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Notes from the Chancellor » Good Marks on Federal Scorecard


Good Marks on Federal Scorecard

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We think our students get a lot for their education dollar and, based on our scorecard, the US Department of Education concurs.

Posted on the White House website and mentioned by President Barack Obama in this year’s State of the Union address, College Score Cards are produced by the Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center. They look at costs, graduation rates, graduates’ ability to find employment, and student loan debt.

All of this mirrors our Top 25 goals. Here’s a look at how we measure up:

Costs

The scorecard says the cost of attending UT is "low."

While tuition and fees for students taking 12-plus credit hours is $4,546 per semester, the average student pays only about $1,000 per semester (or $2,000 per year) after scholarships and grants.

Our students' average room-and-board expense is $8,752.

Our efforts to keep costs as low as possible are underscored by our recent listing among Kiplinger’s Top 100 Best Values and the Princeton Review’'s Top 50 Best Values in Higher Education.

Student loans

According to the scorecard, students typically borrow $16,000 in federal loans to attend UT. That’s a good ranking compared to other schools.

The Project on Student Debt, issued by the nonprofit Institute for College Access and Success, says Tennessee graduates are less likely to have student loan debt than students in other states. Tennessee ranked forty-third in the nation for student loan debt. Nationally, the average student graduates with about $26,600 of debt.

Graduation

We get a "high" ranking for our graduation rate of 63 percent.

Our graduation rate is climbing. We’re proud of that, but we’re not complacent. We have several initiatives under way to ensure our rate continues to rise.

On-time graduation is good for our students, and it means a healthier bottom line for UT. Our graduation rate is tied to the state’s funding formula.

Key among our initiatives to further improve our rate is "Take 15, Graduate in 4," our new tuition model. Starting in fall 2013, our full-time undergraduates will be charged for 15 credit hours per semester—the number they must take to graduate in four years. They now pay for only 12 credit hours regardless of how many they take.

uTrack, a technology we’ll begin using in the fall with all first-time, first-year, degree-seeking students, will provide a road map for each major so students can see which academic courses they must successfully complete—and when they must complete them—in order to graduate on time. The system will alert students if they get off track so they can work with advisors to devise a catch-up plan.

To see our scorecard, go to whitehouse.gov.