University of Tennessee Welcomes Largest Freshman Class on Record

Rocky Top is getting crowded! The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which has partnered with Capture Higher Ed for the past two years on student recruitment efforts, welcomed its largest freshman class on record this semester. The 5,180 new freshmen, combined with approximately 1,320 new transfer students, brought about 6,500 new students to Tennessee’s flagship university.

“We are very excited to continue on this path of attracting amazing students and are looking forward to what they accomplish during their time as Volunteers,” said Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Kari Alldredge in a story on UT’s website.

UT now has an undergraduate enrollment of 22,815; its graduate and professional enrollment is 6,079.

Unlike so many other colleges and universities across the country, freshman enrollment at UT has been growing steadily over the past five years. The largest freshman class — the Class of 2022 — is also one of the school’s most gifted and diverse.

According to the University of Tennessee’s website:
  • Students in the middle 50 percent of the class have ACT scores between 25 and 30 and a high school GPA between 3.6 and 4.3.
  • They come from 43 states, with Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Illinois being the top five out-of-state markets for freshmen.
  • They come from 29 countries outside of the United States.
  • Students from underrepresented groups make up more than 19 percent of the freshman class.
  • About 980 freshmen arrive at UT as first-generation college students.
  • Honors students make up about 15 percent of the class.
  • A record-setting 218 are participating in the Volunteer Bridge Program, which allows students to live on the UT campus while completing their first year at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville. Those who successfully complete the first-year requirements can transfer to UT as sophomores.
  • About 26 percent of incoming freshmen are eligible for Pell grants.
  • About 95 percent of in-state freshmen qualify for the state’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship.
As for the University of Tennessee’s 1,320 new transfer students:
  • They come from 33 states outside Tennessee, with Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Illinois and Texas being the top five.
  • They come from 20 countries outside of the United States.
  • About 18 percent of transfer students are from underrepresented groups.
  • About 387 will arrive at UT as first-generation college students.
  • About 32 percent are economically eligible for Pell grants.
  • About 25 percent of in-state transfer students qualify for the state’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship.

According to university officials, much of the credit for UT’s  largest freshman class and continued growth goes to the school’s increasing graduation rate, which is expected to reach 72 percent this year. Also, the school’s first-year retention rates have reached new highs, with 87 percent of last year’s freshmen returning this fall for their sophomore year and 82 percent of last year’s incoming transfer students returning for a second year.

Since 2016, UT has utilized Capture Behavioral Engagement (CBE), Capture’s marketing automation software designed specifically for higher ed, as well as Digital Display Targeting (DDT) for application pushes, visit promotion, scholarship information and more.

By Kevin Hyde, Senior Content Writer, Capture Higher Ed