Fall 2018 UT-Austin External Transfer Statistics
Transferring last year was a wilderness. Students at two- and four-year universities attempting a Fall 2018 transfer last year encountered the most competitive pool ever. I discuss at length what May and early June 2018 were like for applicants receiving their decisions.
Many students who would have gained admission in previous years were not offered a spot including many applicants with 4.0s across all majors even those considered less selective like Liberal Arts and Communications.
In this post, I present Fall 2018 transfer data, compare it and offer commentary with previous cycles, provide official transfer statistics from the McCombs School of Business and the College of Natural Sciences, and I conclude with a discussion for prospective Fall 2019 applicants.
Fall 2018 UT-Austin Transfer Admissions Statistics and Average GPA
Last week, UT had released and suddenly retracted a detailed infographic with transfer admissions outcomes. I wish I had taken a screenshot.
They have, however, released limited data that is of interest.
Average GPA for all admitted transfers: 3.75
In-state admissions rate 28%
Out-of-state admissions rate 11.6%
95% in state, 3% out of state, 2% international
A 28% admissions rate confirms that this was the most selective pool ever. The Fall 2017 rate, by comparison, was 37%.
Fall 2018 compared to previous Fall transfer profiles
In Fall 2017, UT received 8,189 applications and admitted 3,012 students yielding a 2,245 enrollment with an average GPA of 3.7.
Summary of Fall Transfer data for 2012-2015 from my book Your Ticket to the Forty Acres
The number of transfer applicants ranged from 7,741 for fall 2012 to 8,515 for fall 2014. Fall 2015 saw a slight dip in transfer applicants at 8,197 admitting 3,499 students.
The transfer admission rate ranges from 36 percent to 45 percent. The average admitted student GPA fluctuates between 3.48 and 3.6. The average applicant is around a 3.3. Students need a minimum GPA of a 3.0 to be considered otherwise their application is thrown out.*
Source: UT Common Data Sets
It’s clear then that, although the average GPA for Fall 2017 transfer applicants was higher than previous years, the admissions rate was similar.
An out-of-state admissions rate of around 12% is a significant decrease in previous years and lower than the 26% of out-of-state first-time freshman applicants who gain admission.
Fall 2018 Transfer Profile Commentary
A decrease from 37% to the Fall 2018 28% is significant. Universities look at previous years to see how many admitted students enrolled, called the “yield.” The yield for Fall 2017 was 75%.
Unlike first-time freshman applicant numbers where UT has steadily increased by 10% for the past ten years, prospective transfer applicants stay within 7,500-8,500 from year to year.
If we assume Fall 2018 had a similar number of applicants as Fall 2017 - 8,200 applications - a 28% admissions rate means around 2,300 prospective transfers gained admission, down from around 3,000.
An average GPA from 3.7 to 3.75 is also significant because it means the pool was also much stronger for a limited number of spaces.
McCombs School of Business Transfer Statistics
It is up to the discretion of individual UT Colleges and Schools to release their admissions data. I could only find official data for Natural Sciences and Business. McCombs has always been the most transparent for both first-time freshman and transfer applicants for honors and regular admissions.
Transferring into McCombs is as competitive as ever. Historically, they admit around 10% of their external applicants with a 3.9 or higher GPA.
Prospective external transfer application numbers decreased from 642 to 404 from Fall 2017 to 18. The number of admitted students also decreased from 77 to 51, respectively. The admissions rate remained the same at around 15%. The average GPA upticked slightly from 3.94 to 3.96
I suspect many would-be Business transfers opted for Economics or Communications understanding that, unless you have basically straight A’s, your chances of gaining admission are slim.
For Out-of-state students, it probably isn’t even worth trying. McCombs only admitted 1 transfer out of 110 applicants. International applicants, however, had better luck with 14 admitted transfers from a pool of 184 with an average GPA of 3.91.
College of Natural Sciences Transfer Statistics
Natural Sciences doesn’t provide the number of external transfer applicants, but they do supply detailed data for Fall 2018 and the previous two years.
They admitted significantly less transfers in 2018 than 2017 or 16. 221 applicants gained admission in 2018 compared with 497 and 484 in the preceding two years. The average admitted student GPA increases slightly to 3.76 from an average of 3.73 in 2016-2017.
Of those 221 admitted external transfers, 157 enrolled for a yield rate of 71% similar to yield rates of 66% each in Fall 2017 and 2016. Unlike in Business which admits 95% in-state, Natural Sciences offers 12% of their non-Texas residents an admissions space. Still, only 5% enroll.
The most competitive major, Computer Science, has zero public date about any of their admissions rates or student profiles. It should be assumed extraordinarily competitive.
Analysis and tips for Fall 2019 prospective UT-Austin transfer applicants
It was obvious last spring with decision releases that UT has become much more competitive for external transfers. One theory suggests that UT is increasing the number of students they can accommodate. From the previous high of 8,719 enrolling students in 2016, the class of 2022 was UT’s largest ever at 8,960 out of 19,482 admitted students.
Their yield rate of 45% for admitted first-time freshman who enrolled aligns with previous years. Consequently, and unfortunately for transfers, a larger freshman class means less spaces for external transfers.
Considering that Natural Sciences admitted half the number of transfer students as usual, it’s not inconceivable that programs across the university especially Engineering also admitted much fewer students.
In the past, I counseled students that a minimum 3.4 is required to be competitive for transferring into any major. For more selective majors like Engineering, Computer Science, or Business, my advice was a 3.85 or higher with a 4.0 in relevant STEM or prerequisite coursework.
After many 4.0 applicants with relevant experience and strong applicants did not receive admission last year, I’m revising my recommendations to a 3.6 GPA for all majors and a 3.9 or higher for more competitive programs.
If you don’t have mostly A’s, you can still attempt a transfer, but it’s extremely important to manage your expectations and apply to other Texas public universities to give yourself more options.
If UT-Austin is your number one choice/dream school, consider applying to a less selective major.
For students attending four-year universities in their third year of studies or credit hours equivalent to a Junior, or students seeking a second Bachelors, it is highly unlikely that you will gain transfer admission.
They would advise that you complete your Bachelor’s degree or pursue Graduate studies. Admissions gives preference to students who have 60 hours or less unless you attend a two-year college where you’re unable to finish your degree.
The two required essays and expanded resume are all the more important in a crowded applicant pool where strong grades are necessary but not sufficient for gaining admission.