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KNOXVILLE — The state’s top high school students are being given more reasons — up to $12,000 of them — to enroll at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

UT created the Volunteer Scholarship program to attract more of Tennessee’s highest academic achievers to the flagship campus, Provost Loren W. Crabtree said Thursday.

The $3,000 scholarships will be awarded to first-year, in-state students who score 29 or 30 on the ACT entrance test (or SAT equivalent) and have a 3.75 high school grade point average in the 14 units required for admission at UT.

The scholarships first will be awarded in fall 2003 and can be renewed for three additional years if the student maintains a 3.0 GPA, Crabtree said.

“This is an extension of our popular Bicentennial Scholarship program,” Crabtree said. “It has been very successful in attracting students with entrance test scores above 30 to UT.

“We haven’t done as well in enrolling those in the 29 to 30 range. These are superb students we need to keep in the state and who can take great advantage of the almost unlimited academic options on the Knoxville campus.”

Bicentennial Scholarships go to any first-time Tennessee student who enrolls at UT in Knoxville who scores 31 or above on the entrance exam and has a 3.75 GPA in the 14 required units. They pay current tuition and fees and this year are valued at $4,056.

To be eligible for either the Volunteer or Bicentennial scholarship programs, students must apply to UT by Feb. 1. 2003, and meet the qualifications. Volunteer Scholars will be invited to join the University Scholars Program.

Additional information about scholarships and attending UT is available from high school guidance counselors or from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 865-974-2184, or http://www.utk.edu/admissions/.