Issue 2 of 6
April 20, 2018
Greetings!
 
Let me begin by thanking you for supporting your student(s) on their path to becoming a Longhorn(s) and being admitted to the Class of 2022. Soon, your student(s) will attend one of the top public universities in the country. Yes, they worked hard and earned their place on the Forty Acres, but it happened with your encouragement and support.
 
As the executive vice president and provost at UT Austin, it is my responsibility to ensure your student(s) receive(s) the highest quality educational experience that will propel them to a life of success and well-being after graduation. To accomplish this, we work closely with our partners across campus to provide every student with the opportunities and resources they need to find their path, be successful and pursue their dreams.
 
As the parent of a high school student myself, I understand what the family conversations might be like right now. This is an exciting time, but it can also be accompanied by stress — for you and for them. I encourage you to express your continued support as they embark on an exciting journey.
 
The May issue of Next Steps will include information about both Student and Family Orientations. I hope you are able to join us at Family Orientation. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact the Texas Parents office.
 
Hook 'em, and welcome to the Longhorn Family!
 
Maurie McInnis
Executive Vice President and Provost
The University of Texas at Austin 
Quick Introductions:
  • Dr. Maurie McInnis serves UT Austin as the Executive Vice President and Provost. To learn more about Provost McInnis, click here.
  • The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost coordinates the academic mission of the university, manages the academic experience for student, and implements policies and procedures related to faculty and administration. Learn more here.
An Announcement from President Gregory L. Fenves

Expanding Financial Aid for Low and Middle-Income Students

In recent years, The University of Texas at Austin,
the state of Texas, and our donors and supporters have invested substantially in student financial aid. Our goal is for a high-quality UT education to be affordable and accessible to qualified students with financial need from across the state.

In 2016, I announced a two-year, $15 million increase in financial aid that benefited thousands of current UT students. This year, we will make that funding permanent and expand our investment in our students by introducing the Texas Advance Commitment, beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.

The Texas Advance Commitment ensures that Texas students with family incomes of up to $100,000 (Adjusted Gross Income), who have financial need, will receive guaranteed gift aid. Eligible students...read the complete announcement here .
The Office of Financial Aid has begun releasing Financial Aid Notifications (FANs) for admitted freshmen students.

Encourage your student to regularly check CASH to make sure they don't have any outstanding requirements or missing documents that could delay the release of their FAN. A student’s UT EID and password are required to log into CASH.

Some institutional scholarships have not yet been awarded. If your student receives any additional funding, a new FAN will appear in CASH. If your student receives any outside scholarships or changes their enrollment status, they must use CASH to note those updates.

Admitted students must accept their offer of enrollment and satisfy the enrollment deposit (if required) no later than May 1. Enrolling students will upgrade their UT EID during orientation this summer, after which their aid will be released no sooner than 10 days prior to the first day of class. 
Understanding the University
Understanding FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, or FERPA, is a federal law that restricts access to educational records and information that make the student's identity easily traceable. Access to this information is restricted...read more here .

Financial Aid FERPA Release
Your student can complete a FERPA Release Authorization form online that only allows the Office of Financial Aid to discuss his or her financial aid with you; it does not give you access to other FERPA protected information such as grades or class schedules. If your student would like your assistance with the financial aid process, it is important that he or she complete one form per parent/guardian as soon as possible to grant you that access. Click here to learn more.

UT EIDs, Passwords and Confidentiality
At UT Austin, students are expected to take ownership of many of the tasks that you possibly completed for them, like filling out forms, checking grades and paying bills. While some parents would like access to all of this information, the university recognizes the importance of students becoming self-sufficient so they can prepare for life beyond the Forty Acres. One of the ways the university reinforces the importance of students becoming self-sufficient is by entrusting them with...read more here

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)
Students with disabilities who will need accommodations should plan ahead to find out about the forms, process and timeline for requesting different types of accommodations at UT Austin. Beginning June 1, a ppointments for incoming students to set up academic accommodations for the 2018-19 year will be offered. Learn what the process will involve for your student here . Additionally, this FAQ provides an understanding of your and the SSD office's roles in supporting your student.

Please note: Students should submit accommodation requests for Freshman Orientation (housing, dining, placement tests, etc.) at least 2 weeks prior to the session they are attending.
 UT Austin Academics
First Year Experience
While many think that SAT scores or high school class ranking are the strongest predictors of student success in college, research shows that is not the case. Instead, success in a student’s first-year is the strongest indicator of future success, retention, and timely graduation...click  here  to read about 360 Connections, Freshman Interest Groups (FIGs) and Signature Courses.

