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Students hang out between Magnolia and Dogwood Residence Halls before virtual Torch Night on August 17.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is welcoming more than 30,000 students for its first hybrid fall semester. More than 7,100 new students are enrolled, including first-year and transfer students as well as those enrolled in Volunteer Bridge, a joint program with Pellissippi State Community College.

Undergraduate enrollment is likely to top 24,000, including more than 1,500 new transfers and 5,450 new first-year students, making up the largest first-year cohort on record. Graduate and professional student enrollment is expected to top 6,200.

“To welcome a record number of new Volunteers to our broader community enriches the fall experience for all Vols,” said Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Kari Alldredge, who added that official enrollment numbers become final 14 days into the semester. “The start of classes is always a special time on Rocky Top, and this year is especially significant because of all that our scholars and our campus have overcome to make this semester possible.”

Class of 2024 Snapshot

  • Members of this year’s first-year class hail from 90 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. The top five counties are Knox, Williamson, Shelby, Hamilton, and Davidson.
  • First-year students come from 48 states and 25 different countries. Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, North Carolina, and Maryland are the top five sources of out-of-state first-year students. Top countries outside the US are India, Canada, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia.
  • Underrepresented minority students make up 19 percent of the first-year class.
  • Students in the middle 50 percent of the class have ACT scores between 24 and 30, with a weighted high school GPA average between 3.6 and 4.3.
  • Nearly 200 first-year students are participating in Volunteer Bridge.
  • Nearly 21 percent of first-years are first-generation college students.
  • 95 percent of in-state first-year students qualify for the HOPE Scholarship.
  • 1,500 transfer students are expected to enroll this year, the most in recent history.
  • 88 percent of first-time applicants from Tennessee are offered a pathway to UT.

Commitment to student success

Now more than ever, UT is committed to student success and supporting all aspects of student life through the pandemic. Enrollment has steadily grown over the past eight years, and a record 88 percent of last year’s first-year students are expected to return for their second year—a reflection of UT’s dedication to enhancing the overall student experience.

Academic support and student success services underwent significant changes during the summer to accommodate UT’s hybrid instruction model this fall. One-on-one academic coaching, supplemental instruction, tutoring, and early intervention programs will all be offered both virtually and in person. Incoming first-year and transfer students will be assigned to a Vol success team made up of an academic advisor, an academic coach, and a counselor from One Stop, UT’s hub for registration, payment, and financial aid services. Each student’s Vol success team travels with them throughout their journey at UT to help them set and reach their academic, personal, and professional goals.

Beginning this fall, the Vol First-Year Experience will enroll first-year students in two courses—a first-year seminar and an academic course. This experience is designed to promote student success, assist students during the transition to college, and foster meaningful relationships with other students, faculty, and staff.

“The transition to college may be challenging for some students—after all, it is a brand-new life experience. And when you add the complexities and uncertainty of COVID-19, we had to quickly prioritize reimagining how we build a meaningful experience for our students,” said Amber Williams, vice provost for student success. “We have carefully reimagined our programs, such as the Vol success teams—offered in-person and online—and opportunities to engage, support, and energize our students.”

Additional campus updates

In preparation for the academic year, UT provided 150,000 face coverings for students and employees, distributed through 40,000 wellness kits packed by 225 volunteers. More than 1,400 hand sanitizer stations were installed around campus along with 337 new touchless faucets, 326 plexiglass screens, and 240 new webcams for classroom spaces. Other safety upgrades to campus include Clorox wipe stations as well as new health and wellness campus signage in high-traffic areas.

Additional outdoor study spaces will be added around campus, including hammock stations and other amenities to encourage social distancing, create extra space for students to work, and provide more opportunities for students to use campus resources for online courses. Many classrooms have been outfitted with enhanced technology to ensure that instructors can easily record lectures, stream sessions, and interact with students both virtually and in person.

Work also continues on major campus construction projects including the Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Walkway expansion, a west campus dining facility, and the new Engineering Complex next to Neyland Stadium, which is expected to open in the fall of 2021.


Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993,