With the start of the fall semester in full swing at East Tennessee State University, some students may be wondering about the different scholarship opportunities at their disposal.
Director of the scholarship office Kathy Feagins explains how ETSU’s scholarships work and what students need to do to get them.
“We award general scholarships through our office,” said Feagins. “By that, I mean not major-specific or athletic scholarships.”
To find out what scholarships are available, students must simply answer a series of questions on the office’s webpage to determine their eligibility.
“The first question asks you what your classification is,” said Feagins. “It will ask if you are a first-time freshman, a first-time transfer, or currently enrolled. Then it will ask you another series of questions such as where you live, what your GPA is, and if you qualify for financial aid.”
Although students can go through the scholarship office as a resource to get information, Feagins recommends also reaching out to officials in specific majors and departments.
“Departmental scholarships would be a good place to look for currently enrolled students,” she said. “I would encourage students to talk with their advisor or go to the main office of their department and ask about scholarships.”
In addition to scholarships available through ETSU, there are outside scholarships available to students as well. However, Feagins believes these outlets are not as effective in the searching process.
“There are some free searches that students can do,” said Feagins. “However, students tell me that these are not especially helpful. A lot of the time they just point you back to our page.”
According to Feagins, there isn’t just one chance for a student to be awarded ETSU’s scholarships but rather multiple.
“Students can apply for scholarships every year,” she said. “If you don’t get a scholarship as an incoming freshman, then apply for scholarships during your freshman year for your sophomore year.”
Scholarships through the state are also possible and can prove to be very beneficial.
If a student is awarded a Tennessee lottery scholarship, such as the HOPE Scholarship, they have the opportunity for their award to grow as they progress in their education.
“Through the lottery scholarship programs, money does increase as long as you’re still eligible when you reach junior status,” said Feagins. “For the HOPE Scholarship, you get $1,750 a semester at freshman and sophomore status. When you reach junior status that goes up to $2,250 a semester.”
In addition to all other considerations, one of the most important pieces of advice Feagins has for students when thinking about scholarships is their performance in the classroom.
“Make good grades,” said Feagins. “GPA is going to be a big factor.”
All students can easily access this information on the scholarship office webpage at https://www.etsu.edu/scholarships/.