Students share concerns about automatic admissions reduction

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Out-of-state and international students are already a small percentage of the UT student body, and that number won’t be increasing anytime soon.

The automatic admissions rate is being lowered from the top 7 percent of high school students to 6 percent for in-state applicants, but the University doesn’t anticipate opening any extra slots for applicants from outside Texas. Rachelle Hernandez, senior vice provost for Enrollment Management, said the main focus of the University is to serve Texas students and create strong leaders who will serve the state of Texas.

“We’re strongly committed to Texas,” Hernandez said. “We’re strongly committed to serving Texans, and so the change in the automatic acceptance won’t impact the number of Texans enrolling.”

According to UT’s website, a total of 51,331 students were enrolled in the University as of the fall of 2016. Out of those, 10.6 percent were from out of state, and 10.1 percent were international students.

With the University’s rising four-year graduation rate, Hernandez said more slots are opening for admission to the University, but those extra slots will be prioritized for in-state applicants.

“This past fall, just over 4,000 international students applied and just over 1,100 students who were not Texas students,” Hernandez said. “The enrolled percentage for this fall was close to 2 percent of the freshman class (for international students). For other students who were not Texas students, it was close to 8 percent.”  

The University is also committed to having a diverse campus with a dynamic educational experience, Hernandez said. However, out-of-state students like biology freshman Tia Giron hope they don’t get overlooked.

“I would hope the school does not prioritize only about 89 percent of its student body, and I think we have resources here to feel important and feel taken care of no matter what state or country each of us comes from,” Giron said.

Hernandez said with the change to 6 percent, it still puts the school on its trajectory to have the same number of incoming students, but they expect to enroll more students over time.

“We’ve actually made more space in the undergraduate student body and have been enrolling more students,” Hernandez said.

Although such a small percentage of students are from outside of the U.S., international student and economics freshman Nkosi Browne said he still thought the University would continue to have students from outside Texas.

“As one of the best universities in the world, they will always have an international presence,” Browne said.