The University Leadership Network (ULN) is a nationally recognized incentive-based scholarship program. ULN’s mission is to encourage and support students to graduate in four years and become leaders through professional and experiential learning opportunities that advance their education, communities, and lives.
Participation in ULN spans a student’s four years at UT. The financial support and comprehensive four-year plan allow students to streamline their educational experience, helping them to minimize student loan debt and graduate career-ready and poised to become leaders in their community.
ULN students receive a scholarship of up to $20,000 (up to $5,000 per year over your four years at UT) based on participation in the program’s four-year plan. In partnership with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid, ULN awards scholarship funds to students at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.
ULN scholarship eligibility is based on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The ULN scholarship is in addition to any other grants or scholarships a student might receive, so a student’s ULN scholarship amount might be adjusted if their total financial aid exceeds the university’s cost of attendance. In keeping with ULN’s goal of minimizing student loan debt, if a student obtains additional resources and the ULN award impacts the amount of financial aid for which they are eligible, student loans are reduced first.
ULN’s four-year plan guides students’ journey both inside and outside the classroom. Throughout their four years at UT, ULN students must complete 30 credit hours per year (including transfer hours) and maintain a 2.0 to 4.0 cumulative GPA.
ELEVATE (Empowering Leaders with Exemplary Values, Attitudes and Transformative Education) is an opportunity for ULN students to develop their personal definition of leadership and to increase awareness of leadership opportunities in ULN and across campus. This new leadership initiative aims to encourage and support leaders through opportunities that advance their education, communities and lives.
Each cohort of ULN students has a dedicated ULN Coordinator, who works with students from orientation all the way through graduation to provide support and ensure each student actively participates in ULN programming to maintain their scholarship. ULN Coordinators are available to meet individually with students to advise on course planning and registration, financial aid questions, experiential learning opportunities, and more.
Additionally, all ULN students also belong to one of the academic learning communities listed below. ULN works directly with the academic learning communities to ensure students receive robust support and programming to help them develop academically and professionally.
- Equal Opportunity in Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
- Foundation Scholars, College of Liberal Arts
- McCombs Success Scholars, McCombs School of Business
- Moody College Success Scholars, Moody College of Communication
- Ramshorn Scholars, Cockrell School of Engineering
- Texas Education Scholars, College of Education
- Texas Interdisciplinary Program (TIP), College of Natural Sciences
- Women in Engineering Program, Cockrell School of Engineering
Experiential Learning and Career Readiness
Developing marketable skills through experiential learning is a key element of the ULN program. Experiential learning happens both in and out of the classroom and helps students develop transferable skills and learn how to navigate a professional work environment. Examples of experiential learning opportunities include conducting undergraduate research and participating in an on- or off-campus internship. These opportunities will help students be career ready, with three years of robust experiences at the time of graduation.
To maintain their scholarship, ULN students are required to complete 10 hours of experiential learning per week during the fall and spring semesters of their second, third, and fourth years in the program. Employers who host ULN interns are ULN Partners, and ULN’s dedicated Experiential Learning Team works directly with ULN Partners to create meaningful experiential learning opportunities on campus, in Austin, throughout Texas, and around the world.
ULN was founded in 2013 and celebrated its first graduating class in 2017. It was predicted that only 33% of ULN’s Class of 2017 would graduate in four years, but more than half of ULN students who started the program in 2013 graduated within four years. ULN’s four-year graduation rate has increased every year since, proving that combining significant financial support with consistent leadership training is making a difference in ULN students’ lives.