Post-secondary education options in the eastern half of Tennessee include schools that are public and private, large and small. This article compares the colleges and universities in Eastern Tennessee and provides the top five in the following categories according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); state schools near large cities, lowest net price, highest graduation rate, and largest schools in the state.
East Tennessee Schools Near Large Cities
Explore which colleges in Eastern Tennessee are closest to the large cities within this region of the state. All 5 colleges presented offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees. If location is a top selection criterion for you, read on to learn more about the colleges closest to three major cities in Eastern Tennessee; Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Cookeville.
- Miller-Motte Technical College (downtown Chattanooga)
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology (downtown Knoxville)
- South College (1.5 miles from downtown Knoxville)
- The University of Tennessee-Knoxville (4.5 miles from downtown Knoxville)
- Tennessee Technological University (2.3 miles from downtown Cookeville)
Largest Schools in Eastern Tennessee
The largest schools in Eastern Tennessee are all public colleges, with three of the colleges offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Two of the schools are community colleges and are 2-year schools offering just associate's degrees and certificate programs.
- The University of Tennessee-Knoxville (30,386 total students)
- The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga (11,670 total students)
- Tennessee Technological University (11,339 total students)
- Pellissippi State Community College (10,099 total students)
- Chattanooga State Community College (9,332 total students)
Lowest Net Price
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) provides statistics for comparing schools, including a net price figure that totals cost of full-time attendance (tuition, room, board, fees and books) for undergraduates minus the average amount of financial aid awarded. The following five schools have the lowest net price using this criterion; figures are for the 2014-15 academic year.
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Livingston ($4,726)
- Cleveland State Community College ($4,797)
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology- Knoxville ($4,877)
- Dalton State College ($5,957)
- Pellissippi State Community College ($7,235)
Highest Graduation Rate
Another metric tracked by the NCES is graduation rates. Figures are based on the percentage of students who finished their undergraduate degree within 150% of normal time. For instance, a bachelor's degree can typically be completed in four years, so the NCES graduation rate reflects the percentage who finished in six years or less. The statistics used for the rankings here were based on students who enrolled full-time in 2007 to earn a bachelor's degree.
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Knoxville (78% graduation rate)
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Livingston (74% graduation rate)
- The University of Tennessee - Knoxville (70% graduation rate)
- Chattanooga College Medical Dental and Technical Careers (64% graduation rate)
- Covenant College (64% graduation rate)
Depending on what criteria is important to you, this article presents the colleges and universities that have the largest student bodies, highest graduation rates, lowest cost, and proximity to the city. These factors should be valuable in the hunt for a college.