We argue that classical T Tauri stars (cTTs) possess significant non- photospheric excess in the J and H bands. We first show that normalizing the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of cTTs to the J-band leads to a poor fit of the optical fluxes, while normalizing the SEDs to the Ic-band produces a better fit to the optical bands and in many cases reveals the presence of a considerable excess at J and H. NIR spectroscopic veiling measurements from the literature support this result. We find that J and H-band excesses correlate well with the K-band excess, and that the J-K and H-K colors of the excess emission are consistent with that of a black body at the dust sublimation temperature (~ 1500-2000 K). We propose that this near-IR excess originates at a hot inner rim, analogous to those suggested to explain the near-IR bump in the SEDs of Herbig Ae/Be stars. To test our hypothesis, we use the model presented by Dullemond et al. (2001) to fit the photometry data between 0.5 um and 24 um of 10 cTTs associated with the Chamaeleon II molecular cloud. The models that best fit the data are those where the inner radius of the disk is larger than expected for a rim in thermal equilibrium with the photospheric radiation field alone. In particular, we find that large inner rims are necessary to account for the mid infrared fluxes (3.6-8.0 um) obtained by the Spitzer Space Telescope. Finally, we argue that deriving the stellar luminosities of cTTs by making bolometric corrections to the J-band fluxes systematically overestimates these luminosities. The overestimated luminosities translate into underestimated ages when the stars are placed in the H-R diagram. Thus, the results presented herein have important implications for the dissipation timescale of inner accretion disks.

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