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Notes from the Chancellor » Class of 2017 Arrives on Campus

Class of 2017 Arrives on Campus

Class of 2017 students at freshman picnic

The fall semester is now under way, and our freshman class–the Class of 2017–is among the largest in the past decade, with the most honors students ever.

Our 4,300 freshmen are an academically accomplished group, with their average ACT scores and high school grade point averages putting them among the top 10 percent of high school graduates statewide.

This year’s honors class is 19 percent larger than last year’s. Among honors students, biology is the most common major followed by mechanical engineering and chemical engineering.

We have about 100 more freshmen and about 200 more transfer students than last year. This growth is a sign that we’re making great progress with our graduation rate. It also shows our commitment to increasing the number of college graduates in our state.

Some facts about our incoming freshmen:

  • Their average ACT score is 27, and seven freshmen had perfect ACT scores.
  • Their average high school GPA is 3.86, and about 46 percent had a high school GPA of 4.0 or higher.
  • They hail from forty-seven states and ninety-one of Tennessee’s ninety-five counties. About 87 percent are Tennessee residents.
  • The class is 19 percent minority and includes more international students.

As in previous years, about 99 percent of our in–state incoming freshmen qualify for the state’s lottery–funded HOPE Scholarship, which provides up to $4,000 a year toward tuition and fees. This helps make our university a great educational value; the average student’s net tuition and fees amount to only about $3,500 a year.

Access remains a high priority for us, and to ensure that money is not a stumbling block for our state’s academically qualified students, about 50 percent of the scholarship dollars our university awards are need–based.