“By looking out of state, we can find the same quality student and the same quality athlete who’s never heard of, or considered, some of those other schools. It gives us an opportunity to be a unique choice.”
– Kanute Drugan, head women’s soccer coach
A shining example is sophomore Stephanie White, a neuroscience major from San Diego, who was selected for the University’s prestigious McDermott Scholars program.
“I honestly had never heard of UTD before,” she said. “But I was hoping I could find a place where I could pursue my academic goals and still get a chance to keep playing my sport. I love soccer and hoped to be able to incorporate the sport into my college experience.”
Financial reasons led teammate Jessica Rusk, another California resident, to UT Dallas. “Colleges in California are very expensive, the cost of living is high and it’s hard to get scholarship money,” she explained. “But Coach Drugan saw me play at a showcase in Nevada and told me he thought, with my test scores, I could probably qualify for a scholarship at UTD. I applied, got an amazing scholarship, and I’ve been able to turn my dreams of playing college athletics into reality.”
Very often, the University’s science and engineering programs play a role in attracting out-of-state student-athletes.
Senior Danny Meyer, a three-time ASC All-Conference member of the men’s soccer team, found his way to UTD from Phoenix. “My high school coach helped me find a list of schools across the country with a strong neuroscience program. I checked out the soccer program [at UTD], saw they were winning championships, and I knew this was where I needed to be.”
Senior John Will, one of the Comets’ top male cross-country runners, traveled all the way from Virginia Beach, Virginia, because of the University’s highly rated biomedical engineering program. “It’s a growing field, but not every school offers it,” he said. “And I was able to continue running, which is something I really enjoy.”
Tennis player Kathy Joseph, a sophomore from Williston, Vermont, was looking for “a strong engineering school with opportunities for research” when she chose UTD. “And it was important to me that I be in an area that offered a lot of post-graduation job opportunities. UTD fit the bill.”