The University’s automatic admission threshold will remain at 6 percent for the 2020-2021 application cycle, according to a Twitter announcement last week.
Exercise science freshman Sanja Stojcic was automatically admitted when she applied to UT in 2017. Stojcic, who applied when the threshold was still 7 percent, said she recalls her high school friends who did not qualify for automatic admission were more stressed about the application process than she was. “Being auto admit was definitely a relief especially because I knew I was going to get into UT,” Stojcic said. “The auto admit percentage is small. It’s tiny. Because it’s so small, other people had to worry about it more than I did.”
The automatic admission policy carries a stigma with it that causes some prospective students to have low confidence about their applications, Stojcic said.
“(There is) that stigma around it,” Stojcic said. “And knowing that you’re not within that (top) percent, it is a lot more stressful. It does cause students to be more like, ‘Yeah, we’ll see what happens. Like, I’m not expecting to get in.’”
The University follows Senate Bill 175, which requires 75 percent of the University’s in-state admits be automatic acceptances, according to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost website.
Miguel Wasielewski, executive director of admissions, said the annual decision on whether to revise the auto-admit threshold is based on application data.
“The University of Texas at Austin annually assesses historical application and enrollment rates to determine the automatic admit percentage that will result in 75 percent of the University’s Texas resident population being automatically admitted,” Wasielewski said in an email.
Wasielewski said the University is expecting a similar number of Texas resident applications. Last year, a total of 51,033 freshman applied, according to the Texas Admissions website.
“The University is anticipating a similar number of Texas resident freshmen admission applications, and this contributed to our decision to maintain the same automatic admission criteria,” Wasielewski said.
Sydney Simmons, a former Texas resident, applied to UT even though she knew she was not going to be in the automatic admission threshold.
“I was in the top 11 percent,” said Simmons, now a biomedical engineering freshman at Northwestern University. “I know it’s a really tough school, but I thought maybe I would get into the University and not my major. But then I just didn’t get in at all.”
Simmons said if she had gotten into UT, she would have come to the University.
“I looked at the schools that I got into, and I just picked the highest one on US News ranking,” Simmons said. “If I got into UT, I probably would have come there.”
Stojcic said sometimes the automatic admission causes more anxiety for students who do not qualify for it.
“I do believe (there are) people who, I think, deserve to be here and work just as hard as people that did have that title of valedictorian, or did have that percentage,” Stojcic said. “I do believe that they deserve to be here just as much as I do.”