UT Sees Jump In Incoming Student Quality

Now in its second year, the Tennessee lottery scholarship continues to fuel a dramatic increase in the quality of incoming students to the University of Tennessee.

UT-Knoxville Chancellor Loren Crabtree says the Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship program gives the institution greater visibility among high-quality students, and that is translating into enrollments.

“More of Tennessee’s best and brightest students are looking at UT. Clearly, more and more of them like what they see in terms of faculty, programs and facilities and are choosing to come here,” Crabtree said.

“We now can compete with the best public and private universities in the nation,” he said.

Crabtree says that because UT is committed to maintaining the highest-quality educational experience, the university has capped the size of the incoming freshman class at approximately 4,000 students. This measure creates increased competition for admission that, in turn, produces incoming classes with better academic preparation.

In fall 2005, the average ACT score for admitted students is 26, an all-time high.

Nancy McGlasson, director of undergraduate admissions, says this is a
continuation of UT’s longtime goals of improving the quality of incoming students.

“For several years, we have restructured and increased scholarships and strengthened admissions requirements to boost the overall quality of our student body,” McGlasson said.

Crabtree says the university has to take a long view toward admissions standards.

“Studies have shown that a majority of students eventually settle down into a career in the same state where they received their undergraduate degree,” Crabtree said.

“And so keeping more of Tennessee’s brightest and most talented students at home doesn’t just benefit the university; it benefits the whole state by increasing the skill level and long-term income potential of its citizens.”