Improve transfer admissions

Ezra Gomez

Planning for school starts far before the first day of class, and for transfer students, school preparation starts months in advance. From perfecting their applications to working multiple jobs to cover student loans, many transfer students put in an incredible amount of time and work so they can attend classes at The University of Texas.

This intense process does not need to be further complicated by the UT Office of Admissions. A few transfer students have reported difficulties when dealing with Texas Admissions, especially when it comes to timely admission and consistent messages.

We know at least two different transfer students encountered problems with communication when they transferred to UT. We encourage the admissions office to do all it can to ensure these issues don't become widespread.

Gigs Hodges, a youth and community studies junior specializing in social studies through the Urban Teachers program, was perplexed throughout most of her experience transferring to UT, especially before she became an official student. She had called the admissions helpline numerous times, but it wasn’t until mid-June that she was finally informed she had been admitted to UT for the fall 2020 semester.

“I had already kind of thrown in the towel on thinking about going to UT,” Hodges said. “It was super inconvenient because I was already changing gears to move somewhere else. I didn't have a place to live at the time, I didn't have a job because everything was so up in the air and I kind of felt defeated because I hadn't heard anything back.”

Sustainability studies freshman Destiny Simpson shared a similar experience. However, she was a spring transfer who wasn’t officially admitted into the University until Jan. 26. 

“I'm at home so it's no problem at all, but looking at my housing application, I still have not received a housing contract even though originally I was going to be on campus this semester,” Simpson said.

Simpson and Hodges both said they felt led on by the admissions team in regards to how long it took the University to admit them.

Kathleen Harrison, communications manager for the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, said in an email that the reason UT is so late to admit transfer students is because the University must delay some of its decisions until the applicants who were in the process of completing their required 24 hours of transferable coursework at their current school submit their transcripts.

However, this does not explain why the admissions team, while polite over the phone, caused confusion while handling the requests from Simpson and Hodges.

“There is a chance I would not have been a late admit had they told me that the transcript I had sent them in the admissions process was the wrong one,” Simpson said. “I had to call them the day before it was due after emailing them five days before.”

Even though Hodges, Simpson and the transfer students who share this experience are more than grateful to be students at The University of Texas, they felt overwhelmed when dealing with the ins and outs of the transfer process. 

“They were friendly, but they weren't consistent in their information,” Hodges said. “Luckily, it all panned out, but it was just a very overwhelming experience, especially when you're trying to sell yourself.”

The UT Office of Admissions needs to be more consistent with not only promptly informing transfer students when they have been admitted but explaining how to apply in a timely and efficient manner.

Gomez is a journalism freshman from Lewisville, Texas.