KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — High schoolers who graduate among the top of their class in the state will be guaranteed the chance to attend the University of Tennessee.
During a Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 8, leaders voted to guarantee early admission to any student among the top 10% of their high school graduating class, or who has at least a 4.0 GPA. Those students will be able to choose any campus across the state they want to attend.
Students who graduate with at least a 3.2 GPA and who have either an ACT score of at least 23 or an SAT score of at least 1,130 will have the choice to attend any UT campus except the flagship campus in Knoxville. The UT System also has campuses in Chattanooga, Martin and Pulaski.
Randy Boyd, the president of the UT System, said he recognized that the decision could impact the already tight housing situation on campus.
“We will be able to manage the housing. However, we do have a housing shortage. We would like to increase our enrollment from 36,000 to 41,000 before the end of the decade. And to get there, we have to increase housing,” he said.
He also said the policy is similar to policies in Texas and Arizona, and the aim of the policy was to keep graduating high school students in Tennessee. They said they expected the new policy to increase the number of in-state applications from students.
“The purpose of the policy is to capture a bigger share of Tennessee’s students so we can continue to grow our Tennessee enrollment,” said Boyd. “We’re still going to continue to have a holistic application process and, as I mentioned in our presentation to the board, this isn’t the minimum to get into the university. This is just the minimum to get early guaranteed admittance. Other students, we’ll continue to look at, as we always have.”