ETSU president urges high school seniors to complete FAFSA

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — East Tennessee State University leaders are urging all students in the Tri-Cities area to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so they won’t miss out on scholarship opportunities and state aid.

Education secretary apologizes for FAFSA delays on Capitol Hill

ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland said Tuesday he’s alarmed at the number of high school seniors who have not completed the FAFSA. Noland said about 50% of seniors in Tennessee have not filed.

“That means 50% of high school seniors are leaving money on the table,” Noland said. “In a time of high inflation and everyone feeling cost pressures, just please complete the form.”

Tennessee isn’t the only state where FAFSA turn-out is lagging. A spokesperson for the Department of Education reports around 70 million reminder emails have been sent to students across the country encouraging them to apply.

A FAFSA application needs to be completed to receive state aid and university scholarships, even if students and their parents don’t think they will qualify for federal aid.

Assistance like the Hope lottery scholarship and the Tennessee Promise only become available once the FAFSA is complete. The deadline for FAFSA for the Tennessee Promise is May 15.

“My plea to families is complete the FAFSA,” Noland said. “Because it is the key to the opportunity for your children to attend college with the lottery scholarship or Tennessee Promise.”

ETSU has extended its deadline for its performance-based scholarships, and the university will continue to accept updated ACT scores over the summer.

“We recognize the challenges that have been presented to families because of the issues with the FAFSA so we have essentially done away with deadlines from any of our guaranteed academic performance scholarships at the university,” Noland said.

Any student who has applied and been accepted to ETSU but hasn’t filled out the FAFSA can receive assistance is available through the Office of Financial Aid.

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