KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It is no secret that the University of Tennessee is growing at a high rate, but with that fast increase in enrollment, there are some problems students are facing that university officials are looking at ways to help combat these issues.
The growing numbers at UT are a great thing for the school, but for students, it is causing some headaches for those trying to get to class.
“Traffic is insane let alone on a normal day but especially on a busy day or the first week. I try and go to and from classes a different way each day to try and find my best option, it’s just crazy,” UT Senior Nicolette Banville said. “Yesterday I had to go from HSS to WAB and it’s not that far of a walk but because of all the foot traffic it took me about 20 minutes.”
The issue of finding housing also remains as more students come to UT. Many students decided to live off campus following their freshman year. With claims that it is harder to find an apartment or house.
“I think a lot of people are trying to get really close to campus and a lot of the places are booked up,” UT Freshman Ty Young said. “I think across the river, from what I’ve heard isn’t too bad.”
According to UT, this particular enrollment year will be the most competitive class yet in the university’s 228-year history.
“Applications are up. I’ll just say it, way over 48,000 applications for fall freshman slots, a great problem to have,” Chancellor Donde Plowman said.
For the current school year, UT had 6,846 freshmen enrolled along with over 1,600 transfer students making for one of the biggest first-year classes ever. With that said, the university is looking at ways to serve the high number of Volunteers.
“We have put up a very detailed webpage for students that have applied,” Plowman said. “They know how many applications we had, they know how many we’re taking, they know what being deferred means, they know what other options there are for them. We have had a very smooth rollout on that set of decisions.”
The university stated that they will be admitting a smaller freshman class in the fall. The UT system as a whole will look at other ways to collaborate and make college access more available to students.
Meanwhile, UT said it is looking to public-private partnerships to build two brand new residence halls on the west side of campus that would add more than 1,200 beds.
They are also looking at the possibility of building a new multi-use facility next to Lindsey Nelson Stadium that would add 750 beds. Plans for this facility are still in the early stages.