East Tennessee State University is offering some incoming freshmen a new opportunity to attend their first year tuition-free, according to a Monday announcement.

“The COVID-19 crisis is causing financial burdens on families that we could have never anticipated, and we do not want to see high school seniors, many of whom have already missed out on traditional milestones, to also miss out on the opportunity to attend a four-year university,” Joe Sherlin, vice president for Student Life and Enrollment at ETSU, said in a news release.

Free Freshman Tuition will be available during the 2020-21 academic year for first-time, full-time freshmen who are Tennessee residents. To qualify, a student must meet all of the following criteria:

• Be a first-time freshman enrolled full time for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters.

• A Tennessee Student Assistance Award recipient.

• A Tennessee HOPE (lottery) Scholarship recipient. 

The new initiative comes amid others promoting access to higher education during the pandemic. The ETSU Promise Plus program announced earlier this year provides last-dollar tuition assistance and housing scholarships for eligible incoming freshmen.

ETSU was also recently the first university in the state to approve a 0% tuition and fee increase for the 2020-21 academic year. 

For more information on Free Freshman Tuition, www.etsu.edu/free.