Written by Lisa Bleich
UT Austin is the flagship university in the Texas state system. The campus itself is fairly compact for such a large university in such a big state! The facilities are impressive from the new Dell/Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Center to the McCombs Business School to the expansive recreation center. UT knows how to build ‘em. Football and Greek life are widely available, but its location right near the capitol in the heart of Austin allows for students to explore the city, enjoy food on one of the many food trucks or great restaurants, listen to live music, get internships, and expand their horizons outside of campus.
Our tour guide, a hipster wearing a beany cap and majoring in communications and radio TV, had a big personality to match the university. He offered some excellent advice that was echoed by one of my clients, whom I had met the night before, on how to be successful at UT Austin, or any large state school.
- Take charge of your own learning. He described how he did not focus on one of his lower lever general education requirements during his first semester until the professor reached out to him to find out why his written work was not matching his comments in class. He realized that he had to take all his classes seriously and started meeting weekly with his professor to catch up. His takeaway was that even in such a large school, if you make the effort to get to know your professors, you can develop a strong relationship that will help you succeed.
- Take your academics seriously. Don’t assume that just because you did well in high school you will do well in college. It requires consistent work to do well; you can’t wait until the night before the test or paper is due to start working on it.
- Don’t overcommit. The first semester he signed up for every club that offered him a free t-shirt. He soon realized he could not possibly do everything he had committed to and had to cut back.
- Write everything down. He started writing every assignment, appointment and commitment down in a calendar so he knew exactly what he could and could not do. This helped him manage his time better and fulfill his obligations.
- Have a balance of work and play. He realized that he could manage his school work, extracurricular activities and have a thriving social life as long as he planned it out.
His tips worked for him as he had just became one of ten new members of a highly select Yellow Blazers Service club all while being a tour guide, acing his classes, and hosting and producing a weekly talk show on the student run Texas TV station.
Austin is the most liberal cities in Texas and the funkiness and diversity of the city rubs off on the university. The students at UT Austin are a great mix of hipsters, athletes, sorority girls, funky, and ethnically diverse students. Who knew there were so many different types of Texans? The out-of-state population is roughly 10%.
Getting into UT Austin is difficult. Texans in the top 7% of their class are automatically admitted to the university, but not to a specific major. Therefore students may get into the college, but not into the school of engineering or business. They anticipate increasing the band to the top 8% of the class for Texas students next year.
The average SAT for in-state students is just under 1900 on the SAT and 29 for the ACT. UT Austin will take the top score, but they do not superscore. They also want to see all the tests. The average scores for out-of-state students are 2000 on the SAT and 30 on the ACT.
They take a holistic approach to reviewing the applications, therefore the essays are highly important as is the expanded resume. UT looks very closely at academic fit when admitting by major. Therefore it is critical to demonstrate your fit with you first choice academic major within in your essay. For the more general essay, demonstrating maturity and ability to grow is key.
The activity listing or expanded resume is another critical component of the application. They want to know what, why, how and for how long you have done every activity on your resume. The more detailed explanation you can give the better!
For students considering any of the honors colleges, the 10/15 deadline is mandatory. In general, the earlier you get your application in the better. They do offer a bridge program with Austin Community College for in-state applicants.
Summary UT Austin is outstanding place for students who can take initiative looking for a diverse student body and city. Lots of opportunities there for the taking. Hook’ Em!
University of Texas at Austin
John Hargis Hall
1823 Red River Street
Austin, Texas 78701