Issue 1 of 6
March 29, 2019
A Message From President Greg Fenves

 You are receiving this newsletter because your son or daughter was admitted to UT Austin’s Class of 2023. As we get ready for the arrival of our newest Longhorns, I want you to be informed and I hope involved.

In the April issue, you will be introduced to the Division of Student Affairs and to Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. The Division provides resources to support our students and their families from enrollment through graduation.

This is the first of a series of newsletters you will receive leading up to the start of classes in the fall to prepare you and your family for your student's transition ahead. We look forward to welcoming your student, and you, to the Forty Acres.

Congratulations, and Hook 'em Horns!
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Dear Longhorn Parent,
Congratulations on your Longhorn’s acceptance into the Class of 2023! What a unique moment in time for your family and I can only imagine how proud you are of this milestone in your child’s life. It is just that, a milestone, a significant point in development signaling both the end of one incredible journey and that another awaits to begin.

As the director of Texas Parents for the past 9 years, I have had the privilege of speaking to parents and families on a daily basis and in doing so, I have learned the path that lies ahead will be traveled at different speeds and with different maps by each family; and that is just fine.

You might find yourself putting UT Austin things to the side and wanting to focus solely on enjoying final high school memories. Prom, senior photos, helping with valedictorian or salutatorian speeches and all that graduation brings happen once in a lifetime; please take the time to enjoy them. It could be that you are ready to access everything UT Austin and prepare for the move in August. For some, this isn’t your first rodeo and you have a good idea of what awaits. Or, you may be somewhere in the middle. Regardless of where you find yourself, it’s important to know you’re right where you are supposed to be and that Texas Parents is here however and whenever you need assistance.

Texas Parents is one of the nine departments in the Division of Student Affairs led by Dr. Soncia Regains-Lilly, whom you’ll meet in April's issue. Texas Parents helps you help your student from enrollment through graduation and we manage the Texas Parents Association, the university's official association for all UT parents and families.

From now through August, our role will be to support YOU by introducing resources and information that you and your Longhorn need for a successful transition to college life. We do this using multiple platforms from emails to websites to Family Orientation to being a live person when you call the office. In each issue of Next Steps, we’ll include the “Support for Parents and Families” section so that you have a quick go-to for the information source that best fits your needs.

On behalf of the Texas Parents team, Shannon, Lindsey, Jamie and Colleen, I offer you our sincere commitment: we stand ready to be a constant resource to your family over the coming years and we look forward to the incredible opportunities that await your Longhorn in this next leg of life’s journey.

Hook ‘em Horns!
Susie Smith
Director, Texas Parents
The University of Texas at Austin
Quick Introductions

President Gregory L. Fenves is the 29th president of The University of Texas at Austin. Before he became president in 2015, he served the university as executive vice president and provost and as dean of UT’s Cockrell School of Engineering. Learn 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. 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 SSD accommodation requests for Freshman Orientation (housing, dining, placement tests, etc.) at least 2 weeks prior to the session they are attending.
Support for Parents and Families
Preparing for the start of your Longhorn's undergraduate journey can bring many questions to mind. We know everyone looks for answers differently and have developed these ways to support you:

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 .

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 ( )
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. Dates for remaining issues are April 19, May 3, July 12, July 26 and August 9.

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 website.

Established in 1948 and still going strong! All parents and families of undergraduate students belong.
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 more  here .

UT EIDs, Passwords and Confidentiality
At UT Austin, students are expected to take ownership of many of the tasks that you possibly have 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 more  here

Financial Aid FERPA Release
Your student can complete an online FERPA Release Authorization form with the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) that  only  allows the OFA to discuss his or her financial aid with you. This form 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. Encourage your student to go to his or her Check Aid Status Here (CASH) page to complete the form.
The Texas Parents Association
Everyone belongs.

All parents and families of enrolled undergraduate students are members of the association, but you must sign up to begin receiving membership benefits.

Memberships are set up per household, allowing one or two individuals 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!

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, emailed 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. Equally important, your gift is reinvested throu gh multiple outlets within the UT 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 Texas Athletics ticket sales, discounts with local and national vendors and many other perks.
Learn more and sign up here.
What's Next
Orientation Registration
All students are required to attend Freshman Student Orientation this summer. There, they will learn their way around campus, meet with an academic advisor, learn traditions, meet fellow classmates, register for their fall semester classes and more. Share this Freshman Student Orientation link with your student if he or she is still needing to register.

Registration for Freshman Student Orientation and Family Orientation are two separate processes. Only students may attend Freshman Student Orientation. Click here to learn more about attending Family Orientation.

In April's Issue of Next Steps
You'll be introduced to Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly. We will continue expanding your understanding of the university and also offer suggestions on how your student can best prepare for a successful orientation this summer.

Coming in the Mail
Keep an eye out for a postcard with details about registering for Family Orientation . We hope to see you there!

Applying for Housing
Students must apply for on-campus housing. If your student hopes to live on campus in the fall but has not yet applied, we encourage you to review the five step housing process . In this information is a link to apply for housing that your student will have to complete.

Immunization Information
The State of Texas requires entering UT Austin students under the age of 22 to provide documentation they have received the meningococcal vaccine before they can register for classes. More detailed information is here .

Important Step:
After being vaccinated, your student needs to submit documentation to University Health Services (UHS) no later than two weeks prior to his or her Freshman Student Orientation session. For extra measure, your student should also bring a copy to orientation; but we'll remind you of that closer to orientation time.
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