I read through your responses so far and it looks like you have received some good feedback. Just a few things to note. I will not require that you be pre-qualified for your loan, however it is not a bad idea to have a pre-approval letter. A little about our lakes/river here is Austin. The Colorado River runs through Austin with 3 main dams (Mansfield, Tom Miller and Longhorn) creating Lake Travis, Lake Austin and Town Lake (also called Lady Bird Lake). Town Lake is nice with hike and bike trails around it, but no motorized boating is allowed only kayaks and canoes. If you want to ski, wakeboard, etc. you will need to be on Lake Austin or Lake Travis.
The UT campus is primarily situated between 19th street (Martin Luther King Blvd.) to the south, 26th street to the north, Guadalupe to the west and I35 on the east border. There at several condos located very near the campus that will meet your bed/bath and price range requirements. Most of the single family homes near campus area are going to be above the price range that you mentioned.
I hope some of this information helps. Like everyone else I would be willing to answer any other questions that you have. I was born and raised in Austin and know the UT area very well.
Capital City Sotheby's International Realty