Qualified MTSU students could be eligible for free tuition


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Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - College for students can be expensive with books, fees, housing and tuition.

However, Middle Tennessee State University recently launched an effort to help students find options that could eliminate or greatly reduce the cost of tuition.

“MTSU’s tuition was already the lowest of the state’s three major universities,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “So our decision to hold it flat for the coming academic year, plus recent increases by the state in the HOPE Lottery Scholarship, means many can attend our university at no tuition cost.”

Prospective students can visit www.mtsu.edu/mtfree and talk to an enrollment coordinator over a virtual Zoom portal. There the coordinators will review various scenarios with the student to determine their eligibility.

On June 14, MTSU’s Board of Trustees voted to keep tuition and program services fees flat for the upcoming academic 2022 school year.

A full-time, in-state undergraduate student taking 15 credit hours in both the fall and spring semesters will pay $7,704 and $1,888 in program service fees for a total of $9,592 for the academic year.

In addition, the state recently increased the amount of its Tennessee Education Lottery (HOPE) Scholarship and raised it to pay freshman and sophomores $4,700 a year than $3,500 and juniors and seniors will receive $5,700 instead of $4,500.

In order to qualify for those awards, students will need a 21 on the ACT and or must graduate with a 3.0 GPA, while meeting other state requirements to qualify for the awards.

For HOPE-eligible students, the difference between MTSU’s tuition cost (about $5,100) and the scholarship payout could be mitigated by various means — including federal Pell Grant monies, last-chance academic scholarships from MTSU, and tuition discounts afforded to teachers and state employees.

“Even students who receive a partial Pell Grant can still attend very inexpensively,” said Debra Sells, vice president for student affairs and vice provost for enrollment services. “We want to make sure students and families who might be sitting on the fence for attending the fall, and those who have already committed, know whether they qualify for any combination of these programs.”

The scenarios are outlined on the MTFree website and apply only to first-time freshmen who are Tennessee residents and would be attending as full-time students. Although MTSU’s highest value guaranteed scholarship has a deadline of Dec. 1, the MTFree website shows a variety of scenarios that include last-chance academic scholarships that will still be available for first-time freshmen. The scholarships that will be available for late applicants will require a minimum of 23 on the ACT and a 3.5 GPA in high school.

“We realize that everyone’s situation is a little different,” Sells said. “These scenarios are generalizations. That’s why it’s important that you speak with an enrollment coordinator. We want to help you find the answers specific to you.”

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