UT changes its admissions policy

The University of Texas has changed its admissions policy, closing the door on a loophole which permitted many LHHS graduates to attend UT over the past several years. They have done away with the “Summer Freshman Class (SFC),” often called “provisional acceptance” in parent circles.

Some background: The state of Texas mandated that UT, A&M, and other Texas public universities guarantee admittance to all students ranked in the top 10% of their Texas high school class. Over time, the number of applicants to UT from this pool has increased. Once UT sees how many spots are “leftover” after Top 10% kids apply, they fill the remaining slots with kids from schools like LHHS, Highland Park, and other academically strong schools with a proven reputation.

UT knows that LH students ranking below 10% with challenging coursework and leadership on their resumes are historically successful in UT’s competitive environment. Some students are admitted outright, but some are offered a spot in the SFC. This means they agree to enroll in summer school at UT before their freshman year. If they do well, they stay. If they can’t keep up, they move on.

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After the jump, more on the policy change:

According to a letter sent to LHHS and other Texas high schools this week (and posted here on the UT website), the 2009 freshman class enrollment cap is 7200 and it’s full. The popularity of UT and the current state of the economy are factors (UT is cheaper than most private universities and out-of-state schools). “We had no more spaces after filling the fall freshman class, therefore we are unable to enroll a Summer Freshman Class.”

It’s a shame. Most of us “old-timers” have seen plenty of Wildcats get a provisional foot in the door, then blossom academically in Austin. A solid A- average in challenging courses at LH is usually a clear indicator of success (I’ve heard that being in the top 10% this year requires a 98 average or so, something my own son isn’t close enough to for me to be an expert.)

Now, the world won’t fall off its axis if every kid doesn’t go to UT. There are plenty of great schools out there. But when I see one of my cute, young friends dressing her third grader in burnt orange and teaching her kindergartner to make the Hook ‘Em Horns sign with his pointer and pinkie, I wonder if she’s setting them up for disappointment down the road. Maybe she doesn’t know it isn’t like when we were there. Seems like if we could spell SAT, we were pretty much in.

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