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Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

Division of Student Life and Enrollment

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic has resulted in a range of emergency accommodations. Below, please find the latest Financial Aid updates. If you have questions about your student account, please reach out to your Financial Aid Counselor

CARES Act

East Tennessee State University is establishing a process for eligible students to receive emergency assistance funds being made available through the CARES Act. An internal team is meeting to create and provide recommendations to senior leadership on a plan to award and distribute these emergency funds in accordance with the CARES Act. Updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

Emergency Accommodations

Changes to Verification Requirements Due to COVID-19

High School Completion Status:

Students selected for V4 or V5 verification for the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 aid year may be required to submit official documentation of high school completion or documentation of the equivalent of high school completion. This documentation may be difficult for FAFSA applicants to obtain during this national emergency. If documentation of an applicant’s high school completion status has already been submitted to ETSU for other purposes (i.e. Admissions), the ETSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will use that documentation.

Beginning May 18, 2020, the following submission exception for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 aid years will be in effect until December 31, 2020.

When an applicant is unable to obtain such documentation and an institution does not already have such documentation, students can submit the following to the ETSU Office of Financial Aid via postal mail, fax, or secure dropbox link:

  • The completed High School Completion Status Form for 19-20 (EHSC20) or 20-21 (EHSC21)
  • A signed and dated statement from the applicant in which he or she truthfully attests to his or her secondary school completion or the equivalent. The statement must indicate whether a high school diploma or the equivalent was obtained and the date of completion (or approximate date).

Statement of Identity and Educational Purpose:

Students selected for V4 verification for the 2019-2020 aid year must either appear submit the ESEP20 form in person in the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or in front of a notary. Due to COVID19 pandemic and the remote operations of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, students are unable to submit documentation in person or notary.

Beginning April 3, 2020, the following submission exception for the 2019-2020 aid year will be effect until June 30, 2020.

Beginning May 21, 2020, the following submission exception will also be in effect for the 2020-2021 aid year until June 30, 2020.

Submission Exception:

Students can submit the following to the ETSU Office of Financial Aid via postal mail, fax, or secure dropbox link:

  • The completed Statement of Identity and Educational Purpose form for 19-20 (ESEP20)
  • A photocopy or scan of a valid government issued photo ID (front and back)

Expired Photo ID Exception:

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is permitted to accept an expired form of ID if the ID expired after March 1, 2020.

Submission of Citizenship Documents for Federal Financial Aid
Effective: April 28, 2020 

This emergency submission accommodation goes into effect on April 28, 2020 and will be active until such time as the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships resumes on campus operations. 

A student who is required to submit proof of citizenship or eligible non-citizen status is required to submit documents to verify their status in person. Due to COVID-19 pandemic and the remote operations of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, students are unable to submit documentation in person. Beginning April 28, 2020, the following submission exception will be effect until such time as the ETSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships resumes on campus operations. 

Students can submit the following to the ETSU Office of Financial Aid via postal mail, fax, or secure dropbox link: 

  • A photocopy or scan their citizenship documents (front and back)
  • A photocopy or scan of a valid government issued photo ID (front and back)
  • A signed statement attesting that these are true and exact complete copies of these documents 

If the ETSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships questions the validity of the documents submitted, the student will be required to provide the original document for review, as certified by the issuing authority, at such time the office resumes on campus operations. 

W-2 And Non-Filing 

NOTE: W-2 forms (due to COVID-19, this change is effective beginning 4/20/2020 and only valid until such time as the IRS begins accepting paper requests for transcripts, form 4508-T): If an individual who is required to submit an IRS Form W-2 is unable to obtain a Wage Transcript from the IRS in a timely manner, he/she can provide a signed statement that includes:

  • the amount of income earned from work, and
  • the source of that income, and
  • the reason why the W-2 is not available in a timely manner

If there is a discrepancy between the amount of wages earned in the signed statement and the amount of wages earned on the IRS Tax Return Transcript, the individual will be required to obtain a Wage Transcript, even if he/she has to wait until such time as the IRS begins accepting paper 4508-T forms. When the IRS returns to accepting paper 4508-T forms, we will require the form W-2 from IRS and no longer accept signed statements. 

 

 

Procedures for APS, George L. Carter, George L. Carter Plus, Sidney G. Gilbreath and other General Scholarships awarded by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
Effective: 4/24/2020 for 2020 Spring Semester

 

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, ETSU moved all 2020 spring courses to remote delivery effective

March 23, 2020. In addition, the Emergency Grading Accommodation Policy was implemented relative to 2020 spring semester and put into effect March 31, 2020. This emergency policy provides flexibility to undergraduate students, giving them the option to change a 2020 spring semester course (or courses) to Pass/Fail grading after consulting with their academic advisor and receiving approval of the appropriate academic college dean (or designee). Please refer to the policy for specific details. 

To address the changes to course delivery and the Emergency Grading Accommodation Policy, the following procedures will be in place for APS, Carter, Carter Plus, Gilbreath, and other general scholarships awarded by the ETSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. These procedures are in place for the 2020 spring semester only. In the event that ETSU is required to continue with online classes for the 2020 fall semester, these procedures will be reviewed and updates made at that time. 

Spring 2020 semester hours and GPA, for current scholarship recipients, will not impact their renewal and continued eligibility for the 2020 fall semester. A scholarship recipients’ eligibility status at the end of the fall 2019 semester will remain in effect through the end of the 2020 spring semester. 

