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A’s to Be a Longhorn

Automatic admission changed for future longhorns

The University of Texas Tower is a significant land marker for the campus.

Stephen Rahn via Flickr

The University of Texas Tower is a significant land marker for the campus.

by Rebekah Hui, Staff Writer

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Recently, The University of Texas at Austin announced that their policy for automatic admission is changing from 7% to 6% for the Class of 2019. As a world renowned public research university in the second fastest growing state in America, UT has had to lower their acceptance rate, to accommodate all of the public high schools in Texas.

“It’s theoretically a great incentive for public schools to get their kids into UT, but they should consider a new system,” junior Aimee Ramos said.

It’s theoretically a great incentive for public schools to get their kids into UT, but they should consider a new system.”

— Aimee Ramos

While students granted automatic admission are secured a spot in the university, they are not ensured acceptance into their major of choice, so applications are still very important.

“I was never even in the top 10% in the first place, and now that they moved it from 7% to 6%, it just makes it even harder to get into UT,” junior Katrina Phillip said.

Admissions decisions are based on a holistic process, which included 9 areas of the student’s resume. They are looking at:
1. Class Rank
2. Strength of academic background
3. SAT Reasoning Test or ACT scores
4. Records of achievements, honors, and awards
5. Special accomplishments, work, and service both in and out of school
6. Essays
7. Special circumstances that put the applicant’s academic achievements into context, including his or her socioeconomic status, experience in a single parent home, family responsibilities, experience overcoming adversity, cultural background, race and ethnicity, the language spoken in the applicant’s home, and other information in the applicant’s file
8. Recommendations (although not required)
9. Competitiveness of the major to which the student applies

“One one hand, the new policy is great, because it’s just narrowing down the amount of students who really care about their education, but it also sucks because some [high schools] are bigger than others which can affect anyone who wants to get into UT,” junior Kaley Jones said. “[The new policy] doesn’t necessarily affect me because I’m still eligible to get accepted, but for some of my friends, it could be a deciding factor.”

Juniors across Texas are now competing to make the top 6% at their high schools. Leander High School has 523 students in the class of 2019 as of July 20th, 2017. There is a 54% school participation rate in the Advanced Placement program, and over 52 juniors in the International Baccalaureate program. Don’t be discouraged potential future Longhorns of the class of 2019; there are two more years to build high school resumes.

“I personally don’t like [the new policy], because it took me so long to get to the top 7%, and now with it changing to the top 6%, it ruins chances for so many kids,” junior Katie Pizer said. “Also, I don’t understand why UT Austin is the only Texas school that goes by class rank/percentage. There’s nothing vastly different about the school than any other one, it doesn’t stand out, and it makes me upset that my dream school happens to be the one with a messed up system.”

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Leander High School's online student-run newspaper
A’s to Be a Longhorn