Enhanced admission standards lead to UTSA's most highly qualified students

UTSA Main Campus

UTSA Main Campus
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

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(Oct. 30, 2013) -- Enhanced admission standards have led to the most academically qualified and diverse freshman student population in the history of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), according to 20-day statistics recorded by the UTSA Office of Institutional Research.

This fall, UTSA welcomed 3,692 new students. Approximately 68 percent of UTSA's incoming freshman graduated in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class. Additionally, 89 percent of freshmen ranked in the top half of their high school graduating class.

Diversity at UTSA also has been on a steady rise over the last several years. This fall, nearly half of UTSA's freshman class is Hispanic. The majority of these new Hispanic students graduated in the top quartile of their high school class.

UTSA receives approximately 15,000 completed fall semester applications each year. Approximately 60 percent of those applicants were accepted for admission this fall. Ten years ago, UTSA accepted an estimated 95 percent of all applicants.

Under UTSA's new admissions standards, guaranteed admission is now awarded only to students who ranked in the top quartile of their high school class. The required SAT scores for guaranteed admission have increased from 960 to 1,100 for students ranked in the second quartile of their high school class. Required ACT scores have increased from 20 to 24 for those in the second quartile of their high school class.

In 2011, UTSA set out to strategically improve its four-year graduation rates, as outlined in its Graduation Rate Improvement Plan (GRIP). The plan includes strategies targeting student preparedness for college, UTSA's curriculum structure and delivery, advising and support, and enrollment policies and incentives. Its goal is to encourage student success while minimizing barriers to graduation.

"UTSA has designed a variety of programs to help students prepare to succeed in college," said Jude Valdez, UTSA vice president for community services. "Even before they're admitted, our outreach programs give students the chance to strengthen their academic skills and explore a college education. Ultimately, our goal is to help students be successful when they face the rigors of the college classroom."

UTSA freshman Sarah Santos, a psychology major, was accepted to UTSA this fall. As valedictorian of San Antonio's John Marshall High School, Santos had her pick of admission to schools across the nation. She chose to attend UTSA because of the opportunities it offered her.

"UTSA's commitment to excellence not only gives me access to a top-quality education right here in San Antonio, but I'm surrounded by some of the best and brightest freshman from around the state," she said.

For more information, visit the UTSA Admissions website.

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About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 29,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service.

The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property -- for Texas, the nation and the world.