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UT has been named to the Kiplinger’s Personal Finance list of the Top 300 Best College Values for 2017.

UT is ranked 49th on the list of public colleges and universities, which was released this week—a jump from 71st last year.

Kiplinger’s chooses the top 300 schools from 1,200 public and private colleges and universities based on measures of academic quality and affordability. The metrics include average debt upon graduation and amount of need- and merit-based aid, SAT or ACT average scores, selectivity, student-faculty ratios, and four-year graduation rates.

Accessibility has long been a priority for UT, and over the past decade the university has significantly increased its offering of need-based scholarships to help Tennessee students earn their degrees and minimize debt.

About 31 percent of UT’s incoming freshmen are eligible for Pell grants. About 66 percent of UT-funded scholarships are merit-based and about 34 percent are need-based.

About 96 percent of in-state freshmen qualify for the for the state’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship, which provides up to $3,500 in the first year toward tuition and fees.

In 2015–16, UT graduates had an average student loan debt of $24,272—considerably lower than the $30,100 national average.

The list also includes future earnings data for each school to get a sense of post-     graduation salary potential.

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked colleges and universities since 1998.


Karen Simsen (865-974-5186,