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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee has 25,501 students enrolled at the main campus here this fall.

The headcount enrollment is 86 fewer than last year, but the dean of enrollment services said Thursday the university is where it should be in matching enrollment to faculty, student services and other resources.

“Our enrollment projections were, for the most part, on target,” Dean Richard Bayer said. “Freshman enrollment is down about 100 below our estimate, but the number of first-time graduate students rose by 136.”

Bayer said UT is becoming more selective in its admission of first-year students. The result this fall is that the 3,682 students who enrolled have the highest average ACT entrance test scores — 24.2 of 36 — in the university’s history. Last fall’s 3,958 freshmen averaged 23.5 on the ACT.

One-third of this fall’s first-year class were in the top 10 percent in the state of those who took the ACT exam.

First-year African American student enrollment is up significantly, Bayer said. The 321 African American freshmen who enrolled represent 9 percent of the first-year students, compared to 7.4 percent last fall. Their average ACT scores rose almost one point compared to last year.

Total undergraduate enrollment is 19,841, down 317 from last fall. The graduate total is 5,660, up 231.