JOHNSON CITY—East Tennessee State University is offering high school seniors in Tennessee a new opportunity to attend their first year tuition-free.

“The COVID-19 crisis is causing financial burdens on families that we could have never anticipated, and we do not want to see high school seniors, many of whom have already missed out on traditional milestones, to also miss out on the opportunity to attend a four-year university,” said Dr. Joe Sherlin, vice president for Student Life and Enrollment at ETSU.

Free Freshman Tuition is available during the 2020-21 academic year for first-time, full-time freshmen who are Tennessee residents and meet the following eligibility requirements:

First time freshman, enrolled full time for fall 2020 and spring 2021

Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA) recipient

Tennessee HOPE (Lottery) Scholarship recipient

More information is available at Students may visit the website to fill out a form expressing their interest in Free Freshman Tuition, and a member of ETSU’s Undergraduate Admissions Office will contact each student directly.

Free Freshman Tuition is the latest addition to the list of incentives offered by ETSU to ensure all students have the opportunity to attend a four-year university this fall. The ETSU Promise Plus program announced earlier this year provides last-dollar tuition assistance and housing scholarships for eligible incoming freshmen. Last month, ETSU was the first university in the state to approve a 0% tuition and fee increase for the 2020-21 academic year. Housing and meal plans will also remain at the current rate and ETSU will not charge online fees for summer courses. Additionally, the Buccaneer Crisis Fund has provided more than $50,000 in financial assistance to current students with housing and utility needs.

“Since 1911, ETSU has remained committed to service and serving the needs of our students,” Sherlin said. “All students should have access to a quality, affordable education, and Free Freshman Tuition helps to provide those opportunities. Attending a four-year university allows students to become part of our support system. We look forward to welcoming members of the Class of 2020 to our campus this fall.”

Questions about ETSU Free Freshman Tuition should be directed to

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