Total transfers via CAP stay low

Alexa Ura

Enrollment figures for the UT Coordinated Admission Program show that despite reaching the highest rate of students accepted this year, less than half of the students who participate in the program actually transfer to UT-Austin.

CAP allows students who were not accepted into UT-Austin to transfer to the University after completing prerequisites at another UT System school. CAP students can transfer to UT-Austin after their first year if they achieve at least a 3.2 GPA and earn 30 hours of transferable coursework. From data obtained through the Texas Public Information Act, The Daily Texan found that the University offered 9,287 students CAP enrollment, but only 1,721 accepted enrollment into the program in 2011. Of those students, only 683 out of 739 eligible students, or 40 percent of the total 1,721, actually transferred to UT-Austin in 2012.

This is a 4 percent increase from last year, making it the CAP class with the highest transfer rate since the program began in 2001.  

David Laude, senior vice provost for enrollment and graduation management, said UT-Austin’s Office of Admissions communicates with CAP students in the fall and spring semesters of their first year to assist them with the transfer process.

“It isn’t really UT’s responsibility to make sure students transfer,” he said. “This is a choice students make for themselves, and it is often the case that a year away from home at college provides a lot of opportunity for a student to change his or her mind.”

The percentage of students who qualify to transfer has increased since 2008, but the percentage of eligible students actually transferring to UT-Austin has decreased by 3 percent since 2009. The transfer rate is also down 7 percent from the program’s first year in 2001, when 99 percent of eligible students enrolled at UT-Austin through CAP.

UT-Austin has offered CAP positions to more freshman applicants since 2001, but fewer students have accepted contracts to enroll at system universities every year since then.

Still, the number of students accepting CAP contracts increased from last year, reaching 1,881 despite UT-Dallas’ decision to cease participation in the program.

Historically, UT-San Antonio has received and transferred more CAP students to UT than any other system school, admitting between 59 and 74 percent of each total CAP class, which is made up of all of the students who enroll in the UT System’s CAP program. It was the largest university in the system in terms of total CAP student enrollment before UT-Arlington surpassed it in 2010.

Despite its high enrollment of CAP students, UT-Arlington spokesperson Kristin Sullivan said the program isn’t a priority for the campus.

“In the scheme of things, our CAP students make up a small percentage of the student body when compared to our overall enrollment,” she said. “It’s clear to us that more students view this institution as a destination and are coming to finish their degree here.”

UT-Permian Basin, the system’s smallest institution in terms of student enrollment, has historically received the least amount of CAP students on its campus. It received 34 CAP students this year — its second largest class since the program began.

Permian Basin admissions director Scott Smiley said CAP students are treated as part of the regular student body during their first year with expectations that students will eventually decide to finish their undergraduate coursework at UT-Permian Basin.

“It’s an approach that benefits students, because it makes them feel welcomed,” he said. “This is not an ideology used by other schools who might view them as UT-Austin students.”

Michael Washington, UT-Austin associate admissions director, said the University prefers for students to make their own choices about transferring to UT-Austin after their first year at a UT System school despite declining enrollment numbers.

“The future of the program depends on institutional policies from the other university,” he said. “It could be fairly secured one year or discontinued the next, but nothing is certain.”

CAP is assessed on a yearly basis based on effectiveness, how many students it produces and how it fits into the University’s enrollment goals.


CAP Progress Report

Printed on Monday, October 8, 2012 as: Student transfers through CAP stay low