Making UNT students' first and only choice

Dear UNT community,

One of my priorities as president is to ensure that UNT remains a university of opportunity even as we continue to grow in quality. College is a life-changing experience and a university education can make all the difference in one’s success, especially when that education culminates in a UNT degree. We want hardworking, talented students to attend UNT, and we want to be their first and only choice.

We’ve launched new initiatives to open up UNT to more college-bound students. We’ve created Eagle Advantage, a program that gives high school juniors in participating school districts who are in the Top 20 percent of their class guaranteed admission to UNT upon graduation. I’m proud to say that Arlington ISD is the first school district to partner with us on the initiative and we’ll soon welcome more students from that area. 

We’re also offering a new incentive to our Oklahoma neighbors. Starting this fall, Oklahoma residents pursuing a bachelor’s degree at UNT will no longer pay out-of-state tuition. UNT’s new Oklahoma Tuition Rate cuts that cost nearly in half.   

These initiatives build on the work we’ve done to ensure our students continue to get a high-quality, affordable education. Last fall, we launched the Eagle Express Tuition Plan, which is all about helping our students manage their costs and graduate in four years while saving them up to $4,000. The response was overwhelming and we currently have about 4,700 students taking advantage of the plan. Almost half are new freshmen.

Next week, Shannon Goodman, our founding vice president for our new Division of Enrollment, starts and will lead our efforts to attract new students. With his leadership, we will focus on achieving sustainable enrollment growth and expanding our student population in new and important ways.

In addition, we’re looking at ways to improve and expedite the financial aid process. Starting this summer, we’re streamlining and shortening the verification process so that students and parents know earlier about financial aid awards. We’re also hiring additional call center representatives to help handle the volume of calls.

I’m excited about what this all means — that more students will choose UNT knowing that they will get a world-class education in a globally important region. They will become part of a community already full of bright, creative, talented students. And we will work hard to give all of our students everything they need to graduate and conquer the world!

I hope you will join me in spreading the word about these great new initiatives.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk