Issue 1 of 6
March 31, 2020
A Message From President Greg Fenves
I am thrilled that your son or daughter was admitted to UT Austin’s Class of 2024. As we get ready for the arrival of our newest Longhorns, I encourage you to stay informed and involved.
On Monday, the spring semester resumed for our current students, with all courses held online. So much has changed during these past two weeks for the sake of public health and safety. Your sons’ and daughters’ senior year of high school has been significantly affected both academically and socially, and we understand their disappointment and sense of loss.
Yet when it comes to becoming a Longhorn, your student’s goals remain the same. They will come to the Forty Acres to get an outstanding education, and that’s what our faculty and staff members will continue to provide. During this evolving situation, our professors have brought passion and expertise to transition to online coursework, and our students have brought their enthusiasm, curiosity and dedication to their education, just as we know your Class of 2024 Longhorn will.
Before classes begin in the fall, we will continue to provide details to prepare you for the transition. We are proceeding with Student and Family Orientations to be held on campus this summer, knowing with the developing COVID-19 situation, changes might be necessary in the interest of public health and safety. Rest assured that we will be in communication with you and your student — and regardless of the format, we look forward to welcoming your student, and you, to the Forty Acres.
Congratulations, and Hook ’em Horns!

Gregory L. Fenves
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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 .
Dear Longhorn Parent,
As a quick introduction, Texas Parents is one of the nine departments in the Division of Student Affairs led by Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly. 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 Austin parents and families.

From now through August, our department will 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 as a convenient go-to for the information source that best fits your needs.

On behalf of the Texas Parents team, Lindsey, Jamie and Gloria, 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
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 .

Parents and Families Website ( )
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 mid-May and set up as an interactive document on the website.
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.
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.
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 Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) that  only  allows the OSFA or Texas One Stop to discuss his or her financial aid with you. This form does not give you access to your student’s CASH page nor 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.
University Housing and Dining (UHD)
If your student is planning to live in an on campus residence hall, here are a few details to know:

Steps to Live on Campus
Students must apply for on-campus housing. The sooner students apply for housing, the better their chances are of getting a housing contract. Contracts are emailed on the 1 st and 15 th of the month starting March 1. Learn more about the housing process here .

Roommate Selection
Students who do not have a roommate chosen but would like to find a UT Austin student to room with can go onto their "Housing Portal" and complete a brief quiz. The system will then take their answers and show the top percentage of students that match with them. From there, students can reach out 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 as they begin to think about what items they will want to have in their home away from home.
Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid (OSFA)
Financial Hardship due to COVID-19
If your student has already completed the FAFSA and you or your family have 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 is currently not listed on the link above but will be available in early April and should be submitted via email to Texas One Stop at . Additional documentation may be required.

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.

Last summer, President Greg Fenves announced an expansion to the Texas Advance Commitment to provide additional financial support to Texas students through a new endowment created by The University of Texas System Board of Regents. Beginning in fall 2020, eligible students with family adjusted gross incomes of up to $65,000 will have tuition covered and students with family adjusted gross incomes between $65,000 and $125,000 will receive some financial assistance to help offset the cost of their UT education.

The Texas Advance Commitment ensures that eligible Texas students, including both first-time-in-college and transfer students, 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 in to CASH, your student should not share his or her password with anyone, even you.
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD)
Students with disabilities who may need accommodations should plan ahead to find out about the forms, processes and timelines for requesting different types of accommodations at UT Austin. Accommodations will be different at UT Austin than they were in high school and parents and students are encouraged to learn more about what to expect at UT by visiting this website .
Go here for SSD resources for parents.
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.
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 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 Texas Athletics ticket sales, discounts with local and national vendors and many other perks.
Learn more and sign up here .
What's Next
In April's Issue of Next Steps
We will continue expanding your understanding of the university and offering suggestions on how your student can best prepare for a successful transition to UT Austin.
Orientation Registration
All students are required to attend Freshman Student Orientation this summer. 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.
Coming in the Mail
Keep an eye out for a postcard with details about registering for Family Orientation . We hope to see you there!
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. Beginning Fall 2020, Measles Immunity has also been added to the Medical Clearance Requirement. Before students can register for classes, they must provide proof of immunity to measles. Incoming international students have additional requirements

Encourage your student to submit his or her documentation to University Health Services (UHS) no later than two weeks prior to attending orientation. For extra measure, students should also bring a copy to orientation, but we’ll remind you of that closer to orientation time.

Visit  Healthyhorns  to learn more.
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