Academic Advising
The role high school counselors play in students’ academic journeys can vary greatly from what a student experiences in college. At UT Austin, academic advising is a collaborative effort between the student and advisor. Learn more here advising during orientation and preparation tips suggested by current UT Austin advisors.

Core Curriculum and Flag Requirements
The degree plan of every UT Austin undergraduate student includes three components: core curriculum and Flag requirements, major requirements and electives. Together, these components produce self-reliant graduates who will become leaders in their chosen professions and communities. Learn more about the three components  here .

What Does It Mean to Be A Student Enrolled in UGS? 
The School of Undergraduate Studies (UGS) is home to students who have yet to declare a major. While enrolled in UGS, your student will be provided with resources and services to help with exploring majors and careers so he or she can confidently choose a field of study to pursue. UGS is the only college at UT Austin that assigns both an academic advisor and career counselor to every student. Learn more here . Or check out the video below.
Support for Parents and Families
The university understands the importance of keeping parents and families informed and connected. Here is how we do it: 

The Texas Parents department
An on-campus office consisting of five full-time dedicated staff and fantastic part-time student staff standing ready to help you from enrollment through graduation. Call 512-471-2353 M-F, 8 a.m-5 p.m. (CT) or email   TexasParents@austin.utexas.edu.

A one-day program designed to continue growing your knowledge of UT Austin resources. Although not required, attendance is strongly encouraged. This is a separate program from your student's Freshman Orientation.

Parents and Families website  ( parents.utexas.edu)
A website showcasing campus-wide information specific to the needs of prospective, incoming, transfer and all undergraduate families and designed to be an ongoing resource throughout your journey. If you don't find what you need, call the Texas Parents office!

Next Steps eNewsletters
Communications that break the journey into "what you need to know now" and "what you'll need to know later." Issues sent March-May introduce topics leading up to Orientation, and three post-orientation issues take you up to August's Mooov-in. If you missed the March 23 issue, go to the "to get you started" box here or contact the Texas Parents office with your email address and we'll send you an electronic version for your files.

The New Parent Guide
An introduction to campus leadership, departments, resources and timelines in a print magazine format. This guide is mailed to U.S. residents in mid-May and set up as an interactive document on the parents.utexas.edu website.

See information below.
The Texas Parents Association
Everyone belongs.

Established in 1948 and still going strong! All parents and families of undergraduate students belong, but you need to sign up for the membership that best fits your family's needs.  

Memberships are set up per household, allowing one or two parents in the same household to enjoy benefits no matter how many students you have at UT Austin. 

You will need your student’s UT EID to sign up.

There are two types of membership: complimentary and supporting. Choose the level that is best for your family and sign up today!

U-Touch
A complimentary level of membership that keeps you "in touch" with the university. We accomplish this through:
  • Next Steps eNewsletters
  • Texas Parents Association eNewsletters - 12 issues of monthly communication to help you help your student, mailed to all members beginning in August at the conclusion of Next Steps
  • Emails from university administration on timely issues
One-Year supporting and Four-Year supporting
By making a tax deductible gift to the university, your One-Year or Four-Year membership "supports" the operation of the Texas Parents office and is reinvested through multiple outlets within the UT Austin community your student will call home.
 
Supporting members also receive U-Touch communications as well as additional benefits including access to the Texas Parents closed Facebook group, a pre-sale window to UT Athletics ticket sales, discounts with local and national vendors and many other perks.

Click   here   to learn more and to sign up.
What's Next
Orientation Registration
Attendance at orientation is required for your student, but attendance at Family Orientation is optional for you. Registration for students and parents/families are two separate processes. Learn about Freshman orientation here and about Family Orientation here .

In the May Issue of Next Steps (sent May 4)
We'll offer insights about what you can expect during Family Orientation and what your student can expect at Freshman Orientation. We'll provide suggestions on how your student can best prepare for a successful orientation experience.

In the Mail for You
In mid-May, the New Parent Guide will be delivered to the permanent address provided by your student. This print magazine builds upon the Next Steps eNewsletter messages and brings you closer to a better understanding of the resources available to you and your student.

Emails to Your Student
Remind your student to regularly check for emails from UT Austin. On May 1, New Student Services will be emailing your student important Pre-Orientation videos to watch!
Unsubscribing from the Next Steps eNewsletter
Please note that if you unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe link below, you will no longer receive any messages from Texas Parents.
512-471-2353 | Toll Free 888-690-0012 |  TexasParents@austin.utexas.edu
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Central)