ATTN Parents: University of Tennessee

<p>I tried posting this in the college search forum but I got no replies.</p>

<p>I'm considering applying to the University of Tennessee-Knoxville honor program. It would be an ultra-safety but I love Tennessee (Vanderbilt is one of my reaches). </p>

<p>However, I've heard horrible things about UT-K cutting funding for academics to pump into athletics and that it's party party party and that nobody ever studies. I love a party, but I also love doing well academically and I was hoping applying to the honors program could help even the two out.</p>

<p>My other schools I'm applying to are GWU, Vandy, William and Mary, etc.</p>

<p>How does that sound (the UT-K part) and what do you think of the school. Have any of your children attended? Any help will be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!!!</p>

<p>CIA - I think you've encapsulated your interest very nicely -- UT-K is your ultra-safety. Nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt to have a somewhat more academic "safety" in addition to your "ultra-safety." Considering the other schools on your list, you're obviously a very strong candidate. Good luck!</p>

<p>As the mother of a D going to a commonly-considered party school, UMD, (and it made the #2 school for "students hardly every study", I can attest that attending a large public university means that there are lots of people who enjoy lots of different things. D wasn't (and still isn't) a partier... she lived in an honors dorm that had its share of kids taking full advantage of relatively easily accessible drinking and etc. However, she had a large number of friends who did NOT do that..... she (and they) studied in the lounge almost every night (or went together to the Library or Union to study). Every one of her profs in her first year knew her by name (except one senile guy who didn't know any of the 17 honors students in his seminar). She has a 4.0 average going into her second year, and LOVES her choice of school....says she wouldn't have done it any differently.</p>

<p>I wouldn't worry about the party reputation. Every big public flagship has many different kinds of students. There may more more partying at some schools than other, but you'll also find the serious, studious types at every school, and especially if you get into the UT-K honors program you'll meet plenty of them. I think in general the honors programs at public flagships are one of the greatest bargains in all of academia, especially for in-state students---real academic quality, lots of interaction with top professors and very bright classmates in small classes and one-on-one settings, all at a very low cost. Judging from the stats of UT-K honors program participants--average ACT of 32, average (unweighted) GPA of 4.0, levels equivalent to the nation's very best colleges and universities--this one is no exception.</p>

<p>I don't know very much about UT-K in particular, but my general impression is that it's OK on academics, not especially outstanding in many things (though I've seen it touted for business and nuclear engineering). But I'm sure you can find some bright, hard-working, dedicated professors who will be very happy to work with a bright, hard-working, academically motivated student, and I think you can get a fine education there if you work at it. But it won't be handed to you on a silver platter; you've got to take the initiative, search out the best professors, the best classes, the best fellow students, and carve out your own "college within a university."</p>

<p>And if your stats are good enough to get you into UT-K honors, they're probably good enough to get you into Vandy, GW, William & Mary and others of your top choices.</p>

<p>My D is a sophmore at UT-K (she left on Saturday for band camp). She loves it there. She is not a big partier, nor are most of her friends. She is a music major and spends a large part of her time in the music building. Her first roommate last year was a partier but partied elsewhere and didn't come in until after my D was asleep. Her second roommate had study habits very similar to my D's so there was never a problem. She never complained about the dorm itself being noisy during the week. A few times times on the weekends she mentioned it but she said the RA's were pretty good about telling people to quiet down. Her friends range from fellow music majors to premed to prelaw. They all seem happy with UT-K. She felt that most of her professors were very helpful and would do whatever they could to help their students. They were all very welcoming during office hours. She is my youngest and by far, I am the most impressed with UT-K in comparison to the colleges her siblings have attended. Her older brother is a transfer to UMD-CP this fall. We will see how it compares. I would have no hesitation recommending UT-K to anyone. I think big universities can be whatever you decide you want. If you want a quality education, then you can certainly get one. If you want to party and just do enough to get by, you can find that there too.</p>

<p>I love UT and seriously encouraged my son to consider transferring there when he was unhappy with his Ivy freshman year. That said, I personally think UGeorgia has stronger academics, and if you are out of state for TN, I would consider Georgia. The honors program is tough to get into, by the way (at Georgia).</p>

<p>I second UGA, presuming it matches your criteria.</p>

<p>Many of the state schools are party schools, as many of the posters have stated. I know some kids who went UT and did very well there. They each had direction and motivation, did not over party, and got a great education and experience. You may want to look at some other southern universities that have some nice merit money if your stats are such, and if you want go for some scholarships as well.</p>

<p>I have a niece starting at UTK this term (and she is in the band too) and am quite familiar with UTK for other reasons as well.</p>

<p>Fact. The athletic department is fully self-funded and does not draw money away from academics. The 100,000+ you see 7x a year at Neyland, plus the 16,000+ sellouts in Thompson Boling for Mens and Womens basketball do a fine job of generating a surplus that has enabled them to build a brand new swim/dive stadium. They even have money left over to donate to the general scholarship fund every year.</p>

<p>As to academic cuts, this year's budget was quite challenging. The end result is that the brunt of the cutting was born by the faculty and staff not getting any COLA. A couple of very small programs (and minors) affecting less than 1% of the students have been discontinued, but even those are being phased out over time.</p>

<p>I'll agree with the above posters that in a large state school you will find both parties and serious academics. Your experience at UTK will be what you seek out.</p>