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Tech Enrollment Down Slightly For Fall; Applications, Admits Way Up

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Enrollment Down Slightly For Fall; Applications, Admits Way Up

Tennessee Tech Fall enrollment numbers are down slightly from last year’s record, despite the highest application and admit numbers in the school’s history.

Vice President of Enrollment & Communication Karen Lykins said Tech received roughly 1,000 more applications this year. Lykins said her team continues to study the impact of September’s free application month. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission pushed for the month, but Lykins said while the program took away a barrier to a college education, there is some concern about the quality of the applications processed during that period.

“If we know, maybe they filled out an app because they were encouraged to from all sides, right,” Lykins said. “There’ll be some strong ones in there, but we need to make sure that we understand the difference and the characteristics of a student that’s doing that.”

Lykins said the school remains in the hunt for about 100 freshmen to make up the current defecit of 63 students from the 1,875 enrolled last June.

“We are actively and aggressively still recruiting at this point,” Lykins said. “And that is certainly something that we can make up. It’s mid June. We have time to do that.”

In the aftermath of Tech’s record enrollment last year, Lykins said competitors have also stepped up their game. She said has particularly been true with programs similar to the Presidential Scholars program.

“We need to keep asking ourselves, what’s the next thing?,” Lykins said. “We don’t need to be the chaser. They’re the chasers now. We were in front, but I think that’s where we are now. What is our next thought about who we want to attract? Most of the strategies that we’ve seen publicly advertised are pretty broad, and I think we can do a better job than that, to be very specific about crafting the type of class and the number in our class.”

The incoming freshman class features a GPA of 3.68. It is 53.4 percent male and 79.9 percent white. Lykins said computer science, mechanical engineering and nursing were the lead interests among the class.

The University also accepted some 900 students leading up to June, a record number according to Lykins. Among those who decided against Tech, 15 percent cited proximity as the reason, wanting to go to the University closest to home. Tech lost the most students to Tennessee followed by community colleges.


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