Awesome Eagle, Cookeville Mayor Laurin Wheaton and others take a group photo at last year’s “College Town Kickoff,” an event for Tech students and the public celebrating the university’s partnership with the local community.

Putnam First is one of many ways that Tech and the local community have deepened their partnership

For the fifth straight year, Tennessee Tech University is giving back to its hometown community by offering Putnam Countians early access to applications for fall 2025 admission.

Putnam County residents can apply to Tech for the 2025-2026 academic year beginning July 15, while applications for the public will become available Aug. 1. 

The early application window is part of Tech’s “Putnam First” initiative, which allows local students to apply to Tech, gain admittance and get an early start on applications for university scholarships – all before applications open to the rest of the student population.

“We like to say that ‘Tech is Tennessee.’ Our students come from all over the state, country and world – but Putnam County is our home, and we want our local students to know how much they matter to this university,” said Frank Tittle, director of admissions at Tech. “Early application access means early admission, early opportunities to apply for scholarships and, ultimately, peace of mind for students and their parents in knowing they have a place waiting for them at a world-class university down the road.”

Putnam First is one of many ways that Tech and the local community have deepened their partnership in recent years. On Aug. 24, Tech will host its second annual “College Town Kickoff,” a block party-style event in downtown Cookeville with live music, carnival games, food trucks and more. 

On Sept. 6, the university will sponsor “Tech Night” at the annual Fall FunFest located at Cookeville’s courthouse square and presented by CityScape. Tech also produces its weekly “College Town Talk” podcast during the academic year in partnership with the Cookeville-Putnam County Visitors Bureau.

“Our students receive incredible support from the Putnam County community. Putnam First is our way of paying it forward with this exclusive invitation to complete an early application for fall 2025,” concluded Tittle.

Tennessee Tech University is ranked as a “Best National University” by U.S. News & World Report. With over 200 academic programs, Tech provides its graduates with the lowest debt burden among all public universities in the state. In fact, based on a combination of total cost and alumni earnings, Tech offers students the highest return on investment of any public university in Tennessee, according to PayScale.

Putnam County residents can learn more about Putnam First and complete an early application beginning July 15 by visiting

Photo courtesy of Tennessee Tech.

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