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Supporting veterans: UT Austin plans to modify admissions for former service members

AUSTIN – The University of Texas System is proud to support veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and UT institutions provide a variety of unique services and resources to both veterans and active duty military members.

The most recent example is a change in admissions requirements for veterans at The University of Texas at Austin. At the request of UT System Regent Alex Cranberg, UT Austin leaders reviewed the admissions process for veterans and modified requirements to extend certain entitlements and give heightened recognition of veteran status in the holistic review process.

“These are people who have given of themselves to protect and defend all of us,” Cranberg said. “Veterans add a rich perspective to our student body and we want to ensure there are no unnecessary barriers keeping them from being part of the UT family.”

The revisions made by UT Austin include extending automatic admission to include time served in the military. Texas’ automatic admission law requires UT Austin to automatically admit the top-ranked high school seniors (currently the top 7 percent) into its freshman class. Automatic admission eligibility, which is normally extended for two years beyond high school graduation, will now be extended for military and veteran applicants to include time served in the military. So a student who qualifies for automatic admission but decides to serve a four-year tour in the armed forces can still take advantage of automatic admission upon leaving the military. The extension will be available both to freshman and transfer applicants.

The revisions will go into effect starting with the 2016 summer/fall application cycle. Applications open for that cycle on Aug. 1, 2015.

“We applaud Regent Cranberg for pursuing this change that will no doubt benefit the many students who chose to serve their country first before pursuing their higher education,” said Tony Cucolo, UT System’s newly appointed associate vice chancellor for leadership and veterans’ affairs and recently retired U.S. Army major general. “We enthusiastically welcome students who are veterans – they strengthen any student body with their unique life experiences, perspective and maturity. Removing any unnecessary obstacles standing between them and their educational goals is a win for us all.”

Roughly 8,500 veterans, active duty service members, spouses and dependents are served by UT institutions. Because student veterans can face added challenges transitioning to college, all UT institutions provide a range of support geared specifically to them, including advising, tutoring, mentoring, priority registration for classes, counseling and mental health services, job placement services and student organization.

All UT academic institutions have staff trained specifically to work with military students.

Several campuses have dedicated on-campus student veteran centers that serve as a central place to access services and resources as well as a physical location where veterans and their families can gather for social events and outreach programs.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and an enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $15.6 billion (FY 2015) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.