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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee this fall continues its trend of enrolling better and brighter freshmen, the dean of enrollment services said Wednesday.

Dean Richard Bayer said the incoming freshman class average ACT score is 24.3, a record high for the second straight year.

Three incoming UT freshmen also achieved the highest possible score on the ACT, Bayer said. Only 12 students in the state scored the maximum on the test, he said.

The average ACT score for incoming African-American students from Tennessee is 22.1, a record high at UT and well above the state average of 17.3, Bayer said.

Also, this year there were 717 incoming freshmen with a high school GPA of 4.0, Bayer said.

“Since 2001, we have seen steady, yearly improvement in the quality of incoming freshman as measured by test scores and high school GPA,” Bayer said. “This higher level of academic achievement benefits the student, the university and the state.”

First-time freshman enrollment is 3,575, Bayer said, and total undergraduate and graduate enrollment is 24,798.

Freshman enrollment in the UT Honors Program was 172 this fall and has increased at least 10 percent annually for the past four years, Dr. Mark Luprecht, honors director, said.

Selection for the competitive scholarships is based on academic performance and on academic and professional promise, Luprecht said. Most recipients must have had at least a 3.5 high school GPA and 27 ACT or 1210 SAT scores, he said.