UTK Enrollment Near 26,000

KNOXVILLE — An increase of 349 new freshmen helped push fall enrollment at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville to nearly 26,000 students.

Fall enrollment figures, released Tuesday, show a total of 25,981 students, up 369 from last year. The first-time freshman total is 4,155.

The number of undergraduates on campus is 20,259, up 566. Graduate enrollment is down 197 to 5,722 students.

However, full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment, on which state funding is based, is up 823, UT-Knoxville Chancellor Bill Snyder said.

“If the state finds additional revenue and uses the (funding) formula, these heavier class loads will generate more money for UTK,” Snyder said. “We are hopeful that both will occur.”

A complex formula based on total credit hours is used to determine state appropriations to Tennessee’s public colleges and universities.

A number of reasons, ranging from UTK’s rankings in national publications such as U.S. News and World Report to UT’s national football championship, have been cited for the increase in freshman enrollment, Provost John Peters said.

“The national championship did provide additional exposure, particularly outside of Tennessee,” Peters said, “but we have worked hard on recruiting Tennessee’s best students.

“UTK’s reputation as one of the nation’s best higher education investments has attracted the attention of a lot of prospective students and their parents.”

In addition to the larger number of first-time freshman, the number of sophomores is up 253 students and the senior class is larger by 285 students.

Minority enrollment figures are not yet available, but they appear to be up significantly, Peters said.