Andrea Velgis, The Paisano
The Coordinated Admissions Program (CAP) allows students who were not immediately admitted into UT Austin to complete their freshman year at another UT school, then transfer to the flagship Austin campus their second year.
CAP students must meet a minimum 3.2 GPA while taking 30 credit hours in order to transfer. Participating schools include UT El Paso, UT Arlington, UT Permian Basin and UTSA.
Students who meet these requirements are offered automatic admission into UT’s College of Liberal Arts.
Those who wish to major in anything outside of liberal arts must apply as an external transfer into that college, such as the Cockrell School of Engineering or McCombs School of Business.
According to UTSA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. John Frederick, students who begin at UTSA and then leave without graduating lower the university’s four year graduation rate of 11 percent because CAP students count as “starting at UTSA” but do not count as “graduating from UTSA,” they affect the institution’s graduation rates negatively.
“It is worth noting that CAP students do not count as a positive factor in graduation rates for UT Austin since they did not start at UT Austin. And CAP students who decide to stay at UTSA and graduate within six years from UTSA do count positively for us,” stated Frederick. UT Austin’s four year graduation rate is currently 52 percent. Because graduation rates are one of the factors considered among Tier One institutions, UTSA’s journey to Tier One status has been affected by students who just pass through the university with no intention of graduating from there.
In an attempt to decrease participation in the program, UTSA has implemented a limit to the number of potential CAP students. During the fall 2015 admission period, the limit was met within the first two hours that the program was open for applications.
According to the provost, roughly 30 percent of CAP students opt to remain at UTSA rather than transfer to UT Austin, “but some may have subsequently transferred or dropped out.” Currently, there are 499 freshmen CAP students at UTSA.
While the program is detrimental to both campus’ graduation rates, it benefits CAP students like Kristen Wight, who see the program as an opportunity “to make it to their ideal college.”
“It truly proves that higher education is the top priority for students and college admissions counselors at UT Austin,” Wight added. CAP helps students transfer to UT Austin after one year since the acceptance rate, currently at 40.2 percent, at UT lowers every year. UTSA has an acceptance rate of 60 percent.
Despite the buzz surrounding the fate of the program, CAP Coordinator Mike Washington stated, “The CAP Program is reviewed annually and is currently in the middle of that review process.”
Washington reiterated that no definitive decision regarding the program has been made.
However, according to Frederick, “UTSA would like to phase out the program after one more year of
He stated, “By fall of 2017, we would like for all of our incoming first-year students to be “native Roadrunners.”