This year, 41 of the Midstate's high school valedictorians and salutatorians chose Tennessee Tech, an increase from last year's 27 students, according to a June survey of 22 counties compiled by The Tennessean newspaper. The university was the second most popular choice for students in the survey area, just behind MTSU.
Jim Gray, TTU's assistant director of admissions, says the numbers reflect increasing recruiting success through a team effort from faculty, support staff, student telecounselors and admissions representatives.
"In the last four years, there has been a steady increase in the number of these students choosing our university," said Gray. "Students are becoming more aware that we can provide a quality education at an affordable price."
According to the survey, more students majoring in engineering chose Tennessee Tech than any other state school. Tennessee Tech attracted 13 of the Midstate's top high school students who expressed interest in engineering. The next closest university was UT-Knoxville with eight.
But students with interests in other fields are also choosing Tennessee Tech. Their interests vary and include music education, nursing, business, agri-business, pre-pharmacy and elementary education.
In the fall, Gray says Tennessee Tech's freshman class will boast the highest percentage of Midstate high school valedictorians and salutatorians based on typical numbers of freshmen at each state school.
Tennessee Tech rewards many top students with scholarships worth as much as $4,000 to $5,000 dollars if they have a minimum 3.75 grade point average and a minimum composite ACT score of 28. Other scholarships to valedictorians and salutatorians are determined on a sliding scale based on their grade point averages and ACT scores.
The university was also ranked among the South's Top Public Schools for the second year in a row by U.S. News & World Report's 2003 America's Best Colleges publication.The Tennessean survey received responses from 378 valedictorians and salutatorians from the 22-county area.