The world needs pharmacists. ETSU is leading the way.
JOHNSON CITY (April 28, 2023) – Tuition is on track in the coming weeks to be lowered for future pharmacists attending East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy in Johnson City, Tennessee. Pending approval from Governor Bill Lee, the state legislature ratified a $2.5 million annual appropriation to the college, the first state funding for the college since its founding in 2005.
“State funding is a new and exciting chapter in our college’s history and vital for the legacy we leave behind,” said Dr. Debbie Byrd, dean of ETSU Gatton College of Pharmacy. “This annual appropriation will sustain our mission to serve the rural and underserved by lowering tuition and attracting more students to ETSU and the profession of pharmacy. In addition, this investment in our future will help prevent the ‘brain drain’ of rural Tennessee residents who leave East Tennessee in search of cheaper tuition in metropolitan areas as well as meet the workforce demand in the region. I am thankful to the college, the university, alumni, supporters, elected officials and the local community who have worked tirelessly to support us through this process.”
Student pharmacists at ETSU were thrilled about the news, as well.
“State funding and the reduction of our college's tuition will make a huge impact on my life,” said Abby Kennedy (’26) from Blountville, Tennessee. “I postponed marriage and starting a family due to the amount of debt I would’ve acquired by the time I graduate. With lower tuition, I will be more financially stable to start a family and have more opportunities than I would without.”
“The reduction of Gatton tuition will allow me to focus on picking a career that will most impact rural communities rather than attempting to find the highest paying job to pay back my loans,” said Abby Shields (’26) from Cleveland, Tennessee. “I chose ETSU Gatton College of Pharmacy due to their tremendous effort in giving back to rural communities, and their mission to train pharmacists who are capable of running small businesses that better the economy.”
“ETSU seeks to champion pharmacist workforce development and ensure access to pharmacists and health care in Tennessee,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “Since 2007, ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy has educated pharmacists to meet the needs of our rural and underserved communities. It is essential that the students of our region have access to affordable pharmacy education that is close to home.”
Details are forthcoming regarding tuition, as updated tuition rates will be presented to the ETSU Board of Trustees for approval in mid-May. The tuition reduction is expected to be effective for fall 2023.The nationally recognized ETSU Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy was founded in 2005 with a mission to develop progressive, team-oriented pharmacists who improve health care, focusing on rural and underserved communities. Learn more at etsu.edu/pharmacy.