x
Breaking News
More () »

Austin's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Austin, Texas | KVUE.com

Texas universities answer questions about college admissions changes due to COVID-19

KVUE checked in with a few Texas universities about college admission changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

AUSTIN, Texas — It's already stressful applying to college, but now high school students have to adjust to changes because of coronavirus. Here are a couple things you need to know about college applications from a few Texas universities. 

University of Texas

Q: What do students need to know about the UT college application process amid the coronavirus pandemic?

A: "The Office of Admissions will recognize the academic work of high school students, whether it is assessed with a letter grade or a pass/fail. Students will not be penalized for the transition many high schools have made in how they assign grades.

Our focus remains on supporting students as they make their transition to college. It is difficult to predict the course of the impact of COVID-19 on higher education institutions and their application processes. We continue to actively seek guidance from public health experts and others throughout our decision-making process to ensure that health, safety and well-being are paramount. While we can expect the mechanics of applying to remain the same, access to those individuals that can assist with applying or provide information will, at least for the meantime, have to occur virtually.

Students should continue to follow through with all the necessary application steps to apply for admission, and they should and reach out to the Office of Admissions if they experience any roadblocks to applying. We are providing students with robust opportunities for live interactions with our UT admissions counselors, financial aid counselors, faculty members, campus representatives and current students."

Q: Will UT still require standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) for applicants for fall 2021?

A: "All admission requirements components remain the same. We are reviewing the expected availability of SAT and ACT testing options over the next several months. Should we determine that there is a change in test requirements, we will communicate those changes to schools and students prior to the fall 2021 admission application open date of Aug. 1, 2020."

RELATED:

Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Travis County now reporting 977 cases, 17 deaths

Group of Austin spring breakers tests positive for coronavirus after trip to Mexico

Commissioners tell VP Mike Pence no football before campuses open

Q: Does UT have virtual tours for incoming graduates?

A: "Yes, we have transitioned all campus tour and group visits to virtual information sessions and we will continue further customize these options in the future. While we cannot replicate an actual physical visit to campus, we are leveraging technology to provide students with virtual campus visit experiences. We are also working with our colleges and schools to create virtual sessions tailored by areas of study so that students can learn more about their specific interests. Currently, virtual information sessions are offered daily from Monday through Saturday for both admitted and prospective students. Each session is presented live, allowing our admissions counselors to answer most pressing questions in real time. More information at admissions.utexas.edu/visit."

Q: Does UT have any plans to delay fall semester 2020?

A: "At this time, there are no plans to delay the fall semester. With the guidance from public health experts and others, we are continuing to monitor the spread of COVID and its impact on society."

RELATED: Sam Ehlinger raises more than $100,000 for COVID-19 relief fund

Q: If the top 10% of high school graduates get automatic acceptance into state universities, how are those universities going to manage that with the new pass/fail system?

A: "For UT Austin, automatic admission eligibility is determined by graduation in the top 6% from a Texas high school. This explicit rank is calculated and provided by the high schools, and we will continue to rely on that rank to calculate eligibility."

Texas A&M University

Q: What do students need to know about the TAMU college application process amid the coronavirus pandemic?

A: "At this point, our application process remains largely unchanged. We are still adapting as new information becomes available and will always post any changes to our website at http://admissions.tamu.edu and we will, of course, communicate those changes to prospective students directly as well."

Q: How will university admissions consider high school students whose schools have gone to pass/fail grading?

A: "For students who are already admitted they won’t be affected at all. We will honor their admission as long as they proceed to graduation. We are actively putting a plan together to be sure that students who apply in the future are extended the same understanding. We’ll institute processes to ensure they are evaluated fairly as this shift was beyond their control."

Q: Will TAMU still require standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) for applicants for fall 2021?

A: "At this point we will still require the SAT or ACT for fall 2021."

Q: Does TAMU have virtual tours for incoming graduates?

A: "We do. You can find a list of all of our virtual options at http://admissions.tamu.edu/resources"

Q: Does TAMU have any plans to delay fall semester 2020?

A: "We do not."

Q: If the top 10% of high school graduates get automatic acceptance into state universities, how are those universities going to manage that with the new pass/fail system?

A: "High schools report their top 10% students on transcripts. We will still identify and admit those students based on those transcripts.

