University Creates Mobile Application for Students to Help Manage the Ups and Downs of College Life

Student Uses Thrive at UT
A student uses Thrive at UT. Jess Mitchell

AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas at Austin is launching “Thrive at UT,” a mobile application geared toward enhancing the well-being and success of its students. The application will help students practice and incorporate behaviors into their daily lives that support academic success and timely graduation including bouncing back from failure, maintaining social connections and having a positive self-image.

“This application — designed specifically for UT Austin students — positions the university as a front runner in integrating technology to help students better navigate their college experience. We also recognize the importance of teaching these skills to prepare students for success in their careers and personal lives. As a university, we are committed to educating the whole person,” said Chris Brownson, director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC).

Developed by CMHC with support from the Department of Educational Psychology, Thrive at UT was funded by a grant from the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology. The application allows students to explore the topics of community, gratitude, self-compassion, mindfulness, mindset, thoughts and moods. Each topic features an inspirational quote, a short engaging video of UT Austin students sharing their stories, guided exercises, instruction and interactive activities along with the ability to customize daily reminders.

Gustavo Molinar, a junior, is one of the students who have been involved in the development of this technology. He says today’s college-age population is much more likely to engage with a mobile application because it is more user friendly and accessible than a website. Molinar believes Thrive at UT will continuously engage Longhorns.

“I like that the app will send notifications to my phone throughout the week to remind me to practice some of the skills I learned,” noted Molinar, who is double-majoring in psychology and health and society. “The reminders help me start building the habit, for example, of working on gratitude and applying these concepts each day.”

Partners across campus will use Thrive at UT to help students academically and work toward the university’s goal of increasing four-year graduation rates.

“This is another tool that will benefit the academic growth of our students from their freshman year through graduation. The Provost’s Office strongly encourages its use among new students and students in academic support programs,” said David Laude, senior vice provost of Enrollment and Curriculum Services.

Thrive at UT allows students to share their experience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The application is free and available for iPhone users with iOS 8.0 or higher at the iTunes store. For more information about Thrive at UT, visit