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KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee admissions officials are spreading the word across the state about changes for incoming students, including new UT and state lottery scholarships next fall totaling $5,500 for qualified students.

Dr. Thomas Broadhead, director of undergraduate academic advancement, said more than 80 local guidance counselors visited UT Thursday for the Annual Conference for High School Guidance Counselors.

Broadhead said conferences also have been held in Johnson City, Chattanooga and Memphis, and are scheduled for 8 a.m.-noon, Sept. 22, at the West Tennessee Agriculture Experiment Station in Jackson, Tenn., and Sept. 23 at the Williamson County Ag Expo Park in Franklin, Tenn.

A major announcement at conferences is the new University Scholars program, which guarantees $2,500 next fall to incoming students with a 3.75 core high school GPA and 26-28 ACT scores, Broadhead said.

Most of the students in that score range also will be eligible next fall for up to $3,000 in scholarships from state lottery proceeds, he said.

“In the past, most of the students in that grade or test score range probably had no scholarships here, but next year they could receive up to $5,500 per year,” Broadhead said. “From the financial standpoint of families across the state, getting this information to students through their high school guidance counselors is absolutely critical this year.

“UT is working harder at recruiting these students in the 26-28 test score range and showing them that we seriously value their academic credentials.”

Jeff Gerkin, director of financial aid and scholarships, said topics discussed at the guidance counselors conferences include new scholarships, new facilities, admissions changes, housing, and financial aid.

Representatives from UT and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission will answer questions about new lottery scholarships in Tennessee, Gerkin said.

Other scholarship announcements include:

— UT is combining its Bicentennial and Volunteer scholarships to create a newly restructured $4,000 Volunteer Scholarship for students with ACT scores of 29 or above.

— Lottery scholarships also will include an additional $1,000 for students with a 3.75 GPA and 29 ACT score and another $1,000 for those from low-income families.

For more information about new UT and lottery scholarships, visit the UT Honors Web site at: http://www.acad.utk.edu/honors/Default.htm