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News in higher education: National highlights with a focus on local institutions

Leaders say HOPE Lottery Scholarship will drive admissions standards up Leaders say HOPE Lottery Scholarship will drive admissions standards up
A high school senior who scored a 21 on the ACT once had an excellent shot at being admitted to the University of Tennessee. Thanks in part to the HOPE Lottery Scholarship, which began awarding money last year to students who choose to attend college in state, that's no longer true. UT saw its average ACT score for incoming freshmen rise from 24.7 last year to 25.6 this year. The result: Admission to UT has become more difficult because more higher-ability students who might have left the state before the lottery are staying home now, driving up entrance requirements. Experts say the same could occur in other four-year universities in a few years, with a gradual rise in average ACT scores. How do the other public four-year universities compare in average ACT scores for entering freshmen in 2005-2005?
UT-Knoxville: 24.7 to 25.6
University of Memphis: 21.2 to 21.4
Tennessee Tech: 23.1 to 23.4
APSU: 20.9 to 21.2
MTSU: 22.3 to 22.3
UT-Chattanooga: 21.5 to 21.7
UT-Martin: 22.15 to 22.05
ETSU: 21.9 to 21.8
TSU: 18.5 to 18.2
(The Commercial Appeal, Oct. 1, 2005)

Brouhaha erupts as ETSU Homecoming concert, featuring Ludacris cancelled
ETSU booked rapper Ludacris for a Homecoming concert after increasing student fees from $4 to $20 per semester to fund a big-name headliner in concert. ETSU's Student Activities Office polled students about performers they would like to see in concert, and Ludacriswhose lyirical content is known for its off-color, sexually explicit language, violence and misogynywas the first on the list who agreed to appear. The state fire marshal ruled out ETSU's Memorial Center as a venue, so students tried to book Johnson City's Freedom Hall Civic Center, but the city pulled the plug three weeks before the Oct. 27 concert, citing security concerns. Various groups are upsetsome charging denial of free speech or racism, while others are upset because of the major increase in fees. A member of the SGA, Jama Oliver said, “What we are most upset about is that we were forced to pay for it. I'm here for an education, not to be entertained…Something doesn't feel quite educational to me.” (Johnson City Press, Oct. 5, 2005)