5 Ways MTSU is More Affordable Than You Think

5 Ways MTSU is More Affordable Than You Think

Teen removing money from wallet

Everyone here at MTSU knows the feeling. Freshman you, getting so excited to see that college admissions letter come in the mail. You hold it in your hands, you envision the glittering college life you’re about to start…and promptly panic. 

How are you supposed to afford this? The dorms, the food, the fun, the classes? How do people ever manage this? 

The cost of a college lifestyle can get overwhelming pretty quickly. So from this grizzled senior to all of you fresh youngsters: don’t worry. Here are five ways MTSU makes college more affordable than you thought.

1)    MTSU has one of the lowest tuition rates in the state. 

As a school nestled in the geographic center of Tennessee, it only makes sense that MTSU is focused on making college accessible to all. That’s why MTSU has the fourth lowest tuition rate out of every 4-year public university in the state. And with a stunning array of programs and benefits available, you’re getting your money’s worth and more out of every second. 

MTSU was even named one of the best places to go to college in the nation by The Princeton Review, which called it “a go-to choice for those wishing to receive a quality and affordable education.” The honor of being featured in the review’s prestigious list of “The Best 385 Colleges” is only given to around 13 percent of the nation’s 3,000-plus four-year institutions, so you know we earned it.


So, be proud of your choice! You’ve already secured an excellent education at a steal. Now, how do you get the money for this steal? 

2)    Need money? Apply for those scholarships! 

One of the absolute best—and honestly, underrated—ways to afford college is scholarships. Yes, scholarships: that elusive piece of paper that all of your high school counselors ranted about and all of your parents thought would just appear out of this air. But if the idea of getting scholarships fills you with dread, don’t worry! MTSU has got you covered. 

MTSU has something that very few schools offer: guaranteed freshman scholarships! Students enrolling in MTSU who apply by the priority deadline (December 1) and meet the minimum eligibility requirements can get these scholarships for four years! You can get way more information (and way more money) by learning about our scholarships. Trust me—these are not opportunities you want to miss out on. 

But, it doesn’t stop there. On top of the guaranteed freshman scholarships, MTSU even has department scholarships to fit your specified program. From chemistry to criminal justice to art, there are massive funds to aid students in their education, no matter your chosen program. And the kicker? Many of these go unawarded because students forget to apply, so you have excellent chances of receiving aid! These scholarships are only for currently enrolled students, however, so freshmen, keep them noted, and current students, get to applying!

If you’re not sure what you’re majoring in yet, there are still options for you. MTSU makes it extremely easy to apply any private donor scholarships to your account, so no matter what you get a scholarship for, MTSU will lead you through the process of applying these funds to your account. No frustrating paperwork for you! 

Scholarships can be difficult, and they require a lot of dedication. But every second of work is worth it when you see your tuition price (and your stress levels) going down. 

3)    Flash that badge—get your student discounts! 

This part is a definite lifesaver for students and a serious bonus to your college lifestyle. That handy little MTSU ID you got at CUSTOMS? (You know, the one where you look both exhausted and excited because you’ve walked all over campus for miles and are trying to remember everything?Yeah, that one.) That little slip of plastic will help you save money at restaurants, retailers, and even online services. Here are some of our favorites: 

  • Chick-fil-A on 2005 Old Fort Parkway offers a free soft drink with your purchase of a meal.
  • Chipotle on 479 N Thompson Lane also offers a free soft drink with your purchase of a meal.
  • Donut Country, at both 1691 Middle Tennessee Boulevard and 1311 Memorial Blvd, gives you a 10 percent discount off your whole purchase! Added bonus, the Memorial Blvd location is open 24/7, giving you ample opportunity to stifle those late-night, studying-induced sugar cravings. Chances are high that you will run into other night owl students (like your author). 
  • Far East Restaurant, located at 1529 E. Main St. and a long-time student favorite, gives students a $1 discount on purchases.
  • Slick Pig BBQ, another local favorite at 1920 E Main St., takes 10 percent off of your entire meal! 
  • Just Love Coffee, located at 129 MTCS Rd, 2863 Old Fort Pkwy, and 1440 Medical Center Pkwy Suite A, offer 10 percent off your purchase. And they’re selection of coffee and breakfast food is astounding, so you’re going to want that discount.
  • Outreach thrift store, located at 1715 S Rutherford Blvd, offers a 10 percent discount off your whole purchase! 
  • Goodwill, with multiple locations scattered throughout Murfreesboro, also offers a 10 percent discount off your whole purchase—and on top of their already cheap prices, you’re in for a real bargain there. 
  • New York Times, is available to faculty, staff, and students of MTSU thanks to the College of Media and Entertainment, Honors College and Academic Affairs! Instructions for signing in can be found here.
  • Amazon: The Amazon Prime Student program is, hence the name, free to join for students, and includes six months of free two-day shipping! (If any of you are not familiar with Prime, your author highly recommends it. You will be spoiled by two-day shipping.) You can also stream movies and TV shows through Prime Video. When the six-month trial ends, students can continue their Amazon Prime Student membership for a discounted rate of 50% off (limited to four years or until graduation). 

These, and so many more, are available to students just with the swipe of a handy student ID! Here’s an even longer list, if you’re interested in saving some money, and if a certain store isn’t on the list, make sure to ask retailers if they offer the discount—you might be surprised. 

4)   Get your walking boots—everything you need is right in front of you

An aerial view of Murfreesboro's downtown square

Photo courtesy of David’s Adventures Flickr

Another way MTSU helps you save money is simply through geography—and no, not the textbook kind. Simply, MTSU is close to everything. Due to the benefit of being located in middle Tennessee, MTSU is situated in the heart of Murfreesboro and is within a short drive of Nashville. This makes your weekend itinerary endless, with local dining options like Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint (with their awesome trivia night on Mondays!), outdoor fun at the Greenway, or a good film at the AMC, Premiere, or Cason Lane movie theaters. And of course, you have an almost overwhelming source of Nashville entertainment, which we can’t even begin to list here. Basically, you’re all set for great weekend fun. Take over the town, Raiders! 

5)   Get wild with the Blue Zoo

For all hardcore Blue Raiders, there’s no better place to be but the Blue Zoo student section at MTSU games. Join the rowdy crowd and cheer on your team with your free tickets, exclusive meet-and-greets, one-of-a-kind giveaways, and overwhelming team spirit. There’s no better way to get the college experience and express your support of your Blue Raider family than this—and really, who doesn’t want to be part of something this fun?  

Stay up-to-date with the Blue Zoo on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and get your Blue Zoo tickets here!

These options—and countless more—are some of the reasons that MTSU is truly way more affordable than you thought. With smart spending, preparation, and a little bit of curiosity, you can make these next few years some of the best years of your life!


Author Angele Latham is a senior at MTSU, majoring in visual communication in the School of Journalism with minors in criminal justice administration and global studies. The views and opinions expressed above are her own and don’t necessarily reflect those of Middle Tennessee State University.