This week, The University of Tennessee added its name to the list of public universities offering in-state guaranteed admissions. Guaranteed admissions are based on academic merit defined by the resident student's academic standing in class rank, course rigor, and GPA. As a school that requires test scores, automatic admissions are committed to in-state resident Tennesseans, providing relief to students who work hard but may not have access to standardized test prep or score better on standardized tests.
UT Knoxville will guarantee admission to all Tennessee high school residents who meet one of the following criteria:
Be among the Top 10% of your high school class or
Achieve a 4.0 or higher UT Core GPA
Many states have implemented guaranteed admissions for resident students in the past to support race-neutral, merit-based admissions and keep talented students in their state. Affirmative action is a hot topic, and this year's edition, the U.S. News and World Report College rankings, gave more weight to factors that measure a school's outcome, particularly for low-income and first-generation students.
What states offer in-state guaranteed admission?
Each state has a different recipe and proposition. For example, some states will review a minimum GPA; others will require a minimum GPA and class rank percentile. UT Austin provides guaranteed admission for the top 6% class rank, while UTK offers guaranteed at 10%. The Florida state system reviews the top 20% but has no guarantees on admission to a specific public university. Check out this resource for specific information on each state.
My state does not offer guaranteed admission, but should I prepare?
Course rigor and GPA are the most important relative factors in admission reviews. Most schools are still test-optional and plan to remain so through the foreseeable future. While guaranteed admission may not be identified, many schools consider class rank an important factor.
The winds can change - see the screenshot below of UTK's 2022-2023 common data set. Next year, you can be assured the rubric will be different. See the relative level of class rank importance for public universities here - 2022-2023 common data set.