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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.37
Liaison Preston Jacobsen
Submission Date April 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.27 / 4.00 Preston Jacobsen
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

The College Access and Persistence Services (CAPS) Outreach Center is UT's product of years of securing external funding in support of outreach services to help students overcome social, academic, financial, and cultural barriers in higher education. The goal of the CAPS Outreach Center is to provide services to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to prepare them to succeed in postsecondary or professional academic programs. To accomplish this goal, the CAPS Outreach Center provides activities to strengthen the math and science skills of students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields; to assist students in succeeding in pre-college preparation, college admissions, and financial aid application processes; and ultimately, to provide the skills and motivation necessary for completing college graduation requirements. Similar activities also assist adults and military veterans who have no baccalaureate degrees. The new CAPS Outreach Center is funded in its entirety by external funds. Approximately 60,000 students have been served for more than thirty years by project staff, and new opportunities for funding are continually reviewed to identify grants that will expand the number of students we serve in the future. http://caps.utk.edu/


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

N/A


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

The Pre-College Upward Bound (PCUB) project is designed to help low-income, potential first-generation college students to graduate from high school and to enroll in a post-secondary institution of their choice that aligns well with their educational and professional goals. Experiences shared while participating in PCUB lay a groundwork that fosters college entrance, persistence, and graduation. Activities and services include tutoring, ACT preparation, college and career information, instruction in academics, cultural enrichment, and one-on-one social counseling on individual development plans (i.e., vision, mission, values, goals, assessment of personal strengths and possible barriers to face, and steps to take to progress satisfactorily toward goals), and six-week summer programs at UT Knoxville that provide students a chance to experience what college may be like. By the time they graduate from high school, they are much better equipped to make better post-secondary decisions and to deal effectively with college life.

Additionally, the Math and Science Center is designed to strengthen the math and science skills of participating students. The goal of the program is to help these students recognize and develop their potential to excel in these subjects, to encourage them to pursue post-secondary degrees in related disciplines, and, ultimately, to obtain careers in the many professional fields of math and science.


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

The Tennessee Pledge Scholarship is offered to admitted students with a family adjusted gross income of up to $40,000. The Achieve the Dream Grant is available for high achieving students from lower-middle-income families. The Tennessee Promise Scholarship is also available to any student who attends a Tennessee Promise High School (typically high schools with high low-income populations).


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The College Access and Persistence Services (CAPS) Outreach Center is a product of years of securing external funding in support of outreach services to help students overcome social, academic, financial, and cultural barriers in higher education.
The CAPS Outreach Center most prominent goal is to provide services to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds to prepare them to succeed in postsecondary or professional academic programs. To accomplish this goal, the CAPS Outreach Center provides activities to strengthen the math and science skills of students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields; to assist students in succeeding in pre-college preparation, college admissions, and financial aid application processes; and ultimately, to provide the skills and motivation necessary for completing college graduation requirements. Similar activities also assist adults and military veterans who have no baccalaureate degrees. The new CAPS Outreach Center is funded in its entirety by external funds. Approximately 60,000 students have been served for more than thirty years by project staff, and new opportunities for funding are continually reviewed to identify grants that will expand the number of students we serve in the future.
Individual colleges also have outreach programs to recruit under-represented students such as Haslam College of Business. They sponsor the Business Education for Talented Students (BETS) Program for under-represented or economically challenged high school juniors in Tennessee and South Eastern USA that has the purpose to expose the students to all aspects of the business world to encourage them to seek careers in business. The Accounting & Information Management (AIM) Academy, a similar program to BETS, exposes under-represented or economically challenged high school sophomores to the dynamic world of accounting and careers in accounting. HCB also participates in the Ph.D. Project which is a national initiative to recruit minorities into academic careers.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

The CAPS Outreach Center continuously works to enhance services for project participants through multiple avenues of external funding. One of the sources used to provide additional food for project participants is the US Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Services Program (SFSP). Through grants offered via the Tennessee Department of Human Services, summer participants in Pre-College Upward Bound (PCUB), the Math and Science Center (MSC), and the Academic Enrichment Program (AEP) are provided daily nutritional meals that meet strict USDA guidelines. Reimbursement for these meals help to supplement funds used to provide breakfast or lunch for students who attend Saturday sessions throughout the academic year. PCUB, MSC, and AEP have participated in the SFSP for the past ten years, resulting in better nutritional education for project participants and higher-quality meals to enhance project services. PCUB, MSC, and AEP continue to partner with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service for scientific research opportunities and service learning activities. Hands-on, experiential activities in the park have provided project participants with firsthand knowledge and practice in multiple science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, environmental science, and zoology.

Additionally, the UTK Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) assists low-income, first-generation participants to complete secondary school requirements and enroll in post-secondary education programs. The EOC provides the following services: Provides information about opportunities for postsecondary training, student financial aid, academic assistance, and career options; Advises participants regarding academic preparation, admissions testing, deadlines for applications, course requirements, etc.; Offers information and training in financial and economic literacy on topics such as basic personal income, household money management, financial planning skills, and basic economic decision-making skills; Counsels and assists in areas of admissions, application completion, and career testing and exploration;
Assists with financial aid, including defaulted students loans, reinstatement of financial aid eligibility, and completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); Provides referrals to other agencies and institutions as appropriate; Conducts workshops on attending and surviving college, with lessons in reducing test anxiety, ACT preparation, and funding for college.


Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

Though there are no scholarships pertaining solely to part-time students, there are numerous scholarships applicable to both full-time and part-time students.


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

The University of Tennessee Early Learning Center for Research and Practice (ELC) is a laboratory school affiliated with the Department of Child and Family Studies within the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. The ELC provides full-day high quality early education programs for families of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners. The mission of the ELC is to generate knowledge and practices that improve the field of early education. We are committed to engaging in meaningful, interdisciplinary research that makes a difference in the lives of children and families, preparing high quality early childhood teachers, and providing exemplary early education programs.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

The Student Success Center has a specific outreach to nontraditional students offering them services to help them through their studies. They provide advice and resources to help navigate UT and a person to contact with questions.
http://studentsuccess.utk.edu/students/transfer-military-and-non-traditional/


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
59.70

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
57.60

On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
61.80

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
47.90

Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.