Issue 2 of 6 | Acclimation
April 16, 2021
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 the route, Texas Parents is here to help you take the next steps. In this issue, our goal is to acclimate you to some of the first experiences awaiting you and your Longhorn in the transition from high school to college. 
 
If you or your student think your road traveled to UT Austin has already shown everything there is to see or has revealed all you need to know, I encourage you to think again. Unrelated to my job, I’m also a Class of 1987 alumna, the parent of both a soon-to-be Class of 2021 graduate and a soon-to-be Class of 2025 freshman. 
 
Even with multiple connectors to campus, what inspires and humbles me is that EVERY DAY on the Forty Acres, without fail, I learn something new about this incredible university. And trust me, what is even better than learning something new at UT Austin is the opportunity to share that knowledge down the road with others – and before both you and your student know it, you will find yourselves in a place to do just that because that’s what we do in Longhorn Nation. 
 
We’re delighted to ride in the back seat as you hold the map while your Longhorn takes the wheel on this road well-travelled to destinations that will truly change the world. Buckle up and let’s go! 
 
Hook 'em!
Susie Smith, Director of Texas Parents
University Federal Credit Union (UFCU)
A Longhorn’s Choice, On Campus and Beyond
Longhorns have chosen UFCU for over 84 years, and UFCU stands ready to support your student. Set up your student for success on campus and beyond:
  • Save money with UFCU Free Checking with no minimum balance requirements and no fees.
  • Quickly get money to your student with easy-to-manage transfer options.
  • Debit cards unintentionally disappear, UFCU offers instantly issued replacement VISA debit cards that students can pick up at any UFCU location. 
  • Keep your student safe by keeping them close to campus. UFCU has four convenient campus-area locations and the most ATMs (over 40) on and around campus.
  • Check account balances and activity 24/7 with UFCU Online Banking and Mobile Banking.
 
Plus, in addition to solutions to meet students' daily financial needs, UFCU offers year-round financial education to prepare them for life after college.
 
UFCU is ready to help you and your student. Visit UFCU.org/UT to learn more on how you can help your student succeed.
 
Orientation Special: Your student could win $1,000 by opening a UFCU Free Checking account.
New Student Services (NSS)
NSS is one of nine departments in the Division of Student Affairs playing a pivotal role to ensure incoming students successfully transition, both academically and socially, into Longhorns. NSS helps students get in the Longhorn State of Mind by hosting New Student Orientation for thousands of students each year. The department also leads programs throughout the year that promote student engagement and support academic success.

New Student Orientation Information
The goal of New Student Orientation is to provide all incoming students with an experience that answers their questions, excites them for what awaits in the fall, introduces them to the many resources available, plants the seeds for new friendships to grow and establishes a fall schedule of classes. New Student Orientation is mandatory with seven sessions offered throughout June and July as well as an additional session in August. Depending on your student’s College/School, different session times are offered. When your student is registering for a session, have your student confirm their College/School will be presenting at the desired session. Check out the session dates here.

A more detailed New Student Orientation schedule will be available in the May Next Steps eNewsletter. Below are some highlights your student can look forward to*:
*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.
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. Approximately 10 days before their scheduled live orientation session, NSS will email your student informing them that their pre-orientation modules are available in Canvas. Encourage your students to be on the lookout!
Online Family Orientation
Presented by Texas Parents
Texas Parents is one of the nine departments in the Division of Student Affairs and exists to help families support their students from enrollment through graduation. Texas Parents produces these Next Steps eNewsletters, the New Parent Guide and Online Family Orientation as well as maintains parents.utexas.edu. We are staffed with four, full-time employees who serve as your connection to campus resources when you are unsure where to find an answer. 
The goal of Online Family Orientation is to make this big campus feel smaller and to provide you with the resources you need to help your student successfully transition from high school to the first day of the fall semester.

Online Family Orientation is a robust program presented by university leadership, faculty, students, staff and parent volunteers. The university understands the many responsibilities you have to balance and has developed a flexible, self-paced program for you. Program content is released over the span of four weeks and consists of pre-recorded content that can be watched at any time and at your own pace through Tuesday, August 24. Our intention when structuring Online Family Orientation was to create an environment similar to an online class where you can log in at any time, watch presentations, ask questions and reference handouts. We know your time is valuable and have set this program up to accommodate your scheduling needs. 

A more detailed Online Family Orientation schedule will be available in the May Next Steps eNewsletter. Below are some highlighted presentations you can look forward to:
University Housing and Dining (UHD)
Where to live is one of the biggest questions in planning for your student's first year. There are a lot of perks to living on campus, including an unlimited meal plan, internet and free laundry. Residence halls have lounges, study areas and around the clock security. But two of the bigger picture advantages living on campus offers your student are convenience and community.
 
Convenience
Living on campus keeps your student in the heart of the Forty Acres. Getting to and from classes is easier, there's more likelihood your student will engage in activities, frequent the library, use the gym and venture out to explore campus events because they're in close proximity.