  • Students who were on scholarship probation at the end of the 2019 fall semester will remain on scholarship probation at the end of the spring semester.
  • Students whose scholarship was renewed (without condition) for the 2020 spring semester, will remain eligible for their scholarship for the 2020 fall semester.
  • Students who withdrew from all classes on or after March 13, 2020, will remain eligible for their scholarship for the 2020 fall semester.
  • Students who withdrew from all classes before March 13, 2020 may file an appeal as appropriate. 

These procedures pertain to earned hours and GPA for the spring 2020 semester only. They do not extend the number of semesters for which a student can receive a scholarship. 

  • Students who have already received a scholarship for 8 semesters will not receive an additional semester of eligibility.
  • Students who were awarded a one-year scholarship will not receive an additional semester of eligibility.

These procedures do not apply to Honors Scholarships, Roan Scholarships or other departmental

scholarships. Students that received a scholarship from another ETSU office/department should be referred to that office for assistance. 

Addendum to Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Spring 2020 Semester

Response to COVID-19 and Emergency Grading Accommodation for Spring 2020 

This addendum goes into effect on March 31, 2020 and will be active for Satisfactory Academic Progress

calculations for the Spring 2020 semester only to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an addendum to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy already in place with the ETSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. 

Undergraduate Grading Accommodations for Spring 2020: 

Effective March 31, 2020, East Tennessee State University established an Emergency Grading

Accommodation for undergraduate students. The Emergency Grading Accommodation for Spring 2020 policy is attached separately. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations for students that choose to change to pass/fail grading for the Spring 2020 semester only: 

PACE (Quantitative Progress Standards): Students must receive a satisfactory grade in the courses they

attempt each semester. Satisfactory grades include A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, S, SP, or P. Unsatisfactory grades are F, W, WF, U, or I. 

  • Students can choose to change to a pass/fail grade for individual courses for the Spring 2020 semester only beginning May 12, 2020 through June 15, 2020.
  • The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will conduct an initial review of grades for Spring 2020 within 5 days of the Records office completing end of term processing for the Spring 2020 semester.
  • If a student chooses to change a Spring 2020 grade to pass/fail from a letter grade or to a letter grade from pass/fail, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will recalculate the student’s eligibility.
  • This review of grades will be completed after June 15, 2020. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will be provided a list of students that chose to utilize the pass/fail option.
  • Unsatisfactory grades will not be counted as earned credit, but will be counted as attempted hours. 

GPA (Qualitative Progress Standards): Students must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA at the end of

each semester. Graduate students must have a 3.0 GPA overall and in the program of study. Undergraduate students are required to maintain the GPA listed below for the number of hours attempted: 

Qualitative Progress Standards (GPA)

Semester Hours Attempted

Required Cumulative GPA (Net)

0-29
29.1 – 45
45.1 – 59.9
60+

1.4
1.7
1.9
2.0

 Pass grades (P) are not computed in the GPA; however, these courses will count towards earned semester hours. Failing (F) grades are computed in the student’s GPA. 

  • The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will conduct an initial review of the student’s cumulative GPA on student transcripts within 5 days of the Records office completing end of term processing for the semester.
  • If a student chooses to change a grade to pass/fail from a letter grade or to a letter grade from pass/fail, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will recalculate the student’s eligibility.
  • This review of grades will be completed after June 15, 2020. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will be provided a list of students that chose to utilize the pass/fail option. 

Undergraduate students currently on probation from an approved appeal: 

Students who are on probation from an approved appeal and are required to pass all hours attempted

must do so regardless of whether or not they choose to take a letter grade or the pass/fail grading option. If a student who is on probation from an approved appeal does not pass all hours attempted, he/she has the option to appeal if the student has extenuating personal circumstances that prevented him/her from passing all hours attempted. If the student was unable to successfully complete courses due the COVID-19 outbreak, the student will need to address how the outbreak affected his/her ability to pass coursework and provide documentation that supports his/her statement. 

Students who are on probation from an approved appeal and are required to meet a specific term GPA requirement must also pass all hours attempted with either all Pass grades, all satisfactory letter grades, or a combination of both. However, if the student does not meet the required specific term GPA for the Spring 2020 term, but the student’s cumulative GPA did not go down from the prior semester attended prior to Spring 2020, and passed all hours attempted, the student will continue on appeal and must meet the specific term GPA for the next term of enrollment. If the student was unable to successfully complete all courses for Spring 2020 or if the student’s cumulative GPA went down from the last semester attended prior to Spring 2020 due the COVID-19 outbreak, the student will lose financial aid eligibility with the option to appeal. Student will need to address how the outbreak affected his/her ability to pass coursework and provide documentation that supports his/her statement. 

Grades and term GPA for students on probation from an approved appeal will be reviewed with 5 days of the Records office completing end of term processing for the semester. If a student changes any grades from letter grades to pass/fail or changes any grades from pass/fail to letter grades, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will recalculate the student’s eligibility. This review of grades will be completed after June 15, 2020. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships will be provided a list of students that chose to utilize the pass/fail option. 

Graduate Students 

Pass/Fail grading accommodations are not available for graduate students. However, given the circumstances brought about by COVID-19, faculty are encouraged to use broader discretion in assigning of a grade of “I” (Incomplete) in Spring 2020. If a graduate student does not meet the requirements of Satisfactory Academic Progress due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the student will lose financial aid eligibility with the option to appeal. Student will need to address how the outbreak affected his/her ability to pass or complete coursework and provide documentation that supports his/her statement. 

 

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