Spring 2023 Admissions Update

One of the metrics we monitor as the fall 2023 incoming class takes shape is our “count of admits” on Dec. 1, 2022. This date marks the application deadline to be considered for our guaranteed freshman academic scholarships.

Two significant changes have been made to our array of guaranteed freshman scholarships effective with the incoming fall 2023 freshmen.

First, in an effort to stay competitive with other Tennessee institutions as we work to attract the highest achieving new students, MTSU increased the value of our highest guaranteed scholarship with the new Centennial Scholarship, at $8,000 per year.

Next, a review of declining national and statewide average ACT scores, coupled with conversations with our partner guidance counselors in high schools statewide, also suggested that it was time to increase and expand our guaranteed scholarship at the beginning end of the array. To that end, we have expanded the True Blue Scholarship to include applicants with ACT scores of 22–24 and increased the value of the award to $3,500 per year.

As a result of these changes—and the considerable effort of our undergraduate recruitment team—scholarship offers to eligible students are up more than 23% over the same period last year.

Overall, applications for both transfer students and first-time freshmen are up 17.5%.

Admitted student numbers are up 6.2% for new freshmen and up 30.4% for transfer students.

Applications for both transfer students and first-time freshmen are up 17.5%.

This is an outstanding data point in light of the significant losses our Tennessee community colleges have suffered in the past several years. Still, it is important to remember that it is very early in the enrollment cycle for transfer students. Their application deadline for scholarship consideration is Feb. 15.

All of this is great news! But spring is the time to focus on “yield” and to redouble our efforts to convince these accepted students that MTSU is the best place for them to invest in their futures.

Undergraduate recruitment will host True Blue Preview events on Feb. 11 and March 25 here on campus. Faculty are especially encouraged to attend the True Blue Preview events to connect with prospective students and to help them to understand why, of all the schools to which they have applied, MTSU is the right place for them to enroll.

Separately, MTSU recently began advertising that many students can attend the University tuition free. MTSU launched an effort last July to help students navigate several scenarios and options that could eliminate, or greatly reduce, the cost of tuition. MTSU’s tuition was already the lowest of the state’s three major universities. Our decision to hold it flat for this academic year, plus recent increases in the state’s HOPE Lottery Scholarship, meant many could attend our University at no tuition cost. Admissions recruiters and academic advisors encourage students to go to a new website, mtsu.edu/mtfree, and engage with an enrollment coordinator through a Zoom portal. Coordinators will review various scenarios with students to determine eligibility.

MTSU’s Board of Trustees voted last June to keep tuition and program services fees flat for the 2022–23 academic year. A full-time, in-state undergraduate student taking 15 credit hours in both the fall and spring semesters will pay $7,704 in tuition and $1,888 in program service fees, for a total of $9,592 this academic year. Also, the state recently increased the amount of its HOPE Lottery Scholarship, raising what it pays eligible freshmen and sophomores to $4,500 a year from $3,500, while juniors and seniors will receive $5,700 a year instead of $4,500. To qualify for these awards, students need a 21 on the ACT or must graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA. For HOPE-eligible students, the difference (less than $5,100) between MTSU’s tuition cost and the scholarship payout could be mitigated by a variety and combination of means— including federal Pell Grant monies, academic scholarships from MTSU, and tuition discounts afforded to teachers and state employees. The scenarios outlined on the MTFree website apply only to first-time freshmen who are Tennessee residents and would be attending as full-time students.

Lastly, more than 100 students, representing nearly as many academic programs, have shared their passion for MTSU in the video series “Why I Chose MTSU” on the University’s YouTube channel. The videos were sent to admitted students with a Happy New Year’s message during the first week of January. Many thanks to the department chairs and faculty who helped select and recruit students to star in the video series.

To see the videos, click here.

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