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The University of Tennessee LEAD Summer Institute (UTLSI)


What is LEAD?
The UT LEAD programs are an important part of The University of Tennessee’s commitment to helping all UT students become successful in their academic work and in their college careers. Each year, UT LEAD offers programs for all first year students to help them become familiar with campus and with the many free academic resources available to them.

The UT LEAD programs are designed to promote undergraduate success, academic excellence, and persistence to graduation for traditionally underrepresented and marginalized scholars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. UT LEAD programs emphasize the four pillars of Leadership, Excellence, Achievement, and Diversity. UT LEAD is headquartered in the Office of Academic Inclusive Initiatives, a student success unit, focused on academic excellence, social engagement, and inclusion for all students.


What are the benefits of participating in the UT LEAD Summer Institute (UTLSI)?

The UT LEAD Summer Institute (UTLSI) is comprised of 40 students selected from Flagship high schools across Tennessee. The UTLSI experience begins with a five-week academic summer program prior to the students’ first year at UT, which is designed to aid their transition to higher education. This program continues for the first two years of college.


  • Exclusive five-week summer residential academic experience
  • Earn up to 7 credit hours prior to the start of fall semester
  • Gain experiences related to social and cultural integration into the university and surrounding greater Knoxville community
  • Make connections with the Vol Success Team, faculty, and other campus partners
  • Participate in various academic, social, and cultural activities designed to increase self-efficacy, self-determination, and independence
  • Access to a dedicated first-year experience seminar
  • Up to $1,750 in direct scholarship awards


Program Logistics

How much will it cost to be a UTLSI student?

  • All UTLSI students are eligible for the Flagship Scholarship that covers tuition and mandatory fees
  •  Additional scholarships and financial aid will be determined according to your 2020-2021 FAFSA. Be sure to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA as soon as possible, if not already submitted. In addition, you will need to complete your 2021-2022 FAFSA. You and your parents/guardians may obtain your required Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) and find the FAFSA forms online at


Where will I live as a UTLSI student for the summer semester?

  • The UTLSI cohort will live in the Clement Residence Hall LLC (Living & Learning Community). Students will be roomed with another student from the cohort.
  • All UTLSI students will be expected to move on campus Friday, June 25, 2021.
  • Clement Residence hall is in close proximity to the center of campus, Hodges Library and Student Union. All main dining halls are within a quick walk from the residence halls.
  • All rooms are air conditioned, have two single beds and a micro-fridge. The residence hall also has a recreational area, study rooms, and a laundry facility.


What are my responsibilities in the fall as a UTLSI student?

  • Register and attend the UTLSI FYS 101 courses
  • Attend and be an active participant in all classes
  • Attend mandatory study hours, workshops, meetings, and community service projects
  • During the UTLSI program, you will be subject to the rules and regulations required of all UT students that are explained in the UT Undergraduate Catalog and in the Hilltopics Student Handbook.


Can I enroll at UT in Fall 2021 as a regular admit if I do not participate in UTLSI?

No. Your admission to UT for the Fall 2021 semester requires you to participate in the program. To opt out of UTLSI would be to forfeit your admission to UT for the fall.


Selection Process

Why was I invited to participate in UTLSI?
UT is committed to providing programs to enhance the success of its students. Select students from UT’s designated “Flagship Schools” have been invited to
participate in the UTLSI because we believe they will benefit from the program’s advantages and enjoy the experience of living and learning on campus.


What do I need to do to participate in UTLSI?
Attend a MANDATORY information session (parents or guardians are invited) and interview (student only), both of which will be held online.


How can my parents/guardians and I get more information about the UTLSI Interviews?
Submit the appropriate RSVP form below by Wednesday January 22, 2021. You may retain the invitation letter and this information sheet for your own records.

Attend the MANDATORY information session and interview in January for you and your parents/guardians to meet with us and ask questions about UTLSI.


Important Dates

Both information sessions and interviews will be held online. To be considered for participation in UTLSI, you must attend one MANDATORY information session and participate in an interview. Parents or guardians are welcome to attend information sessions, but we request only students attend UTLSI interviews. UTLSI interviews will be conducted February 1-5, 2021.


  • Tuesday, January 5, 2021
    6:30-8 p.m. EST
    RSVP by January 1, 2021
  • Wednesday, January 6, 2021
    6:30-8 p.m. EST
    RSVP by January 1, 2021
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2021
    6:30-8 p.m. EST
    RSVP by January 15, 2021
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2021
    6:30-8 p.m. EST
    RSVP by January 15, 2021



Please contact Talisha Adams, Program Director for UT LEAD and UTLSI by phone at (865) 974-7900 or email at