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Tennessee (TN): Overview of Tennessee's Colleges and Universities

There are 187 colleges and universities in Tennessee. Read about the schools in large cities and the schools with the highest graduation rates, largest populations, and lowest costs to find the school for you.

Prospective students in the state of Tennessee have many options to choose from at the college and university level. The information below examines multiple schools in the state, with all data drawn from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Tennessee Schools Near Large Cities

The University of Tennessee has campuses in at least two major cities in the state. The following list includes schools located in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Memphis. For prospective students looking to study in a large city, take a look at the following options:

  • Pellissippi State Community College (located in Knoxville)
  • The University of Tennessee - Knoxville (located in Knoxville)
  • The University of Tennessee - Chattanooga (located in Chattanooga)
  • Vanderbilt University (located in Nashville)
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College (located in Memphis)

Largest Schools in Tennessee

Over ten schools in the state of Tennessee had more than 10,000 students for the 2014-2015 year. The four most populous institutions had over 10,000 undergraduates alone. Investigate further into these schools if you are looking to study alongside many peers:

  • The University of Tennessee - Knoxville (30,386 students; 21,664 undergraduates)
  • Middle Tennessee State University (22,729 students; 20,262 undergraduates)
  • University of Memphis (21,059 students; 17,073 undergraduates)
  • East Tennessee State University (14,434 students; 11,550 undergraduates)
  • Vanderbilt University (12,686 students; 6,851 undergraduates)

Lowest Net Prices

The lowest net prices for the 2014-2015 school year were found in community colleges and technology schools across Tennessee. The five lowest prices fell in the $3,000 to $5,000 price range. The NCES determines these numbers by subtracting the average financial aid from the total program cost for full-time undergraduates.

  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Athens ($3,360)
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College ($4,375)
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Livingston ($4,726)
  • Nashville State Community College ($4,776)
  • Cleveland State Community College ($4,797)

Highest Graduation Rates

For the 2015 year, the highest graduation rates of non-specialty schools belonged to universities throughout the state. Three of these institutions featured rates at 90% or higher. These percentages are found using full-time undergraduate students who complete their studies within 150% of the average time frame.

  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Newbern (96% graduation rate)
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Elizabethton (95% graduation rate)
  • Vanderbilt University (92% graduation rate)
  • Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Jacksboro (84% graduation rate)
  • Rhodes College (83% graduation rate)

There are multiple options for prospective students in Tennessee seeking large schools, schools near major cities, schools with high graduation rates or schools with low net costs.

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