Community
Whether your student selects a large or small residence hall, many elements create a home-away-from home atmosphere living on campus. It's an environment that encourages your student to broaden interests, meet others from similar and diverse backgrounds, create friendships and possibly become a hall leader. The Faculty Mentor Program, connecting residents with UT faculty, is one of many relaxed learning environments residents enjoy. Full-time student and professional staff live in the halls alongside your student, enhancing a sense of community. These staff are trained to support, guide and advise your student's journey into independent living. Students who live on campus also benefit from programming and outside-the-classroom learning possibilities through the S.T.E.E.R. program.
Housing Timeline
  • June 1: Room assignment process will begin for on-campus Living Learning Communities
  • June 7: Students can begin online room selection for on-campus residence halls
  • July 1: Students can begin scheduling check-in times to move into on-campus residence halls during August Mooov-In
  • July 31: Last day for students to adjust their room assignment
  • Early August: Students living in on-campus residence halls receive their housing bill
  • August 20: On-campus residence halls open at 9 a.m. (CT)
  • August 20-22: Mooov-In for on-campus residents (early Mooov-In available starting August 16 at 3 p.m. (CT) for an additional fee of $50 per day)
Texas One Stop
Texas One Stop, with an interactive website and physical location in the UT Tower, helps students easily access information and services for registration, financial aid, billing, student records and more. While Texas One Stop is the direct contact for students, behind the scenes The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) oversees financial aid processing, establishes policy and ensures compliance. Students Accounts Receivable (SAR) generates tuition bills and processes payments. The Office of the Registrar maintains course schedules, academic calendars, registration, diplomas, transcripts and grade collection. Learn more about Texas One Stop here
 
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 a special 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.
 
Financial Aid Notifications are being Released for Admitted Freshman Students
Encourage your student to regularly check their "Check Aid Status Here" (CASH) page to make sure there are no outstanding requirements or missing documents that could delay the release of their 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 their CASH page. If your student receives any outside scholarships or changes their enrollment status, they must use the CASH page to note those updates. More information about your student’s FAN will be included in the May Next Steps eNewsletter.
 
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. As a reminder, a student’s UT EID and password are required to log in to CASH, your student should not share their password with anyone, even you. For more information on UT’s privacy policies see Next Steps Issue #1 here.
How We Will Keep You Informed
The Texas Parents office will introduce you to resources and campus information through multiple communication tools:
Next Steps eNewsletters
This is the second in a series of six eNewsletters you’ll receive, breaking this journey into "what you need to know now" and "what you'll need to know later" segments. Issues sent March-June introduce topics leading up to Orientation and July-August issues prepare you for Mooov-in. Issues will also include reminders and action items for both you and your student. See issue themes and distribution timeline below:
Next Steps Issue #1 | Introduction | March 19
Next Steps Issue #2 | Acclimation| April 16
Next Steps Issue #3 | Orientation | May 14
Next Steps Issue #4 | Preparation | June 11
Next Steps Issue #5 | Anticipation | July 9
Next Steps Issue #6 | Transition | August 13
The New Parent Guide
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 messages and acts as a "Guide" helping you to better understand the resources available to you and your student. Additionally, an electronic version will be posted to the Parents and Families website.  

Parents and Families Website
UT Austin has multiple websites that house an incredible array of content, making it sometimes hard to know where to begin looking for something. The parents.utexas.edu website was created to be a starting point for you to more easily find information by topics. It showcases campus-wide information specific to the needs of prospective, incoming, transfer and all undergraduate families and is designed to be an ongoing resource throughout the undergraduate years. If you don't find what you need, call the Texas Parents office!
The Texas Parents Association
Everyone belongs.

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.

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.

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

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, 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, discounts with local and national vendors and many other perks.

Learn more here. Thanks to everyone who has already signed-up!
Need-to-Knows & Updates
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 New Student Orientation at least 2 weeks prior to their New Student Orientation session.
Immunization Information Required
Before Your Longhorn Can Register:
The State of Texas requires students entering Texas institutions of higher education who will be under the age of 22 on the first day of the semester they enter that institution to submit proof that they have received the meningococcal vaccine within five years of the first day of the semester that they will enter. Additionally, all students entering UT Austin must provide proof of measles immunity. Students must provide proof that they have completed these requirements before they can register for classes. 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. Visit Healthyhorns to learn more.
Mooov-In Packing List
August will be here before you and your student know it. Your student can start thinking about what to bring and what to leave at home using this page as a guide to prepare for Mooov-In.
What's Next
Next Steps Issue #3 | Orientation | May 14
Next Steps Issue #3 will offer insights about what you can expect with Online Family Orientation and what your student can expect with New Student Orientation. We'll provide suggestions on how your student can best prepare for a successful orientation experience.
In the Mail for You
In 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.
Unsubscribing from the Next Steps eNewsletter
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512-471-2353 | Toll Free 888-690-0012 | TexasParents@austin.utexas.edu
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