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Classes begin next week and more than 6,000 new students are expected on Rocky Top.

As of today, UT is expecting 4,828 freshmen and 1,232 transfer students. Numbers change daily and aren’t final until the 14th day of class.

“We’re trending to have a larger freshman class than last year,” said Kari Alldredge, vice provost for enrollment management.

Students began moving into residence halls this week; the largest move-in day for first-year students is Saturday. About 7,370 students are expected to live in university housing this year.

UT is also beginning the new academic year with more than 700 new honors students. Two new programs—the Honors Leadership Program and the 1794 Scholars Program—launch this fall. About one in every seven freshmen is part of a university-wide honors program.

“Each year, we try to bring in a class that, individually and as a group, will thrive as part of our university community. We can’t wait to see what the Class of 2021 does inside, and outside, the classroom,” Alldredge said. “While we talk a lot about numbers—the size of the class, their academic credentials—the fact is, this is a class of diverse and accomplished students who will help shape what it means to be a Volunteer.”

Freshman enrollment has grown incrementally each year since 2012. That growth is linked to the university’s increasing graduation rate, which is now at about 70 percent.

Undergraduate enrollment is expected to be above 22,000 again this year.

Incoming freshmen are arriving with an average ACT score of 27 and an average high school GPA above 3.9.

Underrepresented students make up more than 19 percent of the freshman class—also up from last year. Alldredge credits the growth in diversity to strong high school recruiting efforts and programs.

About 80 percent of this year’s freshmen hail from Tennessee. Freshmen are coming from 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. They come from 40 states and the District of Columbia, and 31 countries outside the United States.

UT continues its commitment to ensuring that finances are not a stumbling block for students who want to become Volunteers.

About 29 percent of the incoming freshmen are eligible for Pell grants. About 68 percent of all UT-funded scholarships are merit based and about 32 percent are need based.

About 95 percent of in-state freshmen qualify for the for the state’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship, which provides $3,500 in the first year toward tuition and fees.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,