Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.54
Liaison Jim Walker
Submission Date March 2, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Texas at Austin
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Suchitra Gururaj
Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement and Economic Development
Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
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Percentage of need met, on average, for students who were awarded any need-based aid :
69.90

Percentage of students graduating without student loan debt:
60

Percentage of entering students that are low-income:
26.80

Graduation/success rate for low-income students:
76

A brief description of notable policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

In addition to traditional financial aid options, UT Austin is committed to making higher education accessible and affordable for students from low- and middle-income families. The Texas Advance Commitment expands in 2020 to ensure that incoming freshmen and now transfer students with family adjusted gross incomes of up to $125,000 (previously $100,000) and who have financial need will receive guaranteed need-based aid.

In 2020, UT Austin will open the Texas One Stop to centralize, both physically and digitally, services for Financial Aid, Registrar, and Student Accounts Receivable. Texas One Stop will make UT Austin more easily accessible to all students, and particularly to those relying on finanical aid to support their studies.

With funding support from the University Innovation Alliance and the UT Co-Op, UT Austin began offering completion scholarships in 2018. These are tyipcally small amounts of funding, averaging around $1000, to support students' needs that could otherwise result in leaving UT Austin without completing a degree. Typically, these funds may support tuition costs of a summer course to get or stay on track for four-year graduation.

UT Austin is addressing food insecurity through the new UT Outpost food pantry and through a new study examining the impact of providing meal plans to students with high financial need.

For students from selected low-income high schools across Texas, UT Austin has collaborated with college access platform RaiseMe to award students for studying, volunteering, and getting involved in their community. Students can earn "micro-scholarships" during their years in high school to begin preparing for their undergraduate experience at UT Austin.

UT Outreach targets and serves underrepresented students by providing college readiness enrichment activities designed to assist them in graduating from high school and matriculating to institutions of higher education, including The University of Texas at Austin. Five UT Outreach Centers located in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and South Texas work with low-income and first-generation students in targeted low-income, underserved high schools. The Outreach Centers have vigorous programs that includes tutoring, study skills workshops, workshops to prepare for the SAT and ACT exams, assistance with college applications, and special programming for parents and guardians to educate them with regard to student needs to be college eligible.

http://diversity.utexas.edu/schoolpartnerships/ut-outreach/

Similarly, the Advise Texas program is in 15 different low-income high schools around the state. Recent UT Austin graduates serve as college advisers at the schools, supporting students as they navigate the complex processes of college admissions, matriculation and securing financial aid. The advisers serve all students in a school and focus on helping students find the best college setting to suit their needs. Advisers help students weigh factors such as institutional characteristics, academic requirements, costs, financial aid and possible careers within a chosen field of study. Advisers encourage students to apply to three or more institutions so that they will have many options to choose from.

http://diversity.utexas.edu/schoolpartnerships/advise-tx/

UT partners with hundreds of non-profit and education organizations to offer programming for low income, first generation, and underrepresented students in the central Texas area and across the state. The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement alone collaborates with 300 community organizations to cultivate mutually beneficial community-university partnerships that further the mission of UT to serve Texas and beyond, with an emphasis on historically and currently underserved communities. Some of those organizations include the National Hispanic Institute, 100 Black Men Inc., Con Mi MADRE (Mothers and Daughters Raising Expectations), My Brother’s Keeper, The Thinkery, Google Community Leaders Program, and many others.


A brief description of notable policies or programs to support non-traditional students:

UTransition is a program within the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement’s Longhorn Center for Academic Excellence (LCAE). It is geared for students who transfer from community colleges or other four-year institutions to the University of Texas at Austin. The program provides academic support as well as social activities, peer mentoring and advising from the LCAE staff.

http://diversity.utexas.edu/academiccenter/utransition/

The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement also houses the Multicultural Engagement Center, the Gender and Sexuality Center and Services for Students with Disabilities which provide support (academic and social) for students of color, LGBTQ students and women, and students with disabilities. The GSC also has occasional special programs for students who are parents.

Links to these programs:
http://ddce.utexas.edu/multiculturalengagement
http://ddce.utexas.edu/genderandsexuality
http://ddce.utexas.edu/disability

There is also a Veterans Service Center on campus which provides a one-stop shop for veterans with regard to academic, social and health care services.
http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/veterans

The Office of Institutional Equity offers an Inclusive Classroom Leadership series of training to help teaching assistants and faculty members understand students from diverse backgrounds and better serve those students in the classroom.

http://equity.utexas.edu/education/inclusive-classrooms/


Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s accessibility and affordability initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.