list of possible scholarships.

At the end of the search, apply for general ETSU scholarships that are awarded by the Scholarship Office. Do not use this application for College/Departmental Scholarships or University Honors College Scholarships. Please contact the appropriate office for an application or more information.  

Scholarship Application Deadlines

Early application every year remains the most important action in securing funds to assist the student.

General University Scholarships  … … … March 1 

Information about other important financial aid deadlines guides the application process.

Applications must be received in the Scholarship Office by the appropriate deadline. Late applications are not considered. 

Other ETSU scholarships (e.g. University Honors College Scholarships and College/Departmental Scholarships) may have different deadlines and may require special applications. Please read the scholarship descriptions carefully or contact the appropriate office.

Maintain Scholarship Eligibility

Initial eligibility criteria and renewal criteria vary from one scholarship program to another. Unless otherwise stated, scholarships, research grants, and awards are not renewed automatically. A scholarship recipient should refer to the information sent with the award notification, the scholarship announcement, or contract. Additionally, the recipient may ask the program coordinator for renewal information. 

Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Scholarships

Handbook for Graduate Assistants and Tuition Scholars - Guidelines and policies pertaining to graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships are available in the Graduate Assistant Handbook

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are available in the various graduate programs, in the residence halls, in the Division of Student Affairs, and in other administrative offices on campus. Students normally do not hold graduate assistantships for more than two years.

Applicants are not approved for assistantships or tuition scholarships until admission to graduate degree programs and registered for at least nine graduate credit hours. International students must sit for Oral Proficiency Interviews before contracts can be approved. 

A student receiving a graduate assistantship must register for at least nine graduate hours per semester within the student’s approved graduate program unless a waiver is obtained from the Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. During the summer terms, graduate students on assistantships must register for a total of six graduate credit hours. 

Graduate Assistants may not take more than 15 hours of graduate credit per semester without prior permission from the Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. Submit the Application for Graduate Course Overload to the dean. Information on the maximum terms of eligibility and conditions of service can be found in the Graduate Assistant Handbook.

Graduate Program/Departmental Assistantships

To be considered for a graduate assistantship or tuition scholarship in a department or program, the student should so indicate interest 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.

Residence Hall Assistantships

Students who receive a residence hall graduate assistantship may serve as a Resident Director where they supervise and are 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. Selection is based on the above listed criteria, acceptance into the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies, letters of recommendations, 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, maintenance 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 housing@etsu.edu

Division of Student Affairs

Several graduate assistantships are available through the Division of Student Affairs involving a wide range of experiences and opportunities such as the Counseling Center and Campus Recreation. Students from all majors are eligible to apply. Efforts are made to match abilities, interests, and degree programs with the assistantships. Most Student Affairs GAs work 20 hours/week on a nine month contract, although exceptions exist. For more information, contact the Office of Student Affairs by phone, 439-4210 or by email, studentaffairs@etsu.edu

Other Administrative Offices

The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies posts graduate assistantship and tuition scholarship vacancies at the request of the contracting unit. A student who wishes to be considered for an assistantship or scholarship in programs or offices outside the discipline should submit a letter of interest and a current resume directly to the office or department posting the vacancy.

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 an assigned location.


Graduate assistants who resign positions during a term must notify the Graduate School immediately upon resignation and are responsible for a prorated portion of tuition and fees accrued during that term.