JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – After the approval of increased Tennessee HOPE Scholarship funding by the Tennessee State Legislature and Governor Bill Lee, East Tennessee State University (ETSU) officials were happy to announce that paying tuition might be a little easier this fall.

According to a press release from ETSU, $85 million were added for use in the lottery-powered program. That increased funding means award amounts will increase up to $1,200 per person per year.

“This is wonderful news for our students,” said Dr. Sam Mayhew, associate vice president for Student Life and Enrollment at ETSU. “Students who receive the HOPE Scholarship have already put in tremendous work, and we are thrilled to see them receive additional funding.”

The changes break down as follows:

  • Freshmen and Sophomores: $4,500 per year, an increase of $1,000.
  • Juniors and Seniors: $5,700 per year, an increase of $1,200.

In addition, the ETSU Board of Trustees voted not to increase tuition or fees in the 2022-23 academic year in their April meeting as part of an effort to maintain low costs for students in the region.

“This increase in state scholarship funding, paired with our decision not to increase tuition for the coming academic year, means ETSU is an incredibly affordable choice,” said Mayhew.

To access those savings, however, ETSU officials urged students to file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by July 1 to prevent delays.

“There are so many funding opportunities, including the HOPE scholarship, that will not be available to you without a completed FAFSA,” said Catherine Morgan, director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at ETSU. “We have trained staff who are ready to assist you.”