ETSU: Complete financial aid documents as New Year begins

Published 1:28 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2023

JOHNSON CITY — As the New Year begins, officials at East Tennessee State University urge current and potential college students to make sure they are putting themselves in the running for financial aid opportunities.
“We know the financial aid process can seem intimidating,” said Catherine Morgan, director of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at ETSU. “That is why we have dedicated, caring staff who stand ready to help you and your family.”
Why it matters
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a student’s path to all federal financial aid, and it is also the first step toward many other funding opportunities. A range of scholarships — including the Tennessee HOPE (Lottery) Scholarship — will not be available without a completed FAFSA. Students may file the 2023-2024 FAFSA online at studentaid.gov.
A completed University Scholarship Application puts an admitted student in the running for many different scholarships. The application is located at etsu.edu/university_scholarships/application.
Deadlines 
The deadline for the university scholarship is March 1. While there is no hard deadline to complete the FAFSA, which opens every year on Oct. 1, students should do so as quickly as possible.
“That is because some scholarship opportunities operate on a first-come, first-served basis. In other words, when the funds run out, that money is gone,” said Morgan. “Also, taking care of this now prevents stress later.”
Need help? 
ETSU has many services to help students and their families.
Financial Aid and Scholarships offers a 24/7 “chatbot” named Bucky, plus Financial Aid TV. The department also provides students with a personal financial aid counselor. These resources and more are available at etsu.edu/financial-aid-and-scholarships.
For free assistance submitting the FAFSA, students living in the Tennessee counties of Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi or Washington have access to the Educational Opportunity Center. New participants must complete a short application, which may be found at etsu.edu/academicaffairs/trio/eoc. Students may also call (423) 392-8041.
ETSU has taken notable steps to make the institution more affordable.
The university’s Board of Trustees previously voted  not to increase tuition and fees  for the 2022-2023 academic year. Thanks to the Tennessee State Legislature and Gov. Bill Lee, ETSU students saw a surge in Tennessee HOPE (Lottery) Scholarship funding for the fall 2022 semester.
And when it comes to the universities graduating students with the least amount of debt, ETSU is nationally ranked.

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