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Experiences with public universities in TN???


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Specifically, MTSU, TN Tech, and UT-Knoxville??

 

My 11th grade ds will likely attend a public college in state.  He wants to be within a couple hours of home (so the west side of the state is out) and finances are the main consideration.  He is a good student but not intensely motivated.  He has a couple extra curriculars but nothing special.  Just your basic average plus student :)

 

He already as an ACT high enough for automatic scholarships at these schools.  UTK remains quite a bit more expensive than the other two options.  He is unsure of his major but it will likely be something general that can be achieved anywhere.  

 

We ran the admissions gauntlet with older ds who applied to more selective schools and private schools.  He did end up at a private school cheaper than he would have UTK so I am familiar with the idea that private schools can sometimes be cheaper but I really think this kid is going to get the best deal at one of these state schools.  Not to mention he is not a kid that would be motivated to write several essays, etc. for the more selective schools.  

 

It is possible Maryville College would be affordable as well. Lee University is local to us and while not his first choice it is a great safety.

 

Any thoughts on these schools or personal experience? We have toured MTSU and will be checking out Tech soon. 

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Bumping this for you since nobody replied to you. Does TN have an agreement with AL? If so, you might be close to University of Alabama in Huntsville.

No agreement with AL but I expect ds to raise is ACT enough for full tuition at UA-H. If he reaches that score, UA-H definirely gets on the list. Thank you!

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We have a close homeschool friend who chose TN Tech over UTK last year. He was a high stat student (Ned McWherter recipient) who attended Governor's School at TTU and fell in love with it. He liked the small town feel combined with the gorgeous countryside. And he knew he could be significantly involved at TTU. Plus it had a more specialized major opportunity that he was interested in. 

 

We had a lot of "fish in pond" conversations as he was considering the huge UTK campus/student body vs. the smaller (but still a decent size) TTU. 

 

My own son is a student at University of Memphis. We were able to stack some significant scholarships (also a Ned McWherter recipient) plus the HOPE so that ds is attending school and living on campus completely for free. You can't beat that!

 

I don't know  much about MTSU although we do have a few friends who have toured it and seriously considered it. In fact my son's best friend narrowed his choices down to MTSU and University of North Alabama and went with UNA at the last minute. 

 

The HOPE scholarship has gone down a bit in value over the years, but it is still a nice addition to whatever package the school offers. 

 

My second son will probably take advantage of the TN Promise program and attend community college for two years. 

 

Does your son have a preference about size of campus/student body? What does he want to study?

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One, possibly two, of my daughters plan to attend MTSU.  It had a smaller feel than UTK.  We have a cousin that is currently attending there as well, and she loves it.  She's flourished there.  I liked the campus, and their science building is brand new and gorgeous.

UTK has its own set of problems, but it is where I'll be attending next year.  There's been some kerfuffles over the diversity programs, and football seems to be too big of a focus IMO.  They do have some good programs though.  My "bonus" daughter is a 2nd year student there and likes it.  It is a bigger campus than MTSU and is right in the middle of Knoxville.  

UTC has a rep as a party school, and when we toured it the student representatives did nothing to assuage that rep.  We decided against UTC.  

My daughter's boyfriend is headed to TTU next semester as a transfer student, and a friend's son currently attends.  I've not heard anything bad about it.



 

 

 

Edited by The Girls' Mom
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Thanks, everyone.  

 

I really hope either TTU or MTSU feels right to him.  UTK is so much more expensive I just don't think it is worth the extra to be at the state flagship.  We lived in Knoxville for a long time and I have concerns.  I would rather see him at one of the other schools.  He thinks now that he wants something in business but he really doesn't know.  Not STEM.

 

I am glad to hear positive feedback about both of them.  He should be able to afford them both so that will be nice for him to feel like he has a choice and isn't just going to the only affordable school. 

Edited by teachermom2834
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If you are local to Lee, I assume you are also close to Chattanooga State, which is an excellent school. They have transfer agreements with other TN schools. I have heard good things about all of the schools you mentioned. My mother had a good experience at her grad program through UTK. I am happy to see UTC not on your list. My dh's experiences there left a lot to be desired. In his program, one suggested first semester Freshman year course had a prerequisite which had a prerequisite. They weren't courses available via duel enrollment either.

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We just visited UTK last week, with a prospective herpetologist, so we focused on the EEB and Vet/Ag programs

 

UTK EEB is very graduate focused. Undergrads felt kind of like an afterthought to me, and a lot of classes are taught by grad students and post docs. Other majors may be different, but I got the feeling that UTK might be a great grad program (In herpetology, they are one of a dozen or so programs that are very highly respected and turn out many professionals), but that it wouldn't be the best fit for DD as an undergrad. I will say that UTK is a fun campus visit, but it was very focused on "see all these awesome frills we offer".

