Jul 17, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate 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 Fee

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.

  • Audit Enrollment - Disabled persons suffering from a permanent disability which totally incapacitates them from employment and persons 60 years of age or older may audit courses without the payment of regular maintenance fees. Fees associated with the course are an additional expense to the student. Admission to Audit will be limited based on space availability.
  • Credit Enrollment - Disabled persons described above and persons 65 years of age or older may enroll for credit at the cost of 50% of the regular rate per credit hour for graduate or undergraduate courses, not to exceed $70 per term. Fees associated with the course are an additional expense to the student.
  • Limited to persons who are domiciled in Tennessee as defined by the Regulations for Classifying Students In-State and Out-of-State.

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.

TN eCampus

The TN eCampus Degree Program is an online Tennessee Board of Regents campus collaborative. For information about TN eCampus costs, see Fee Schedule.

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 Resident 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.

Fee Payment with Discounts

Crediting of various fee discount programs require completion of specific forms. Educational benefit forms are available online at the Bursar’s website

Deferred Payment Plan

Deferred payment of up to 75% may be available upon request by students in good financial standing. A $50.00 service charge is applied for this service for each term.  Refer to the Bursar’s webpage for complete deferred payment policy.

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 before June 2 or 14 calendar days before the first orientation at which time new students register.
  • 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 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, as well as the starting point for many state programs, such as the Tennessee Lottery (Hope) Scholarship, and school aid programs.

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 and Deadlines for Financial Aid

The university recommends staying informed of the Important Dates & Deadlines for Financial Aid set 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:

Scholarships for Undergraduate StudentsGrantsLoans; and Student Service Positions.

Most grants are offered only to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree Typically, grants do not have to be repaid. Subsidized, unsubsidized, and PLUS loans are borrowed funds and must be repaid. They are processed through the Direct Loan Program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Students must be registered and attending at least 6 credit hours in order to be eligible for federal loans. 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. The Tennessee Educational Lottery Scholarship also requires recipients to meet required standards (See “Don’t Lose Hope”).

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

  • Financial funding is based on full-time enrollment (defined as a minimum of 12 credits per term) at ETSU. If you are taking fewer than 12 credits per term, towards your Course Program of Study (CPOS), the amount of financial aid funding you receive may be reduced.
  • Enrollment for federal financial aid will only include courses required for your current program of study, degree, major, and/or minor. Advisors are able to assist you in selecting courses that are required for your degree. Make sure to review your course selections prior to the fee payment deadline each semester. For more information on CPOS, visit https://www.etsu.edu/finaid/cpos/.
  • All students must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits per term) in order to qualify for most need-based financial aid.
  • 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, including the Tennessee (HOPE) Lottery scholarship. 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, the University Honors College, and the Roan Scholars Leadership Program. 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.

Tennessee residents apply for the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship Program by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Scholarship Application Deadlines

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

Academic Performance Scholarships
New Freshmen must apply for admission by December 15 (Late applications will be considered if funding is available.)
New Transfer students must complete scholarship application by May 15

General University Scholarships
All students must complete scholarship application by 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, College/Departmental Scholarships, and the Roan Scholars Leadership Program scholarship) 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. Lottery scholarship recipients should read Don’t Lose Hope.

Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarships (TELS) Program

Students who wish to be considered for a Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year.

Consult information on earning initial eligibility for TELS and maintaining eligibility.