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More than 4,300 freshmen—the biggest class in nearly a decade, with the most honors students ever—will begin classes on Wednesday, August 21.

About 7,100 students will live on campus this fall and most of them will move in this weekend. Move-in begins at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.

The incoming freshmen are an academically accomplished group, with average ACT scores and high school GPAs putting them among the top 10 percent of high school graduates statewide.

The freshman class is about 100 students larger this year, partly due to the campus’s improving graduation rate freeing up seats for incoming students.

This year’s incoming freshmen are the first to enroll under the university’s “Take 15, Graduate in 4” tuition structure. New students now pay for 15 credit hours per semester—the number it takes to graduate in four years.

“Our growth is a very positive trend for everyone involved,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “It is a sign that we’re making great progress with our graduation rate and helping increase the number of college graduates in our state.”

This year’s honors class of 513 is 19 percent larger than last year’s class. Among honors students, biology is the most common major, followed by mechanical engineering and chemical engineering.

Other facts about the incoming freshmen:

  • Their average ACT score is 27, and seven freshmen had perfect ACT scores.
  • Their average high school GPA is 3.86, and about 46 percent had a high school GPA of 4.0 or higher.
  • They hail from forty-seven states and ninety-one of Tennessee’s ninety-five counties. About 87 percent are Tennessee residents.
  • The class is 19 percent minority and includes more international students

As in previous years, about 99 percent of in-state incoming freshmen qualify for the state’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship, which provides up to $4,000 a year toward tuition and fees.

Access remains a high priority for UT, and to ensure that money is not a stumbling block for the state’s academically qualified students, UT offers several need-based scholarship programs. About 50 percent of institutional scholarship dollars—those awarded by UT—are merit-based and about 50 percent are need-based.

In addition to a larger freshman class, UT is also welcoming about 1,400 transfer students this year—almost 200 more than last year.

Enrollment numbers are not finalized until the fourteenth day of class.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,