Often, college students are asked, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Recently, ETSU asked itself that exact question.

Earlier this semester, ETSU President Brian Noland announced ETSU’s strategic plan for the next 10 years. Included in the plan is the goal of raising ETSU’s average incoming freshmen ACT score to a 24.

One way ETSU attracts students with high ACT scores is through the Honors College.

First-time freshmen at ETSU have the opportunity to apply for the University Honors Scholars program, which awards full tuition and most of the fees costs for eight semesters of student and a free residence hall and meal package.

Students accepted into the program must have at least a 29 on their ACT and a 3.5 GPA among other qualifications.

First-time freshmen may also apply to the Fine and Performing Arts Scholars or an Honors in Discipline program. Honors in Discipline is also available to current ETSU students.

This year the Honors College was able to add an additional program by utilizing resources and money the university already has.

Beginning this year, incoming freshmen may also apply for the Presidential Honors Community Service Scholars program, which requires the student to be a Tennessee resident, have at least a 30 on the ACT and a 3.9 GPA.

“To create this new program, we didn’t spend any more money,” said Judith Slagle, dean of the ETSU Honors College. “We actually took some of the presidential (academic performance scholarship money) and then the president gave us an extra $1,000 for the scholarship. We also reduced costs in some areas to break even.”

Slagle explained that ETSU usually has money left over each year in the presidential academic performance scholarship account, so the Honors College brainstormed the new honors program so the money doesn’t go to waste. They also put a cap on how much the scholarship would pay for fees at $800.

Every honors college program requires community service, but this new program requires 40 hours of guided community service a semester and a senior capstone service project instead of a thesis. ETSU is the only school in the country with this particular honors program.

The demand to join the honors college in general is growing.

“We are getting more applications,” Slagle said. “So that means there are more students with those high scores out there that are applying.”

For the upcoming University Honors Scholars class, there were close to 200 applicants compared to last year’s 80. Only 22 students per year are accepted into the program.

While ETSU has not formally discussed plans to increase funding and expand the Honors College, it might be something they have to consider.

To learn more about what the Honors College has to offer, visit etsu.edu/honors.