If you're new to Austin, I highly recommend you rent on a short term basis. Get your feet wet here and get a feel for the area. Suggest you don't rent East of 35 if you want the "Campus" life. No need to rush the decision. You need to live here for a while to get a feel for the different areas you want to consider purchasing. Even if you're from Texas, or even some place near but outside of Austin.
In combination with getting comfortable with downtown Austin, and since you may not have a family to consider, given the current Austin market is in a lull coming off of 2 really strong years. I'd suggest you wait to see what effect the election year, the current financial market stress and the energy market boom will have on the housing market. It doesn't seem from your question that your pressed to have to buy something for specific reasons. In that type of situation, when you're in a market that is starting to flatten out, it's often the best practice to sit on the sidelines and let things settle out first.
Consider something close to campus to rent for now and enjoy the relatively stress free benefits of renting, while you get comfortable with UT and the area.
If you want to chat in more detail, check out my profile to see if it might be a good fit, even if it is just to talk about the rental market.
Advantages: close to Ut, inexpensive compared to west/north campus (and same distance from center of UT), mostly "expirenced UT students", better appreciation, parking is much better
disadvantages: old school UT alums say no way (prejudgements of area), not a short walk to fraternity row, won't catch to many of your college drinking buddies walking around outside.