According to preliminary statistics from the Tennessee Board of Regents, TTU’s enrollment is up by a higher percentage than any other four-year university in the system.
Of that increase, the number of TTU’s first-time freshmen is above 1,500 for the first time ever. With a final total of 1,527 – up from last year’s 1,424 – first time freshmen enrollment increased by 7.2 percent.
Bobby Hodum, interim executive director of enrollment management, said such a significant increase in first-time freshmen is indicative of a more long-term, sustainable growth in enrollment.
“Admissions, in conjunction with Financial Aid and the Scholarship Office, have worked hard in the last year to provide more personal attention to students and prospective students, and it’s rewarding to see that effort pay off,” Hodum said.
In addition, the university renewed its marketing efforts this past year, targeting students in three large segments of the state.
"We're excited to see the direct impact our marketing efforts have made," said Tracy Black, marketing director. "We are continuing our research, targeting and creative efforts to make sure we reach potential students and those who influence them."
Other segments of the campus population that saw significant increases were graduate students, up by 5.2 percent from last year, and undergraduate transfer students, up by 4.8 percent.
This fall’s total enrollment at TTU stands at 9,733, up from last year’s final enrollment of 9,313.
In addition to the increase of 103 first-time freshmen, TTU’s graduate students grew by a total of 106, and undergraduate transfers increased by 31 students. All of those and other increases add up to a total of 420 more students this semester than there were last fall.
TTU academic programs that saw the greatest number of first-time freshman increases, at 41 and 39 respectively, are the College of Engineering and independent programs, which includes general curriculum and general health studies students.
Independent studies also saw the greatest number of graduate student increases, at 73.
The greatest number of new undergraduate transfer students — 49 — is enrolled in the College of Education.
Hodum said he expects his office to continue finding different ways in the future to provide more personal attention to students, with the hope of continuing to encourage increased enrollment and retention.