UT-Arlington CAP program goes awry

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Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff
  • Despite issues earlier in the summer because of an unprecedented number of applicants, UT-Arlington extended its deadline to accept students who had been informed their offer of admission given earlier in the year had been withdrawn.
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  • The offer withdrawal followed a sudden influx of applicants to UT-Arlington (UTA), as part of the UT System’s Coordinated Admissions Program (CAP) — which redistributes the large number of applicants who wish to attend UT-Austin to other UT schools for their freshman year. All UT campuses with the exception of UT-Dallas participate in the program.
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  • Typically, UTA accepts between 200 and 250 CAP students, but this year more than 600 applied because of increased interest.
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  • There were 247 graduating seniors whose offers were rescinded because they had failed to pay the $60 application fee by the May 6 deadline, and were informed on May 11 they would not be attending UTA in the fall.
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  • Kristin Sullivan, associate vice president for communications at UT-Arlington, said they have never been forced to turn students away before and quickly took steps to rectify the problem.
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  • “Because UTA did not communicate with the affected students and UT-Austin clearly and in a timely manner, UTA extended the CAP admission period for previously accepted students through June 17,” Sullivan said.
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  • The initial acceptance was on a first come, first serve basis with limited spots in the program. However, no such limitations were ever announced. Once concerns were raised, UTA took measures to ensure all qualified students who expressed intention to attend UTA under CAP have the opportunity to enroll, resulting in more CAP admissions than ever before.
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  • As of mid-day June 24th more than 400 students have been admitted to UTA for the fall 2016 semester under the Coordinated Admissions Program.
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  • UT-Austin senior Shaunze Faisal transferred to Austin after finishing her freshman year in Arlington. Having been part of the CAP program, Faisal said she was not surprised they had this issue.
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  • Despite Faisal’s overall satisfaction with UTA, she said the CAP program could be greatly improved.
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  • “It was very difficult,” Faisal said. “The advisors were terrible, and the program was mismanaged. A lot of people ended up having to retake classes.”
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  • University spokesperson Gary Susswein said the University, which handles online enrollment for all UT schools, first learned of the issue on May 11, when students began to call in asking why they had received letters turning them away from the school they assumed they would be attending in the fall.
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  • “There was a lot of confusion from students who thought they had been admitted,” Susswein said.
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  • Susswein said steps are already being taken in response to this incident and he is confident the situation will be improved for future students.
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  • “I fully expect communication will be improved in the future,” Susswein said. “We want to make sure that everyone has access to the most relevant information.The decision of where you will go to college is a very important one. We will continue working with other schools to further improve the process for the future."