Why is it hard to find admissions information for UT?
If you take a look at what UT-Austin considers in their admissions process, it is vague. Almost laughably so when compared to the admissions websites of other flagship universities like the University of Michigan or the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
In 2015, UT conducted a major overhaul of their admissions website as part of an ongoing university-wide rebranding campaign. Some of you with older siblings or children may recall www.bealonghorn.com. It wasn’t the easiest site to navigate, but there was a lot of useful information about class profiles, applicant profiles, and admissions tips. Now, the sleeker, brand-conscious www.admissions.utexas.edu has a surprising lack of transparency for the flagship university in the state of Texas.
They began this process when I finished up in 2013 with a complete rebranding of our admissions literature. Comically, they took our two-page brochure chocked full of useful information and replaced it with a 20-page albatross. It looked beautiful, but the new pieces had little utility for either admissions officers or applicants looking for more information. For two consecutive years, this new brochure didn’t even include a list of majors with some pages featuring only pictures and a few words – even Harvard and Yale include their areas of study.
The people in charge just didn’t think it would be necessary. The powers that be are more concerned about selling UT as a product than serving as a transparent and open resource to local communities and the state.
Mostly, UT wants you to apply and not ask any questions. If you ask in person, this is why you often get vague, incomplete, or contradictory answers. When I worked in admissions, I was hamstrung by what I could or couldn’t say. But I could always link directly to Be a Longhorn for my more precocious and curious students and parents.
Whereas before there was detailed advice about how to structure your resume or how letters of recommendations work, they currently have one page that lists nine criteria. There is no explanation of the admissions committee evaluates these factors nor are there references to find out more information.
To learn more, you have to scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click on an innocuously “helpful” link to sift through somewhat inaccessible admissions data. This way, UT meets the letter of the law by making its process public, but not in its spirit of distributing digestible information that is easy to locate.
If you are interested in learning what UT looks for in their applicants, please send me an e-mail for a free consultation and visit my Youtube video where I discuss this topic.