Working Toward Success
In 2011, the university started an ambitious campaign focused on helping students succeed and graduate in 4 years. A group of faculty, staff and students was tasked with developing and recommending strategies to increase the university's four-year graduation rate from 51 percent to 70 percent by 2017. The task force offered more than 60 specific recommendations in a comprehensive report (PDF) that was delivered in February 2012. Student Success Initiatives was created to develop the programs to improve the educational experience for students and achieve those university goals.
With more than 47,000 applicants to UT Austin last year, it is critical we make data-informed decisions to ensure the enrollment of a high-quality class that has the resolve to graduate in four years. To do so, we use more than a decade worth of comprehensive student data to help guide our enrollment efforts.
Predictive modeling helps us identify students who may be underprepared for college before they set foot on campus. This allows us to connect students with the tools and resources they need to be successful and graduate on time.
Approximately 2,000 freshmen, identified through our predictive analytics, are assigned to success programs every year. They benefit from best practices including peer mentoring, academic support and collaborative learning. Success programs include:
- Discovery Scholars - School of Undergraduate Studies
- Foundation Scholars - College of Liberal Arts
- Gateway Scholars - supports other schools and colleges
- McCombs Success Scholars - McCombs School of Business
- Ramshorn Scholars - Cockrell School of Engineering
- Texas Interdisciplinary Program (TIP) - College of Natural Sciences
Additionally, every incoming student is required to be part of a 360 Connection - a group of approximately 20 first-year students that meet weekly to discuss their college experiences.
Investing in Students
Ensuring students have access to opportunity is imperative to student success in four years. That's why we've allocated resources to invest in our students by enhancing our scholarships to reward students for academic excellence and achievement.
University Leadership Network (ULN)
Each year, this nationally recognized incentive scholarship program selects 500 freshmen with demonstrated financial need who may be unprepared for the rigors of UT. ULN students receive a $20,000 incentive scholarship ($5,000/year) based on participation in the program's comprehensive four-year components.
Presidential Scholars - Individual Opportunity Scholarship
Incoming freshmen with excellent academic credentials and high financial need are selected for our most prestigious Presidential Scholars program. These Scholars receive $5,000 scholarships per year during their four years on campus. In addition, a $1,500 Individual Opportunity Scholarship is available for these students to provide them with an experiential learning opportunity, including study abroad, internships and research projects.