Tennessee Tech grows total enrollment to more than 10,100 students, fueled by fourth largest freshman class in university history
New Tech students give a “Wings Up” gesture at Tech’s annual freshman convocation on Aug. 15, 2023.
Tennessee Tech University announced a total enrollment of more than 10,000 students for the first time in three years. Fall 2023 census data showed that the university’s ranks grew to 10,117 students, an increase of more than 200 students from the previous year. The university’s enrollment gains were driven by the fourth largest freshman class in Tech’s 108-year history, increases in transfer students, new graduate students and doctoral candidates and a strong retention rate among continuing sophomores.
“The class of 2027, along with our returning students, have brought an energy and enthusiasm that is felt across campus,” said Tech President Phil Oldham. “With a diverse, near-record sized freshman class and increases in our number of transfer students, new graduate students and doctoral candidates, there has never been a better time to be a Golden Eagle. These enrollment gains show that Tech’s message of a quality, affordable education that produces career-ready graduates continues to resonate with students and families alike.”
Tech’s freshman class includes 2,382 new and returning freshmen. New freshmen at Tech hail from 85 of Tennessee’s 95 counties, 28 other states and 21 other countries with ages ranging from 16 to 50. The freshman class at Tech boasts an average high school GPA of 3.68 and 36% of freshmen entered the university with a perfect 4.0. The freshman class’s average ACT score is 23.7.
The freshman class at Tech is also marked by greater diversity. As a result, non-white students now account for 21% of the student body – an increase from last year. In addition to the freshmen, 573 transfer students and 357 new graduate students started at the university.
“We are gratified to see more students discovering for themselves what it means to live Wings Up with a university experience right here in Tennessee’s College Town,” said Karen Lykins, vice president for enrollment and communication at Tech. “Students know that, when they choose Tennessee Tech, they are getting a university that puts them first in every decision. We cannot wait to see what these Golden Eagles accomplish."
Tech students were welcomed back to campus with “College Town Kickoff” on Saturday, Aug. 19, including a concert with Sean Kingston in Dogwood Park.
Census data also showed that computer science has ascended to Tech’s number one undergraduate degree program by enrollment, followed by mechanical engineering, biology, nursing and business management.
The largest colleges on Tech’s campus are the College of Engineering with 2,853 students, the College of Education with 1,833 students and the College of Business with 1,373 students. The college with the largest percentage enrollment increase was the College of Fine Arts, which grew by 6.4% with the addition of 19 new majors.
Tech is ranked as a “Best National University” by U.S. News & World Report. The university offers more than 200 programs of study and Tech grads leave with the least debt of all public universities in the state. In fact, based on total cost and alumni earnings, Tech provides students with the highest return on investment for any public university in Tennessee, according to PayScale.