UT-Austin First-Time Freshman Fall 2018 Tex Admissions Client Data and Outcomes

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The most popular question that I receive is - what are my admissions chances? It's also the hardest to answer in a few sentences.

Spring of Senior Year is an exciting and anxious time for my students who are learning what options they have for the upcoming fall. It's also stressful for me because I have dozens of families who learn their fates, and I feel a certain responsibility for their futures.

I advise my clients not to take their admissions outcomes personally, but I confess that I invest a lot of time and energy into the success of my students and sometimes take their disappointment personally. Every year there are some students who I am very confident will gain admission who don't and others where I am less confident that receive a pleasant surprise.

I always encourage students to focus only on factors that they can control and trust in the process. Trusting in the process indirectly leads to positive results.

My clients worked very hard this past cycle. Typically, we process three to five rounds of essay and resume revisions before submitting. On average, we spend two months on Apply Texas. For my 14 clients where we collaborated on applications in addition to Apply Texas, their writing improved substantially with each subsequent draft.

Overall, I am pleased with their results, and I feel our work makes a positive difference in their chances.

I provide a shorter summary first. If you're wanting more admissions data and insight how I view the chances of my clients, I provide longer answers after.

Results Summary

28/41 of my Fall 2018 first-time freshman clients gained admission including 13 out of 24 non-automatically Texas residents (54% compared with 20% university average) and 5 out of 7 out-of-state (71% compared with 31% university average).

My typical client comes from the top 13% of their class scoring around a 32 or 1380 on the ACT/SAT. The average admitted UT student comes from the top 8% of their class scoring a 30 or 1330 on the ACT/SAT. 

My clients tend to have above average resumes with a few exceptions in both directions. Many aim for honors or selective majors like Business, Engineering, or Computer Science. Almost all of them completed their application by the November 1 priority deadline.

8/18 clients who attempted honors applications gained admission to Honors Programs including Business Honors, Turing Scholars, Plan II, and a Forty Acres Semifinalist.

Other notable admissions outcomes: Rice, Vanderbilt, Michigan Ross Business, Tulane, Georgia Tech, UC-Berkeley, UCSC, UCSB, Washington, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Miami, Georgia, Wisconsin, Oklahoma University BS/MD, South Carolina Honors, Clemson Honors, A&M Honors, Wake Forest Early Decision

Half-ride scholarships: SMU, TCU, Baylor, Trinity, Arkansas, UT-Austin, Texas A&M, Oklahoma

Full-rides: Vanderbilt (Fall 2017),  UT-Dallas, Texas Tech, Alabama, Delaware

After working with over a 120 first-time freshman and transfer clients for four admissions cycles, I am confident that our work improves their chances at UT-Austin and competitive universities across the country.

Don't just take my word for it. See what my former clients say. 

Fall 2018 UT-Austin Applicant Data

First, I present the demographic and academic information of my clients. Second, I discuss their outcomes. Later, I will analyze this data and discuss potential implications.

Where do my clients come from and what are their academics?

Automatically admitted Texas Residents (Top 7%): 10

Non-automatically admitted Texas Residents: 24

Out of State/Foreign: 7

Average Class Rank of all clients, including estimating for non-ranking schools: Top 13%

Client Average ACT: 32.3

Client Average SAT: 1379

The Academic Index is how UT calculate a student's class rank and test scores. This single number accounts for 50% of a student's admissions review. The highest AI score is a 4.3, and the typical UT applicant has around a 3.

Client Academic Index Range: 4.27 to 2.94

Client Academic Index Average: 3.66

Client Admissions Outcomes

28/41 Clients gained admission (68%)

  • 9/10 gained admission to their first-choice major, the other to their second (90%)
  • 13/24 non-top 7% Texas Residents gained admission (54%)
  • 5/7 OOS/Foreign applicants gained admission (71%)

In almost all cases, UT only considers a student's first choice major. UT compares applicants against those seeking their first choice.

First-choice majors admits/applicants

  • 10/14 Business
  • 4/7 Engineering
  • 3/6 Liberal Arts
  • 3/4 Education
  • 3/3 Computer Science
  • 3/3 Natural Sciences
  • 2/3 Communications
  • 0/1 Undergraduate Studies

Honors

8/18 clients who submitted an Honors Program application gained admission (44%)

- 3 Plan II, 2 Business Honors Program (BHP), 2 Turing Computer Science, 1 Communications

- 1 Forty Acres Scholars Semifinalist (130 chosen out of entire applicant pool)

Admissions to Honors Programs are highly competitive on par with most selective universities nationwide. My clients outperformed the typical honors applicant.

