UT Austin’s Valley Admissions Center Hosts Midnight Madness Event on Eve of Application Deadline

UT Austin’s Office of Admissions hosted a virtual Midnight Madness event late into the night, answering questions from nearly 200 high school seniors from the Rio Grande Valley who were finalizing their applications. The event, developed by UT’s Valley Admissions Center in Harlingen, TX, was held from 11:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on December 14 and 15, just ahead of the December 15 application deadline.

“From talking with so many students we know that many are up late working to complete all of the required documents by the deadline,” said David Garcia, director of the Valley Admissions Center. “We wanted to meet students where they are to meet their needs during this time. It was a great experience for our admissions staff, and we hope it cleared up any questions the students may have had in regards to applying to UT Austin.”

The program opened with ice-breaker activities, such as a UT trivia game followed by a scavenger hunt for common items such as high school t-shirts and favorite snacks. During the remainder of the program admissions counselors reviewed application basics, including an ApplyTexas overview, MyStatus overview, essays, resumes and financial aid. Throughout Midnight Madness, students were also able to ask admissions counselors questions in the chat feature.

This effort is just one example of the extensive, student-centered recruitment programming that the Office of Admissions has developed and implemented in recent years in collaboration with campus and alumni partners. The goal of this work is to send a very clear message to prospective high school students that not only is UT Austin is an option, but that the campus is committed to recruiting and enrolling students from across Texas.

“During the session we had a constant stream of questions in regards to the application and the deadline,” said Garcia. “Students were very responsive during the session and everyone enjoyed the event as it was engaging and informative. We just wanted to be sure that our students know we are here for them.”

The application deadline for fall 2021 freshman admission was extended to December 15 this year due to the many challenges families faced as a result of the pandemic. Because of the strong and positive response from students, the UT Austin admissions team plans to host additional Midnight Madness events throughout the next admissions cycle.