Updates and Clarification for Fall 2019 Freshman Application Process

Blinding sun in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Blinding sun in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

The Director of UT Admissions recently sent an e-mail blast on their Campus to Counselor Newsletter updating new policies and clarifying old ones. 

Required Fourth Short Answer: Diversity

In addition to Essay A and short answer responses concerning your career ambitions, academics, and leadership, UT requires all applicants to submit a 250-300 word response.

"Contribution to Learning Environment:

At UT Austin, we value, embrace, and encourage a wide range of diverse experiences, perspectives, backgrounds, and talents. This diversity strengthens our university and supports an open and supportive educational environment in which ideas are freely exchanged alongside thoughtful consideration of our differences.

As you consider attending our University that values a learning environment enhanced by the diverse contributions, perspectives, and experiences of our students, please share how you believe you might contribute to our community of scholars."

I will create a post with advice and ways to consider approaching this prompt.

Priority Deadline

"The priority application deadline for admissions and honors is November 1, 2018. The regular deadline is December 1, 2018. Students applying by November 1 will be notified of a decision by February 1, 2019. Please note that this notification may include a deferred decision to March 1, which is the notification date for students who applied by December 1."

Interested in building your best UT-Austin application? Complete my questionnaire for a free consultation.

Coalition Application

UT now accepts the Coalition Application. All students are still required to submit Essay A discuss the environment in which you were raised.

The Coalition Application may be appropriate then for out-of-state applicants who may only be applying to UT-Austin or perhaps Texas A&M who also accepts Coalition.

Applicants should only submit Apply Texas or the Coalition Application, not both. I've worked through both applications and they more or less ask for the same things. Coalition is a little more user friendly though.

Recommendation Letters

UT now limits the number of recommendation letters at two. I welcome this change. My counsel has always been that it’s way more effective to submit one or two high quality letters than four or five that are unlikely to be as thoughtful and informative.

You’ll notice in the following passage that they reference evidence and insight supporting your short answers (academics, leadership, adversity, diversity, fit for major).

“Letters of recommendation are optional and are not required for students to receive full admission consideration. All students who submit the required application materials will receive full consideration for admission. Applicants may submit up to two letters of recommendation. Recommendations should come from someone who knows the applicant well but is not an immediate family member or a relative. Recommendations should come from someone who can provide additional information or context to the student’s application. Recommended information would typically include: 

  • Academic performance and potential (both overall and in the context of the applicant's high school class) 
  • Leadership (in school, family, or community)
  • Persistence in the face of challenges
  • Cross-cultural engagement
  • Preparation for selected first-choice major”

First and Second Choice Major

UT has also clarified their policy on the first and second choice major system. Again, nothing has changed – the first choice major is really all that matters.

“First-Choice Major Selection:

When selecting a major, students should choose one that they are most interested in as their first choice. They should think about their interests and strengths, not just what they hope to do as a career. Their major won't necessarily determine their career later on, so a careful review of the entire list before making a decision is recommended.

Second-Choice Major Selection:

We consider applicants for their second-choice major only in limited circumstances, including some situations related to honors programs and some in which applicants admitted to the university are not admitted to the major they selected as their first choice.”

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Scholarship Changes

They’ve also streamlined applying for scholarships. Submitting a FAFSA – but not necessarily qualifying for financial aid – seems to be a prerequisite for being scholarship eligible. They have not clarified yet on 40 Acres or Texas Exes Scholarships.

"All students who apply for freshman admission and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) this fall will be considered for scholarships. There is no separate freshman scholarship application. A scholarship interest form will be available through MyStatus in mid-August for students to indicate interest in scholarships with unique qualifications, such as admission to certain majors or service in the U.S. Armed Forces. More information will be available soon."

Interested in working together? Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. kevin@texadmissions.com