For both the SAT/ACT question and the delay to fall, we will of course continue to monitor the situation."

RELATED:

Turning kitchen into classroom: How to juggle working from home and homeschooling

Medical expert answers questions regarding coronavirus

Texas State University

Q: What do students need to know about the TXST college application process amid the coronavirus pandemic?

A: "We are being as understanding as we possibly can. Texas State has extended the admissions deadline to Aug. 1; moved new student orientation to an online version; reduced the cost of orientation; moved all orientation costs to the student bill [with] no upfront costs; extended the date to accept aid to June 1; offering assured freshman scholarships through August; accepting all high school academic credentials by email. More information is available on Undergraduate Admissions COVID-19 FAQ: https://www.admissions.txstate.edu/contact/faq.html"

Q: Will TXST still require standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) for applicants for fall 2021?

A: "Applicants who are affected by recent cancellations of the SAT and/or ACT, but who have completed all other application requirements, will be given special consideration for admission through a holistic review."

Q: Does TXST have virtual tours for incoming graduates?

A: "Yes, interested students may explore our Online Campus Tour. An online version of Bobcat Day is coming soon. Our next on-campus Bobcat Days will be on the San Marcos campus October 2020, November 2020, February 2021 and April 2021. Additional online visit options are coming soon."

Q: Does TXST have any plans to delay fall semester 2020?

A: "At this time, Texas State anticipates no delay to fall semester 2020."

Q: If the top 10% of high school graduates get automatic acceptance into state universities, how are those universities going to manage that with the new pass/fail system?

A: "Texas State has a holistic review process that can take this information into consideration."

University of Houston

Q: What do students need to know about the UH college application process amid the coronavirus pandemic?

 A: "Students can still apply to the University of Houston. College is still important and UH is providing several resources and accommodations to support students during this unprecedented time. We are still accepting admission applications through June 1. We’ve extended the deadline until July 17 to submit important admission documents. Also, we’re providing an admissions application fee waiver for students facing financial hardship."

Q: How will university admissions consider high school students whose schools have gone to pass/fail grading?

A: "Pass/fail grading will not be a barrier to students pursuing their education at the University of Houston. For high school students, we will continue to utilize available academic information to assess the college readiness of applicants. We’ll continue to use ACT and SAT scores for applicants who were able to complete the test. We’ll continue to use class rank for schools who rank. Also, we’ll continue to assess students’ grade point average prior to the pandemic. Moreover, our individual review process, for applicants who may fall short of assured admission requirements, will have an opportunity to provide letters of support and resume to support their academic profile."

Q: Will UH still require standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) for applicants for Fall 2021?

A: "Yes – We intend to continue using ACT and SAT scores as part of our assured admission requirements. We believe standardized test scores are valuable, among many other factors, in learning about a student’s preparedness for college at UH. We will continue to emphasize the importance of other factors such as grades, recommendations from teachers and counselors, and the rigor of high school coursework."

Q: Does UH have virtual tours for incoming graduates?

A: "Yes. We encourage incoming students, or anyone that is interested, to enjoy our virtual tours of campus life and our academic colleges. Whether you're interested in campus life or a specific academic college, our virtual visits will give visitors an in-depth look at what it's like to be a UH student."

Q: Does UH have any plans to delay fall semester 2020?

A: "No."

Q: If the top 10% of high school graduates get automatic acceptance into state universities, how are those universities going to manage that with the new pass/fail system?

A: "There should be minimal impact to the university’s ability to exercise the top 10% policy. To clarify – the top 10% of students within each Texas high school receives automatic admission. Current seniors have a high school GPA and class rank (for schools who rank) through the seventh semester of high school. Therefore, high schools can still report their top 10% despite issuing a semester of pass/fail grades."

Q: Does UH have any plans to ramp up online classes this fall? And if UH is doing that, is there a possibility of keeping buildings and stadiums closed?

A: "In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, spring and summer 2020 courses will be offered remotely (online or alternative format). Any decisions regarding classes and campus operations beyond that would be premature at this point. The university will continue to closely monitor the pandemic and are working with local, state and national authorities on a daily basis."

RELATED:

You could get a $2,000 per month stimulus check under proposed bill

Tom Herman details his dream of an expanded College Football Playoff