Center opens in El Paso to encourage admissions

Andrew Messamore

President William Powers Jr., director of admissions Kedra Ishop and other members of the Office of Admissions will be traveling to El Paso today to celebrate the grand opening of the El Paso Admissions Center.

Like other UT admissions offices across the state, the El Paso office will serve as a place for students to learn about the University of Texas application process, including housing and scholarship opportunities. The office will work to expedite the process of finding prospective students interested in attending UT, said Augustine Garza, deputy director of the Office of Admissions.

“Our goal is to inform students about UT and encourage them to consider the University. We want to get the message out,” said Garza. “When we are talking to audiences, we have kids who have never heard of our system, and all of a sudden, they get interested and they become prospects.”

Beginning with the Houston branch that opened in 1995, these admissions offices have been built with the intention of representing all areas of Texas. An admissions office in Laredo is currently being planned, although it is expected to be the last one built, said Garza.

The El Paso center, which has now been open for three weeks, has a three-member full-time staff that lives and works in El Paso, said Michael Talamantes, director of the El Paso Admissions Center.

The El Paso Admissions Center is a physical testament to the University of Texas at Austin’s commitment to provide outreach to all prospective students across Texas,” said Talamantes. “We will visit the greater El Paso area high schools and participate in college fairs and other school [and] community events to inform students about opportunities available at the University.”

The opening of an admissions office in El Paso was “very exciting,” said theatre and dance sophomore Cynthia Jimenez, a native of El Paso.

“I think it’s very awesome because a lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to apply to get into UT because people in El Paso don’t know what resources are out there for them. Hopefully, it’ll bring more people out from El Paso, especially in the Hispanic community.”

The center will not, however, be a workshop where students will learn testing strategy or how to get in to UT. The center would still prove very useful for information, said computer sciences senior Stephen Moore.

“I applied online, and that was it,” said Moore. “The center could be extremely useful to find out what you needed to know — for a single person. When I applied, I knew almost nothing about UT.”