Tennessee Tech is on track to enroll a class of more than 2,000 students for the first time since 2013.
Interim Vice President For Enrollment Karen Lykins said Tech welcomed 1,661 new students last year. She credited the creation of the Presidential Scholars Award as the leading factor in growth.
“We could say ‘guaranteed’ which was a magic word and one that others were able to use that we were not until presidential scholars was approved,” Lykins said.
Lykins said the program particularly helped in the Upper Cumberland because it gave Tech the chance to help with costs it previously could not assist with. Three tiers of scholarships are offered ranging from $3,000 to $5,000. Recipients are based on GPA and ACT score.
“This opens the door to make us competitive, to make us responsive, and to let us do all the other things that matter when you’re trying to get students to enroll and actually show up in the fall,” Lykins said.
Lykins said, as of Thursday, 508 more freshman have enrolled for the fall semester over this same time last year. Total enrollment stands some 340 students over the same time last year.
“Everyone spent the year dedicated to getting that 2000 and we’re still doing that,” Lykins said.
Diversity has been a focus for the enrollment team and Lykins said the freshman class also appears to be more diverse. Based on students enrolled in the summer SOAR program, African American numbers are up some 2 percent while Hispanic and Latino students are up about 1.5 percent.
The average GPA stands at 3.68 and average ACT score are at 24, similar to recent classes, according to Lykins.
Lykins said the university is not seeing as many transfer applications. She said the impact of COVID on community college numbers likely has something to do with that.
With the start of the school year about two months away, Lykins said the team has not stopped, in fact, writing notes to prospective students who have yet to sign up for summer orientation.
“We will not drop the ball,” Lykins said.