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Admissions: Positive Signs

Filed Under: President's Post

Last semester our undergraduate recruitment efforts set out to capitalize on the remarkable 14% growth in the size of the 2019 entering freshman class. This growth was largely fueled by our bold increase in the dollar amount of the Presidential Scholarship to $18,000 in total value, paid out to eligible incoming freshmen at $4,500 a year for four years. Students must have a 3.5 high school GPA and an ACT score of 25–29 to qualify for the expanded award. With these enhancements, the Presidential Scholarship became the largest guaranteed academic award given by any public university in Tennessee to students with these credentials.

As the Admissions staff recruits in high schools throughout the state this year, we have instituted a new True Blue Scholarship— a $2,000 per year award—to attract students who have earned at least a 3.5 high school GPA and have ACT scores in the 23–24 range. We hope the promise of this award will encourage more students to “take a closer look” at MTSU. 

We know that if we can get students to come to campus and see our outstanding facilities and beautiful grounds, we have an excellent chance to enroll them. Therefore, we concentrate our efforts on making sure guests have an excellent experience and see us at our best. 

Here are a few more interesting admissions statistics of note:

  • New freshmen were up 14.51%, totaling 3,259.
  • Total new undergraduates increased by 9.9%.
  • New transfers rose 4.12% over last year.
  • Total transfer students enrolled (10,474) now represent 53.82% of the total undergraduate population.
  • This year's class of dual enrollment students (1,221) is the largest in MTSU's history.
  • The ACT average for the Fall 2019 freshmen class was 23.34, surpassing last year's record-setting freshman ACT average of 22.87.
  • The average high school GPA for the entering freshman class was 3.54, surpassing last year's freshman class average GPA of 3.49.

To that end, the signature visit event for prospective students—our True Blue Preview—has been restructured. Students and families now build their own schedules for the day, selecting special presentations from a wide variety of resources and departments, enabling them to optimize their time on campus. 

In addition to the more comprehensive True Blue Preview, the undergraduate recruitment office offers daily tours at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday–Friday, plus two very popular Saturday tours per semester. More than 500 guests visited us at a Saturday tour last semester. Our next Saturday tour is Jan. 25.

In addition, this year our first class of True Blue 100 members will graduate from high school. Since 2017, this initiative has asked high school teachers and guidance counselors to identify and nominate high school freshmen who would make great potential Blue Raiders and who live out the values of our True Blue Pledge. Each year we recognize 100 high school freshmen in a ceremony on campus. We look forward to many of these students fulfilling the promise we saw in them and matriculating at MTSU this fall.


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