Friday, September 23, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016


  • The 2017–18 FAFSA will launch three months early—on October 1, 2016 instead of January 1, 2017
  • Students can now complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early
  • The IRS Data Retrieval Tool should be used to import 2015 income information
  • Some grants are awarded to students who apply early
  • Students can now read their ETSU email frequently, check their Financial Aid Status on GoldLink, submit any documents requested and follow-up
  • Students can now email the ETSU Office of Financial Aid at if there are any questions
  • Need Help?  Make a FastPass Appointment to see a counselor


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Need Help? Where: DP Culp Center Tuesdays & Wednesdays 11:30-1:30

Need Help? Financial Aid Counselors, Academic Advisors, and Housing staff are available.  Stop and chat in the Culp Center on Tuesdays near main meal and Wednesdays in the Cave 11:30-1:30

New!! FAFSA Available in October instead of January each year

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
BIG NEWS: The 2017–18 FAFSA will launch three months early—on October 1, 2016 instead of January 1, 2017


Why? Some states and schools run out of financial aid early and some types of financial aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Completing the FAFSA early will hold your place in line.

From now on, the FAFSA will ask for older income and tax information that you will already have. This change means you won’t have to use estimates anymore, or log in later to update your FAFSA after you file taxes!

Remember:  Check your Financial Aid Status on GoldLink, read your ETSU email frequently, and follow-up with the ETSU Office of Financial Aid

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

2016-2017 Direct Loan Interest Rates

The new rates apply to Direct Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

Prior-Prior Year/ Early FAFSA

What’s New in Financial Aid?
Prior-Prior Year/ Early FAFSA
As early as October 1,  filing the FAFSA can begin earlier each year
Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year: 
  • Students may submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) earlier each year.  Students will be able to file a 2017-2018 FAFSA as early as Oct. 1, 2016 (Previously not available until after January 1st each year).   
  • Completion of the FAFSA will also be simplified for students and parents who use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • Students are required to use prior-prior year federal tax information on the FAFSA.  When completing a 2017-2018, FAFSA students will report federal tax information from the 2015 tax year.
Is this a positive change?  YES!
Early preparation for the cost of attendance at colleges and universities is a win-win situation.  The U.S. Department of Education will require students completing a FAFSA to use federal tax information from two years prior to the academic year, as opposed to one year prior.  Completing the FAFSA using federal tax information from two years prior to the academic year ensures that most people will have filed their federal taxes.  Students and parents can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.
Completing the FAFSA
Use Federal Tax Data for Year
FAFSA Submission may begin
ETSU’s  Preferred Priority Deadline to file FAFSA & file ready to package
ETSU Anticipates Awarding federal aid after
(subject to change)
January 1, 2016
April 15, 2016
March 2016
October 1, 2016
April 15, 2017
February 2017
October 1, 2017
April 15, 2018
February 2018
October 1, 2018
April 15, 2019
February 2018

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tips college financial aid specialists want students to know


All three experts agree that many students enter college with little information on money management. They’ve seen this lack of information lead to credit card debt, overspending early in the year, or financial problems that can impact college attendance. However, administrators say it’s never too late to learn money management skills. Nora Cargo advises, “Budget for what you need and to save for what you want. Do not fall into impulse purchasing. Plan.” She adds, “My advice to parents of college students is to talk to your student, not for your student. Learning to navigate life’s challenges successfully is a part of the higher education journey. School officials are happy to help, but we also want students to be fully engaged in their educational experiences.” Many colleges offer on-campus financial literacy programs and web-based resources, as do other providers and the S. Department of Education

2. Finish School on Time

Ganser states that national data shows a trend in longer degree completion times. Typical four-year enrollments are inching toward five or six years for many. Two-year programs are progressively turning into three. Hugh Ganser cautions that this trend is leading to significant increases in educational expenses and loan debt, and special programs colleges are developing to help students finish on time. “Many schools offer advising and incentive programs that can help students stay on track. Academic and career counseling are also available to help undecided students make the right career decisions and plan the best educational program to achieve their goals. Some schools even offer fifth-year tuition forgiveness for students who pledge to finish on time and fulfill their obligations, but are unable to graduate in four years.” Federal student aid regulations also require that students make satisfactory academic progress and complete their programs within a specific timeframe to assure continued financial aid eligibility.

3. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Meet Deadlines

Some students assume they aren’t eligible for financial aid and don’t file a FAFSA. Anne Chapdelaine and Hugh Ganser advise all students to file a FAFSA, and to not rule themselves out in advance. Chapdelaine states, “Students should know that most aid programs, including federal loans, require a FAFSA annually. Ganser adds, “Missing deadlines can reduce aid eligibility for certain grant, scholarship or work-study awards, and result in higher borrowing levels.”

4. Look for Grant and Scholarship Resources

Grants and scholarships, whether from federal or state sources, your college, community groups, or larger national databases, are the best form of aid since they don’t have to be repaid. The FAFSA is the application for federal grants and most state and college grants. Check your state grant program’s information and your school’s website to see if any other forms are required. Chapdelaine states, “University and college websites have information about many of their scholarships and grants which have additional forms or steps required. Students should also check community organizations and other outside sources that provide scholarships.” There are also larger national scholarship databases students can investigate. Of all sources, national databases are the hardest and most competitive sources. As a general rule, the earlier students research and apply for outside scholarships, the better.
Nora Cargo is the Associate Director of Scholarships and Financial Aid at Texas A&M University. Hugh Ganser is the Associate Director of Financial Aid at the University of Buffalo (SUNY). Anne Chapdelaine is the Director of Student Financial Operations for The American Women’s College Online at Bay Path University.
Anne Del Plato is the Regional Director for U-fi Student Loans and is an expert in many aspects of financial aid, student loans and debt management. Anne’s experience includes positions in a number of areas of higher education finance including college financial aid offices, training and outreach development for a state financial aid agency, and most recently, as a Regional Director of Nelnet’s Partner Solutions team. Anne has spoken at numerous financial aid conferences across the Northeastern United States.