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UT Freshman Class Biggest In Decades

WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

The roughly 4700 University of Tennessee students moving into their first college dorms this weekend will represent one of the largest and smartest freshman classes in recent history.

University of Tennessee officials say the total number of incoming freshmen is the highest it’s been in 30 years. 

Chancellor Jimmy Cheek says a big reason for the increase in freshmen is the school’s push to graduate students on time.  In the last four years, UT’s six-year graduate rate has increased from 60 percent to 67.5 percent. 

“More of our students are graduating on time and that gives us the capacity to accept more students,” Cheek said in a prepared statement.  “By improving our efficiency and expanding our capacity, we are helping the state increase the number of college-educated students.”

The class is also among the most academically qualified in recent years.  The average student scored a 27 on the ACT and held a 3.80 GPA in high school.  Forty-three percent of the incoming freshmen maintained GPA’s of 4.0 or higher. 

Here are some more facts about UT’s Class of 2018:  

     *Women outnumber men for the fourth year in a row

 *Approximately 87 percent of the students are from Tennessee

 *Ninety-eight percent of the incoming freshmen qualify for the state of Tennessee's Hope Scholarship

 *About 21 percent of the students are considered minorities

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