UT welcomes its largest freshmen class in past 30 years

The admissions office at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville has estimated that UT’s first-time freshmen enrollment has increased over 2.2 percent between fall 2015 and fall 2016.

According to Amy Blakely, assistant director of Media Relations, 4,825 first-time freshmen have enrolled for the 2016 through 2017 school year as of Aug. 4.

There were only 4,719 first-time freshmen that were enrolled for the 2015 through 2016 school year, according to last years fact book.

UT estimated that there will be more than 1,300 transfer students (other freshmen) enrolling for the fall.

This year is the largest freshmen class to enroll in the past 30 years. It also marks the sixth consecutive year of growth.

“We’ve improved our graduation rate,” said Blakely. “As we graduate more students, we have room to admit and enroll more freshmen and transfer students.”

According to top25.utk, between 2010 and 2015, the university’s six-year graduation rate rose 9 percent, the ACT scores of our incoming freshmen grew to reflect those at the peer institutions, and first-year student retention rose by 3 percent.

“We had one of the largest, most qualified applicant pools ever and we’re proud to welcome some of our state’s and our nation’s best and brightest freshmen to our campus,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek.

Based on the estimated data, 78.8 percent of the freshmen are first-time students and 21.2 percent are classified as other freshmen.

According to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment from 2015, 21.7 percent of the total student body were freshmen.

Graph A show’s the total headcount enrollment for the 2015 school year.

In 2015, 98.9 percent of the freshmen were full-time and the other 1.1 percent were part-time.

Based on the 2015 data, there has been a decrease by .7 percent in full-time first-time freshmen enrollment for the 2016 school year.

As of Aug. 4, there were 159 part-time freshmen enrolled for 2016—which is eight times greater than the 19 that were enrolled in 2015.

Graph B shows the full-time equivalent enrollment for 2015.

“Strategic efforts to involve more alumni, current students, and faculty and staff in outreach initiatives contributed to the 17,500-plus applications received from students seeking admission this year,” said Associate Provost for Enrollment Management Kari Alldredge.

Cheek went on a nationwide bus tour to share what the volunteer community felt like with prospective students and families.

“I think these were incredible ways to raise awareness about UT and recruit the outstanding students from our home state and beyond,” Alldredge said. “By attending these and other admissions events, undecided students and prospective students learned about the opportunities they can find at UT.

The incoming 2016 class is about 18 percent minority. They represent 41 states and 11 countries.

According to the release from media relations, about 83 percent of this year’s freshmen are from Tennessee.

The average ACT score is 27 and about 10 percent of the freshmen are enrolled in UT’s honors program.

According to Blakely, about 31 percent of the incoming freshmen are eligible for Pell grants. And about 96 percent of in-state freshmen qualify for the for the state’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship.

Classes do not start until Wednesday, Aug. 17, but some students have started to return to campus last Friday. UT expects over 7,200 students to live on campus.

“Many of our new freshmen are arriving on campus this week with a clear sense of what it means to be a Volunteer,” said Alldredge.

Enrollment numbers are not official until the 14th day of class.

More information about enrollment can be found here.

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A Social History: Knoxville’s Undocumented Civil War

The roles of women and African-Americans often were undocumented in Knoxville during the Civil War, according to McClung Museum’s Civil War curator Joan Markel.

Delving into the records of women, Markel said that, depending of their class status, women were limited to teaching or domestic service jobs.

“Mostly, women certainly did not have independent professions … and were usually undocumented.”

According to Markel, African-Americans were slaves at the time and even if they served in the military, they were not recognized as citizens.

“One of the things about a slave is that they are undocumented,” said Markel, “Slave records are not a good way to go after personal history.

Markel’s lecture drew a crowd of about 80 to 90 people.

“It’s just fascinating, the people are so interesting,” said Markel. She has been compiling information since 1995.

“There was this conversion in the mentality culture here that slavery was okay,” said Markel. She said that not enough people here cared about the abolition of slavery to go and fight in the war.

Markel said that although her expertise stops at the Civil War, she believes that Knoxville’s mentality had much to do with later civil rights movements.

Markel’s next Civil War lecture will be about the lawyers and lawmakers in Knoxville during the war.