We’re Graduating More, Enrolling More
We’re in the market for more great students.
We’ve made great strides in improving on-time graduation. It is now 63 percent, and expected to rise to 66 percent by next year.
As our graduation rate goes up, we are increasing the number of students we enroll. This is a true mark of success in one of our Top 25 priority areas. It is great news for our prospective students and for our state because we’re helping more people earn college degrees.
One of the ways we’ll grow is by admitting 100 more freshmen next fall. Our goal is 4,300.
Our students are Top 25 caliber, and we want to continue admitting the best and brightest students from our state and across the nation. We are increasing our merit scholarships to be more competitive in attracting high-ability students who often have many options when looking at colleges.
But all of our growth can’t come with freshmen; many of the available seats we have are for upperclassmen.
We’ve formed a team to help boost upperclass enrollment by about 600 by recruiting more transfer and international students, as well as seeking students who have taken a hiatus from their UT studies and encouraging them to come back and finish their degree. Richard Bayer, assistant provost and director of enrollment services, is leading this effort.
Transfer students have earned some of their college credits elsewhere, often at a community college, and then come to UT to complete their degree.
The Tennessee Transfer Pathways initiative has resulted in the creation of thirty guaranteed transfer plans to UT Knoxville, other UT campuses, and Tennessee Board of Regents colleges and universities. Innovative programs like our Bridge Program with Pellissippi State Community College also help admit more students and prepare them to succeed here.
The team is zeroing in on students who have earned 90 of the 120 hours needed for graduation but for some reason failed to finish their degree. We’ll look at those who have been gone from UT for five years or less.
As many as 2,000 students fit this profile.
We’re also trying to more quickly identify current students who are considering transferring from UT and take steps to retain them.
There’s a comprehensive effort under way to boost the number of international students we have studying on our campus over the long term. We’re also looking at programs that would bring international students to UT next year for a year of their university studies.