With no ties to the state other than my wife lived in Houston as a child, is UT the clear (only) choice here? Would Chicago, UVA, Berkeley, Duke, GULC or Vanderbilt make any sense if Dallas is where I wanted to end up next summer?
Ideally you would've spent this summer working in TX in order to develop ties. What type of school are you transferring from? Have you actually gotten into these schools yet?
I have only been accepted by GULC(EA), but my GPA and rank increased a bit. I'm not expecting Chicago, Columbia, or NYU to come through, but I may have a shot at Berkeley, Virginia, or Michigan.