Issue 2 of 6
April 19, 2019
Congratulations on joining the Longhorn Family!

I’m excited to welcome you and your student as they join the Class of 2023. As the mother of both a high school senior and a rising college junior, I know what an exhilarating time this can be.

The Longhorn Family is a state of mind that brings students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters, parents and families together. Texas Parents, a department in the Division of Student Affairs, is specifically dedicated to keeping you connected to the Longhorn Family from orientation through graduation.

We want our students’ parents and families to feel welcome, informed and involved. Consistent communication with your student is key to that success. Before your Longhorn’s arrival on campus in August, you will receive four more issues of the Next Steps eNewsletter from Texas Parents. Look for the New Parent Guide to be mailed to your home in May. All of these communications will include information to help you and your family’s transition to UT Austin.

This summer, I encourage you to join us for Family Orientation. During this one-day program, you will be learning more about the resources on our campus and meet the people who are here to partner with you and your family as you navigate this journey.

I look forward to seeing you on the Forty Acres soon! In the meantime, please let our Texas Parents team know how we can be of assistance to you, your family and your student.

Hook ‘em,

Soncia Reagins-Lilly
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Quick Introductions:
  • Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly serves the UT Austin Family as the VP of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Learn more about Dr. Lilly here.

  • The Division of Student Affairs supports students through innovative programs, facilities and services and is comprised of nine departments, 37 units and 38 facilities. This includes 14 on-campus residence halls, dining facilities, medical and mental health services, student and family orientations, recreational sports and two university unions. As you will see, our students' resources and educational opportunities at UT Austin go far beyond the classroom. Learn more here.
Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA)
Expanding Financial Aid for Low and
Middle-Income Students

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

In 2016, President Greg Fenves announced a two-year, $15 million increase in financial aid that benefited thousands of current UT Austin students. Beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, that funding was made permanent and expanded the investment in UT Austin students by introducing the Texas Advance Commitment.

The Texas Advance Commitment ensures that Texas students with family income of up to $100,000 (Adjusted Gross Income) who have financial need, will receive guaranteed gift aid. Learn more here .
OSFA Has Begun Releasing Financial Aid Notifications
for Admitted Freshman Students

Encourage your student to regularly check his or her "Check Aid Status Here" (CASH) page to make sure there are no outstanding requirements or missing documents that could delay the release of his or her Financial Aid Notification (FAN).

Some institutional scholarships have not yet been awarded. If your student receives any additional funding, a new FAN will appear on his or her CASH page. If your student receives any outside scholarships or changes his or her enrollment status, he or she must use the CASH page to note those updates.

Incoming students may upgrade their UT EIDs during orientation this summer or when they arrive to campus for the fall semester (we recommend it be done during orientation). After their UT EIDs are upgraded, their aid will be released no sooner than 10 days prior to the first day of class. 

In the New Parent Guide and July issues of Next Steps, we'll outline how students can pay their tuition with financial aid and other funding sources you may be planning to use.

Friendly Reminder: A student’s UT EID and password are required to log into CASH and as we discussed last month, your student should not share his or her password with anyone, even you.
A Reminder About Obtaining a Financial Aid FERPA Release
Your student can complete an online FERPA Release Authorization form with the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid (OSFA) that  only  allows the OSFA 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.
Resources in the Division of Student Affairs
Resources in each of the nine departments in the Division of Student Affairs uniquely supports your student beyond the classroom while at the same time, complimenting his or her classroom experience. In coming issues of Next Steps and in the New Parent Guide , you'll find more details about New Student Services (NSS), Counseling and Mental Health (CMHC), University Health Services (UHS) and Rec Sports.

In this issue we're introducing timely information about two areas, The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, an office within the Office of the Dean of Students as well as University Housing and Dining (UHD).
University Housing & Dining

If your student is planning on living on campus, here are a few details they need to know:

Roommate Selection: If your student does not have a roommate chosen but would like to find a UT Austin student to room with, they can go onto their "Housing Portal" and complete a brief quiz. The system will then take the students answers and show the top percentage of students that match with your student. From there, students can reach out to each other and begin chatting to get to know one another better. They can continue to update their preferences, including roommate selection, through the end of May. In June, students will select their room assignments.

Mooov-In Packing List: Students should check out these  handy lists  of what they should (and shouldn't) pack when preparing for Mooov-In.

Living on Campus Breakout Session: If you are attending Family Orientation and are looking for more information about what your student needs to know when living on campus, please consider joining us for our afternoon breakout session titled "Living on Campus". You will learn about the different residence hall communities, room assignments, dining, billing, Mooov-In and more.

Learn more here .
Understanding the University
What About AP and IB Test Credits?
The university realizes that the timing is such that students may not have the results of AP and IB tests when they attend their Freshman Orientation session. Not to worry.

Please encourage your student to prepare a list of all the tests he or she has taken and include all scores already known (perhaps some placement tests took place in the junior or sophomore years) and bring to orientation. This doesn't need to be an official document, just your student's notes. The information will help guide the academic advisor when meeting with your student at orientation.

Students should not claim credit for any courses using AP, IB, or any other credit by exam scores before meeting with an academic advisor at orientation. Nor should another person attempt to claim credits acting as or on behalf of a student. Claiming credit without the proper academic advising can affect a student’s degree requirements, as well as other academic and financial considerations. 
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 .

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. If you missed Issue 1, 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 website.

See information below.
Family Orientation Pre-Orientation Checklist
Go here for a short list of "to-do's" we've assembled to help with planning your visit for Family Orientation. Also included are a few key ones to encourage your student to stay on top of during this busy time.
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!

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.

Learn more here . Thanks to everyone who has already signed-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 Issue 3 of Next Steps (sent May 3)
You'll be introduced to Dr. Maurie McInnis, Executive Vice President and Provost and we'll break down some elements of UT Austin Academics. We'll also 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.
Pre-Orientation Checklist for Students
New Student Services (NSS) is one of the nine departments in the Division of Student Affairs and is responsible for Freshman Orientation. NSS has created thorough and informative checklists (both pre and post) for your student's orientation. Encourage your student to use the pre-Orientation checklist to prepare. It will be time well-spent! Send your student here .

If Your Student Needs Accommodations During Orientation
Students should submit accommodation requests for Freshman Orientation (housing, dining, placement tests, etc.) to Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at least 2 weeks prior to the session they are attending. Learn more here .

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!

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.
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 |
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Central)