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How do my clients' academics and outcomes compare with the typical admitted student?

Across the university 48% of all Texas Residents, 20% of non-automatic admission, 31% out-of-state, 15% foreign gain admission. UT admits approximately 35% of all applicants.

Average UT admitted student Fall 2017:  

UT admitted applicant average test scores

  • Middle 50% SAT Score: 1160 – 1390 (out of 1600)
  • Texas Students Automatically Admitted: 1140 – 1370
  • Texas Students Not Automatically Admitted: 1200 – 1410
  • Out-of-State Students: 1250 – 1440
  • International Students: 1190 – 1440
  • Middle 50% ACT Score: 26 – 33
  • Texas Students Automatically Admitted: 25 – 32
  • Texas Students Not Automatically Admitted: 28 – 33
  • Out-of-State Students: 29 – 33
  • International Students: 27 – 32

High School Class Rank 

Graduated in top 10 percent of class: 69.1%
Graduated in top quarter: 86.9%

Recall that my typical client ranks in the top 13% of their class scoring around a 32/1380 on their ACT/SAT, which is above average but not exceptional compared with the typical admitted student.

My clients far outperformed the typical admitted student for non-automatic admits and out-of-state students.

Observations and Implications

After December 1, I rank my clients according to their Academic Index (the calculation of their rank and test score), and I predict how admissions might score them on a scale of 1-6 using the Personal Achievement Index.

The average PAI prediction for my clients is a 4.47. I predicted 5 students with thin resumes to receive a three, 19 above average students to receive a four, 10 excellent students a five, and 7 outstanding applicants to receive a six.

1/5 predicted threes gained admission

13/19 predicted fours gained admission including one Plan II

8/10 predicted fives got gained admission

6/7 predicted sixes gained admission.

The one rejected predicted six was the foreign engineering applicant. I think they just got a reviewer in a grumpy mood and/or the applicant pool for foreign engineering applicants was particularly strong.

These are just my guesses, and with so much randomness and variation in how reviewing score applicants, it's impossible to know how they were reviewed in practice. For some clients, I suspect their real score was either higher or lower than my prediction.

Our work helps solidify a students possibility of a good score while maximizing the chances that their score will be higher by decreasing some of the volatility, randomness, and variance inherent to college admissions.

I dedicate much of my book Your Ticket to the Forty Acres how UT calculates this PAI score. Further discussions of how UT makes this score is outside of the scope of this post.

 

I make predictions for all of my clients with three categories: most confident, unsure confidence, least confident.

18/21 of the students I felt most confident gained admission. One foreign applicant who did not gain admission to UT-Austin Electrical/Computer Engineering got into UC-Berkeley and Georgia Tech. They will attend GT in the fall. An OOS applicant will attend Florida, and a Texas Resident to Arkansas on a scholarship.

10/16 who I felt could go either way gained admission all to their first-choice major. Two received pleasant surprise admissions to Plan II honors (with ranks 15-20% and test score average 1500). 4 Received CAP, 1 PACE, and 1 OOS rejected.

1/5 who I didn't feel confident gained admission. These are students who have less than a 5% chance of getting in. The surprise admit got into Mechanical Engineering first choice (rank 25%, 1400).

The above sample includes 42 clients. One client did not apply to UT-Austin instead submitting an Early Decision application to Wake Forest (admissions rate 15%). I was unsure of their chances, but they got in with 15% rank and 1180 SAT.

Recall the Academic Index range for my clients is 4.27 to 2.94 with an average of 3.66

22/28 clients who have an Academic Index of greater than 3.5 gained admission. Two outliers are applicants with a 3.94 to Engineering (Top 2%/1520) and 3.89 to Business (Top 10%/32) who did not get in.

6/13 clients with an Academic Index less than 3.5 gained admission. A few pleasant surprises were a Plan II admit, an applicant with a 3.04 (Rank 4%/1180) into Communications, an applicant with a 3.06 (Rank 28%/1420) into Architectural Engineering.

For most majors, if your Academic Index calculation is above a 3.5, your chances of gaining admission are pretty good.

Strong academics, however, are often necessary but not sufficient for gaining admission. It is critical that all applicants submit their best application possible.

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