ETSU is indisputably growing and reaching out to new platforms every year, especially with the university in the process of bringing back football, expanding fine and performing arts programs and renovating the D.P. Culp University Center.

The cost of education is a topic that is currently present in the political world, and many students at ETSU wonder if new programs like football will affect their standard of living at the university.

The money students pay in fees is determined in different ways.

“Consideration for things like the D.P. Culp renovation or the football stadium construction go to the students through SGA for approval since this type of renovation is funded entirely through student fees,” said Associate Vice President for Financial Services B.J. King. “Academic space like the fine arts center are funded partially by the state and the remainder through private fund raising that the administration conducts.”

While the new football stadium and fine arts center both received substantial private funding, the construction that the campus will experience over the next few years will have an impact on the student body and the university, but officials don’t anticipate this will include an increase in student fees.

“Fees to help support the football construction and Culp renovation have been implemented over the past few years,” said Vice President for Finance and Administration David Collins. “We do not expect any other increases at this time to support these projects.”

Despite reassurance that the cost of education and living at ETSU probably won’t affect students anytime soon, the ETSU Office of Financial Aid suggests that students stay informed about the financial system in the world of higher education.

Students generally hope that a potential increase in tuition would also be accompanied by an increase in federal aid and scholarship money.

“Unfortunately, it is not likely that these amounts will be increased unless Congress decides to do so,” said Jennifer Manuel, an executive assistant in the office of financial aid. “Since my time as a financial aid employee, we have only seen the number of potential federal awards decrease.”

Manuel believes ETSU students have an advantage, however, because of where they chose to obtain their education.

“I know that the scholarship office at ETSU does their best with the funding they have to award as many students as possible,” Manuel said. “Unfortunately, students all over the nation face these deficiencies, not just students at ETSU. Loans, other grants and even scholarships help students across the nation meet the burden to pay for their classes.”

Manuel stresses that it’s important for students to stay on top of their costs and to know their options.

“I know for a fact timing is everything when it comes to financial aid,” Manuel said. “I have always made it a point to tell students to file their FAFSA and scholarship applications early.”

King is also optimistic about costs at ETSU.

“The university has substantially increased the funding for merit based [Academic Performance Scholarships] in the last year,” King said. “APS and other scholarships are very good for the student because they do not have to be repaid after graduation like student loans.”

While students don’t need to expect a drastic increase in costs in the near future, it is likely that expenses will continue to slowly rise at ETSU. In the meantime, students should remain up to date on their financial aid.