Issue 2 of 6
April 18, 2020
Greetings!
 
There are many different roads leading to UT Austin for you and your Longhorn. Maybe your student comes from a proud line of Longhorn graduates or perhaps your family has never stepped foot in the great state of Texas. And for some, it could be your Longhorn is the first in your family to attend college.

Regardless of your path, we're here to help you take the next steps. There's a lot to know, and people to meet. In this issue is a short video to introduce Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Hook 'em,
Susie Smith, Director of Texas Parents
Quick Introductions:
  • Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly serves UT Austin as the Vice President for 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 39 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, resources and educational opportunities for your Longhorn go far beyond the classroom. Learn more here.
Gmail Users: Please Read!
Gmail clips long emails, including the Next Steps eNewsletter, which means that you may only be seeing a portion of the email's content. If you scroll to the bottom of the email, you should see a link:  [Message Clipped] View Entire Message or Read Mor e. If you click on "View Entire Message" or "Read More," the remainder of the newsletter will load.
Resources in the Division of Student Affairs
Resources in each of the nine departments comprising 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 Counseling and Mental Health (CMHC), University Health Services (UHS) and RecSports.

This issue offers timely information about three areas: The Office of the Dean of Students, University Housing and Dining (UHD) and New Student Services (NSS).
The Office of the Dean of Students
University Housing and Dining (UHD)
New Student Services (NSS)
NSS is one of the nine departments in the Division of Student Affairs playing a pivotal role to ensure incoming students successfully transition, both academically and socially as Longhorns. NSS responsibilities include overseeing student orientation for thousands of new students each year as well as leading programs throughout the year that promote student engagement and support academic success.

Online Student Orientation Information
The goal of Online Student Orientation is to provide your student with the resources they need to succeed academically and to find their place in the UT Austin Community. Students online orientation sessions area mandatory. Different sessions are offered depending on your student's college/school. Check out the session dates here .


A more detailed Online Student Orientation schedule will be available in the May Next Steps eNewsletter. Below is a general outline of Online Student Orientation*:
*Math Assessment
Some student's online orientation programming will include the UT Math Assessment. If your student is planning to take Calculus I (M408C/K/N/R), they are required to complete the  UT Math Assessment . If they do not plan to take a calculus course but still need a math credit to complete their degree, they will have the opportunity to take the UT Math for Credit Exam (M305G). Look for more details in the May Next Steps eNewsletter.
Orientation Advisors (OAs)
Each year, NSS interviews and hires a group of talented students to develop, plan and execute the orientation programs from a student's lens. OAs are connectors for your student to the UT experience. They will be on hand to encourage, advise and guide your student. Great care is being placed on ensuring your student's online orientation experience provides multiple touch points to connect with other students including the Orientation Advisors.

Pre-Orientation Checklist for Students
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 . in mid-May, NSS will email your student important Pre-Orientation videos to watch, encourage your student to be on the lookout!

If Your Student Needs Accommodations During Online Orientation
If your student has a disability that requires accommodations for online orientation, go here for information on how your student can request accommodations .
Immunization Information Required
Before Your Longhorn Can Register:
The State of Texas requires students who will be younger than 22 on the first day of the semester they enter an institution of higher education to prove they have received a meningococcal vaccine within five years of that first day. Starting fall 2020, proof of measles immunity is also required. Find compliance details here , including guidance if you are having difficulty getting records or vaccines due to stay-at-home orders/recommendations. Please note, incoming international students have additional requirements.

Your student should submit documentation to meet these requirements to University Health Services (UHS) at least two weeks before their Online Student Orientation session. Keep a copy of their documents handy in the unlikely event you need to resubmit them.
Financial Information
Financial Hardship due to COVID-19
If your student has already completed the FAFSA and your family has experienced recent job loss, increased medical expenses or other financial hardship, your student can complete the  Special/Unusual Circumstances Appeal form, which  allows UT to assess your financial aid and make any adjustments to your student’s financial aid package given your current situation. The 2020–2021 form should be submitted via email to Texas One Stop at  onestop@utexas.edu . Additional documentation may be required.

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).

For more Financial Information see Next Steps Issue #1 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 Online Student 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 have those accessible when completing online orientation. Students don't need an official document at this time, just their list outlined above. The information will help guide the academic advisor when meeting with your student virtually at online 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 online 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. 
Emails to Your Student
Regardless of who pays your student's tuition and housing bills, all business communications, important dates and deadlines will be emailed only to your student. Remind your student to regularly check for emails from UT Austin to ensure they meet all financial deadlines.
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 four full-time dedicated staff and fantastic part-time student staff standing ready to help you from enrollment through graduation. Presently, your Texas Parents staff is working remotely during the COVID-19 campus closure to ensure your calls and emails are answered.
Call 512-471-2353 M-F, 8 a.m-5 p.m. (CST) or email   TexasParents@austin.utexas.edu   .

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 that is 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 post-orientation issues take you up to August's Mooov-in.

The New Parent Guide
An introduction to campus leadership, departments and resources and timelines in a print magazine format. This guide is mailed to U.S. residents in early-June and set up as an interactive document on the parents.utexas.edu website.
A complimentary online program designed to continue growing your knowledge of UT Austin resources. Although not required, participation is strongly encouraged. This is a separate online program from your student's Online Orientation.
Established in 1948 and still going strong! All parents and families of enrolled undergraduate students are members of the association, but families must sign up to begin receiving membership benefits.
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.

Learn more here . Thanks to everyone who has already signed-up!
What's Next
In Issue 3 of Next Steps (sent mid-May)
You'll be introduced to the Office of the Provost and we'll break down some elements of UT Austin academics. We'll also offer insights about what you can expect with Online Family Orientation and what your student can expect with Online Student Orientation. We'll provide suggestions on how your student can best prepare for a successful orientation experience.
In the Mail for You
In June, 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.
Unsubscribing from the Next Steps eNewsletter
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