Receiving your admissions decision
I woke up this morning in Windhoek, Namibia eight time zones away from Texas. UT released their decisions on Friday after five on February 19. This is historically a few days earlier than previous years. Fortunately, UT avoided the 2013 debacle of releasing decisions during the middle of lunch causing chaos in cafeterias across the state of Texas.
This year, UT received a record of over 47,000 applications for around 18,000 spaces. 75% of Texas residents obtained admission automatically. 91% of admits come from Texas. Approximately 3,700 admittances went to non-automatically admitted Texas residents were yielding a one and eight chance of gaining admission. The vast majority of students admitted automatically under state law come from affluent neighborhoods.
You have received your decision. Hopefully, it was good news, but for the majority of applicants, it was not. It is okay to take a few days and vent and be angry.
But there comes a time when you need to move on.
You may have gotten offers for PACE and CAP. PACE allows you to co-enroll at ACC and UT while CAP presents the opportunity to attend a UT system school and transfer after your first year if you have at least a 3.2 GPA. These options are not for everyone, and you should consider your financial and academic goals to see if these are right for you.
Why did you not gain admission? Nobody can tell you, honestly. I can’t and neither can admissions. Students and families have a tendency to compare themselves to their peers or classmates. “Well, Katie with X test score and Y grades got in, but Robert with much higher scores didn’t. This is unfair!” In an applicant pool of UT’s size in an extremely complex admissions system, making these comparisons is futile.
Seriously, just don’t do it. You’ll drive yourself crazy.
Some students may have received a waitlist decision. Do not bank on this. UT recommends that you move forward with other plans, and I agree. Sometimes, people get off the waitlist. This occurs exclusively with the needs of the university. Related, some students may choose to submit an appeal. This has a very low probability of success. You need to submit new and compelling information not included in your application.
You cannot control this process nor your decision.
What you can control is how you handle dealing with this seemingly mysterious and opaque process. This may be the first time you have been told no or come up short of a goal, but it won’t be the last. Applications for graduate school, scholarships, internships, or your first job may produce equal frustrations. The sooner you learn to adapt and bounce back, the better off you will be. It is up to you how you handle the news.
I strongly encourage applicants to focus on opportunities they have hopefully received at other universities and realize that, though an education at UT-Austin is great, there are many wonderful universities out there that would love to have you. If you still feel like UT is in your future, excel at the two- or four-year institution you enroll at in the fall to give yourself the option to be competitive for transfer. The worst case scenario is you set a high goal, receive good grades, and choose to stay put.
Focus on what you can control, not on what you can’t.