Whoooaa! What a journey college shopping can be! Our daughter has been all over the place with her college application list, and seems to change after every visit to every school. (ie, positive she wanted NE school, then spent summer at an Ivy League School in a science program and realized the NE was too liberal for her tastes, etc...)
Anyway, she felt the Plan II program would be a good choice but based that choice on feedback from other UT Plan II students from her HS. After she really looked into it, she realized it might not be for her. (She is an amazing writer, but she is not passionate about writing. Just good at it) So a degree that has writing as its core, would not feed her passion. Her passion is medicine. No matter what happens at any college visit, her passion to be a doctor never changes. So we visited UT (which prior to the visit was her only "safety" school on her list because of the 10% rule) and she fell in love, which frankly shocked me. It was the first school visit she left saying, "I love it here...it's not a college, it's a culture." So if UT becomes the "it" school, how hard is the Dean's Scholar Program to get into? She is typical high achieving Texas HS student...(Current Junior---#4/636....and that goes from #1-#4 semester to semester depending on the semester as the top four kids are only separated by the 100th decimal place, she will have 15 AP classes under her belt, 4's 5's on classes completed, 300 hours of CS per year at the hospital of course, NHS-which is not a given at our school..huge application involved, 10th grade PSAT 218, will do Marching Band all 4 years, leadership role this year and probably next, Officer in Global Awareness Club, Texas All State Musician.
So is the program really hard to get into and how many students each year get in?
I'm not sure about how difficult it is to get into Dean's Scholars. However, I thought I'd let you know that it is possible to do both Dean's Scholars and Plan II. With regard to Plan II, I don't think that it primarily consists of students who are passionate about writing. Many Plan II students are double majoring in a science related subject. I also believe that a number of the Plan II students are pre-med.
Coming from an Engineering Honors graduate, DS is probably the best honors program UT has to offer. DS has biweekly seminar with notable speakers and dinner at professors’ houses. These added on top of the small program and a proactive program director help build a small tight knit community. It has a small liberal arts school feel in a large university.
The program is very difficult to get into because of the small size (~60 students per year). Unlike many of the other honors programs, I don’t think DS focuses as much on the numbers. One of my best buddies only scored in the 1300s (out of 1600) on his SATs. In general, the DSers have some “wow” factors.
If your daughter decided on UT and gets admitted to one of the honors programs, I would highly recommend living in the Honors Quad. It has a completely different feel than the rest of UT. On a nice day, people will be out in the courtyard reading or playing Frisbee. Laptops are left unattended on the study tables for hours. And we used to have almost studying space, but it was gradually disappearing. It’s a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle around the Jester part of campus.
If she likes the culture around UT, I think she may also like UW-Madison. It has a very similar culture, although up north, most of the academic year is covered in snow (from late October to early April).
DS also boasts a 100% acceptance rate into med school. All the DSers I know got in med school, but I doubt those who didn’t would broadcast it to the world. In general, DSers goes on to pursue professional fields like medicine or law, but one guy I know decided to go to culinary school.
My daughter just applied UR Dean's Honor last December. She didn't get in, was told that the program accept 30 students. But received a letter told her to contact them for upcoming chances, and heard her friends did get in at the second chance, so not sure how many total they will accept, but the first batch sure is only 30. Dean's honor is the most competitive program in UT, but for job career, may not be the best. If she wants to do medical, Dean's may not be a good choice. They are very busy, I know a kid got 4.0 from Dean's honor, but MCAT only 31, no time to prepare for MCAT.
and UT honor cares a lot of essays, if she can write well, she has very good chance. My D is very good at writing too, she applied 3 honors of UT, only Dean's didn't accept her, but she was at very good chance because her essay, just end up with the 30 positions only, her records still not strong enough to get in. She didn't follow the letter's instruction to contact for second chance, because she does not want to spend all her time in lab, including summer, Dean's requires students stay on campus doing lab work even in summer, but you get paid.
I think you may be getting some misleading information. DS doesn't require students to stay on campus during the summer. DS has a lot of activities but they are not mandatory. People find the program good for networking.
So the kid you know has enough time to get a 4.0 but no time to study for MCAT?