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5 College FAQs for UST Parents

Every year, we are excited to see the new students arrive on campus! We know UST is a great choice for them, but we also know it’s important for the families to make that decision together. As a staff person, it’s exciting to welcome new students to UST because I know they will be well prepared for whatever career they choose to pursue, as well as leading a fulfilling life.

A University of St. Thomas – Houston student and her parents walk through the UST campus

For all of you who are trying to help your students decide which university is right for them, we put together five of the most frequently asked questions from parents. We see many of the students we work with during the admissions process on campus once the fall semester begins, and they are eager to tell us about their experiences.

  1. Academically, how does UST stack up?
    UST’s academic reputation is very strong. It has been ranked as a top-tier university since 1994 by U.S. News & World Report. Students have plenty of opportunities to do research in all areas of study. And virtually all classes are taught by professors, not teaching assistants. UST is also a Cardinal Newman Society Recommended College, rated a Best Regional College in the West by the Princeton Review and a Regional University Best Value according to U.S. News & World Report.
  2. Is private education at UST affordable?
    Finances are a concern for many families. But when they meet with an admissions counselor and go over the options we have for scholarships and financial aid, they start to see that UST is a definite real option. By early December, we are able to notify students and families of the amount of scholarships and financial aid they will receive. For many families, a UST education is as affordable as many public universities with what we believe to be a better learning experience.
  3. What do students enjoy the most during their first semester at UST?
    Many students tell us they know they made the right choice as soon as they get to campus for New Student Orientation. They always have fun those first few days and really bond as a group as they experience what it means to become a Celt. It is also common to share with us how quickly they feel like part of the UST family. When Admissions Counselors see them on campus, they introduce us to some of their new friends and tell us stories about their professors and other staff people they are meeting now that their college life is in full swing.
  4. Are many students nervous about going to college?
    Many of them are, but most are just excited. UST has a number of First Generation students, so this is a new experience for their entire family. They sometimes wonder how intense the academics will be. We have a lot of really good students here at UST who were conscientious about their grades throughout high school, and that carries over to college. Most of them become more confident as the semester progresses. Plus, all the great student-friendly resources we provide to help our students stay on track also help them grow in confidence. We want them to know that UST will help them succeed, especially our professors, who are known for working with students one-on-one when needed.
  5. Do many new students live on campus?
    Yes, about half of our freshmen students do choose to live on campus. These residents love it because it’s an even faster way to make friends with their peers. There are so many things to do on campus, and our location has parks, museums, restaurants, and shops close by, making campus an exciting place to live. Plus, our residence life team plans activities to help them laugh and relax after classes. Their parents say they appreciate knowing they do not have to worry about their student driving to and from school in traffic, and it comforts them to know their student is well taken care of at UST.

If you have questions about attending the University of St. Thomas, get in touch with our Admissions Counselors.

Want more info about studying at UST? Just fill out this form, and we’ll send you more info about our degrees and programs.

About the Author — Arthur Ortiz

Arthur Ortiz, Vice President of Enrollment Management, has worked in the University of St. Thomas Admissions Office since March of 1999. The Basilian Fathers, the founders of UST, ran the parish Ortiz grew up in, and they continue to be influential in his life. During his tenure at the University, Ortiz has overseen Catholic and home-schooled student recruitment. He enjoys keeping up with admissions trends in higher education and has presented on various topics at several state and national conferences. Arthur is a graduate of the University of Houston–Clear Lake.

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