Prospective student Jane Palacios toured campus yesterday and paid special attention to the quality of the city buses.
Palacios said the public transit system is a deciding factor in her choice for college, because she would come to Austin with her older sister who is blind.
“My sister can’t drive, so if [buses are] available and she can get around without me, I would feel okay going here,” Palacios said.
Palacios was one of about 500 students who came to campus for Texas Preview, an event taking place several times throughout the semester where prospective students learn about the admissions process and life at the University.
The event began with a panel of three current students who shared their experiences at the University. Attendees then had the freedom to create their own schedule for the rest of the day, choosing from presentations on the University’s colleges, financial aid and on-campus housing.
Admissions counselor DJ Roberts said the event’s purpose is to inform student decisions to apply to and attend the University.
“Texas Preview is just that: It’s a preview of what it’s like to be a student at the University of Texas,” Roberts said. “Our goal is always to bring the best students to UT and make sure the best students feel welcome here. We do this to welcome as many students as possible and make sure that our student population consists of a lot of excited Longhorns.”
Palacios, a senior in high school wanting to pursue neuroscience, said she is just outside of the top 7 percent of her graduating class and is anxious to hear back from the school. Texas Preview was her first time visiting campus.
Many students at the event traveled from outside Texas to learn more about the University. Zavar Abidi, a student from Saudi Arabia who currently attends boarding school in Massachusetts, said he decided to apply to the University because of the quality of the engineering program and city of Austin.
High school junior Faith Flume said she decided to check out the University before applying to find out if it would be a good fit for her.
“My whole family went to school here,” Flume said. “I want to see if it’s everything I’ve dreamed it would be.”
Last fall, the University received about 44,000 applications and accepted 45 percent of in-state applicants and 29 percent of out-of-state applicants. Applications are due Dec.1, and all decisions will be released by March 1.