The upstate NY chatter is making me miss it... mmmm Finger Lakes wines (Weimer Reisling makes life worth living). I went to Cornell (Ithaca) for undergrad, and the rents there were just about what they are in Austin.
But back to the OP, I got my scholarship note letter this week and I live in Tampa, so Houston folk should have gotten their letters by now, IMO.
As for getting scholarships, I got mine by requesting a matching scholarship from another school. People told me that the matching scholarships were only for scholarships given from higher-ranked schools, but I put in a request for matching funds offered by a school ranked in the mid-20s in USNWR. UT gave me a tiny bit less than the other school, but UT will still be cheaper because of the lower tuition
Anyway, happy letter-writing!