“Everywhere you look, UT” Tour Highlights Statewide Impact

In August 2021, UT System President Randy Boyd embarked on a mission to celebrate UT’s involvement across the state as part of the “Everywhere you look, UT” tour.

For three months, Boyd traveled to 50 counties across the state, learning more about how UT’s presence and collaborations have ignited positive change in communities.

From the flatlands of West Tennessee to the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, UT is making a difference. Educational opportunities, agricultural research and supply-chain innovation are just a few products of UT’s involvement thus far.

“Everywhere you look, we are making a sizeable impact in the communities we serve,” says Boyd.

UT Promise Extends Eligibility

Randy Boyd hangs out with a group of high schoolers in front of their wildcats spirit mural
UT System President Randy Boyd toured Tennessee in support
of UT Promise during the fall of 2019.

More than half of all Tennesseans now financially qualify for the UT Promise Scholarship. The change in qualifying household income level, from $50,000 to $60,000, was announced during the UT Board of Trustees 2021 fall meeting.

Students with a household income level of $60,000 or less are now eligible for the last-dollar scholarship program, which pays tuition and fees after all other financial aid is received.

This increase in eligibility is the result of increased investment to the UT Promise Endowment, according to UT System President Randy Boyd.

Students enrolling at the Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, Memphis and Pulaski campuses—who receive and maintain the HOPE scholarship, have been admitted to their institution and meet the household income level—are eligible for the scholarship.

Since UT Promise’s beginnings in March 2019, more than 1,800 students have enrolled at campuses across the UT System tuition free. With this new income extension, even more students will be eligible for the scholarship—meaning more help for college and more opportunities for students.

UT System Continues Record-Breaking Enrollment

Amidst national trends, the UT System is an outlier. While college and university enrollment has declined by over 3 percent, UT’s numbers continue to grow.

“We have proven for the third consecutive year that we are far exceeding national trends,” UT Board of Trustees Chair John Compton says. “The hard work, focus and diligence of our faculty and staff—even amidst a global pandemic—is inspiring and paying tremendous dividends.”

UT’s record-breaking enrollment in 2021 tallies a total of 53,983 students—a 2.7 percent increase from 2020—in addition to a 2.5 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment and a 3.5 percent increase in graduate and professional enrollment.

UT Knoxville’s freshmen enrollment also diverted from the national trends in 2021, increasing by 14.7 percent from 2017. This made for UTK’s largest first-year class in its 227-year history: 5,948 students.

“This is a place students in Tennessee, across the country and the world want to be,” says UTK Chancellor Donde Plowman.