 

DD did really like their vet school-but again, that's grad school, not undergrad. The Vet school actually felt more relaxed than the EEB.

Edited by dmmetler
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If you are local to Lee, I assume you are also close to Chattanooga State, which is an excellent school. They have transfer agreements with other TN schools. I have heard good things about all of the schools you mentioned. My mother had a good experience at her grad program through UTK. I am happy to see UTC not on your list. My dh's experiences there left a lot to be desired. In his program, one suggested first semester Freshman year course had a prerequisite which had a prerequisite. They weren't courses available via duel enrollment either.

Thank you! He is not considering UTC and glad based on this thread that it seems we are right to leave that off the list.

 

He had not considered Chatt St because he is looking at 4 year schools but it is good to have positive feedback on that option.

 

Thank you!

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We just visited UTK last week, with a prospective herpetologist, so we focused on the EEB and Vet/Ag programs

 

UTK EEB is very graduate focused. Undergrads felt kind of like an afterthought to me, and a lot of classes are taught by grad students and post docs. Other majors may be different, but I got the feeling that UTK might be a great grad program (In herpetology, they are one of a dozen or so programs that are very highly respected and turn out many professionals), but that it wouldn't be the best fit for DD as an undergrad. I will say that UTK is a fun campus visit, but it was very focused on "see all these awesome frills we offer".

 

DD did really like their vet school-but again, that's grad school, not undergrad. The Vet school actually felt more relaxed than the EEB.

This confirms our feelings/experience with UTK and have actually always talked about that being a better fit for grad school for our kids. It is fun...but a lot of local kids actually go home on football weekends because of the inconvenience of having campus taken over by football.

 

Thank you for your feedback! It is so helpful getting opinions here 🙂

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One dd just graduated from MTSU (business). She has been able to get a job right off the bat at an unbelievable salary in the area she wanted to be in. She has liked the school fine. Some of the teachers are awful.. Some are fantastic. Pretty much standard for a large school. The crime in the campus area is pretty high. That is the biggest negative for the school imo.

 

Have another dd at ETSU. You did not mention it. It would be another hour away for him. THis is my favorite from all of the TN schools. THe area is beautiful, friendly, and safer than MTSU or UTk. I know a lot of kids who attend UTk (none of my own). They all seem to really enjoy the school. I have spent a lot of time in that area. It is an okay place. It is your standard large campus school in a good sized city. Truthfully, it would not be my first choice of school. Most of the kids I know who choose it are UTk football fans.

 

Ds looked seriously at TnTech. I liked the school. The kids I know who have attended it tend to come home a lot. Like almost every weekend. It is more of a suitcase school than the others. The ones I know have recently graduated (last couple of years). They all have been employed straight out of school in excellent to good jobs. They seem to have been happy with the school.

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One dd just graduated from MTSU (business). She has been able to get a job right off the bat at an unbelievable salary in the area she wanted to be in. She has liked the school fine. Some of the teachers are awful.. Some are fantastic. Pretty much standard for a large school. The crime in the campus area is pretty high. That is the biggest negative for the school imo.

 

Have another dd at ETSU. You did not mention it. It would be another hour away for him. THis is my favorite from all of the TN schools. THe area is beautiful, friendly, and safer than MTSU or UTk. I know a lot of kids who attend UTk (none of my own). They all seem to really enjoy the school. I have spent a lot of time in that area. It is an okay place. It is your standard large campus school in a good sized city. Truthfully, it would not be my first choice of school. Most of the kids I know who choose it are UTk football fans.

 

Ds looked seriously at TnTech. I liked the school. The kids I know who have attended it tend to come home a lot. Like almost every weekend. It is more of a suitcase school than the others. The ones I know have recently graduated (last couple of years). They all have been employed straight out of school in excellent to good jobs. They seem to have been happy with the school.

Thank you! I will admit the crime rate in the area has biased me against MTSU but I don't really know the facts. I am trying to keep an open mind while we look into it.

 

Good to know that TN Tech seems to have a lot of kids leave on the weekends. That will be something to look into as I know he will want to be busy on campus. I am sure kids do stick around but might take more of an effort to plug in/find those kids.

 

ETSU would be similar cost wise to TTU and MTSU but we haven't looked at it for a couple of reasons. One is that it is a little farther and that adds a couple hours if we are dropping off/picking up for breaks. That isnt a deal breaker but my kids know a lot of kids that have gone there and dropped /flunked out. That is totally anecdotal and the graduation rates are similar across the three schools. But for whatever reason my kids have been biased against the school for that reason. But I have always heard that it is a nice school in a pretty area. I'm willing to put it on the list.

 

Thank you so much for your input.

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