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College Essays

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The ApplyTexas college application contains many essay prompts, and each of the most popular colleges in Texas has different requirements for which essays they expect applicants to answer.

So how do you get advice on writing your best ApplyTexas essays, no matter which school you're applying to? Look no further than this article, which completely unpacks all possible ApplyTexas essay prompts. We'll explain what each prompt is looking for and what admissions officers are hoping to learn about you. In addition, we'll give you our top strategies for ensuring that your essay meets all these expectations and help you come up with your best essay topics.

To help you navigate this long guide, here is an overview of what we'll be talking about:

What Are the ApplyTexas Essays?

Comparing applytexas essay prompts a, b, and c, dissecting applytexas essay topic a, dissecting applytexas essay topic b, dissecting applytexas essay topic c, dissecting applytexas essay topic d.

  • Dissecting the UT and Texas A&M Short Answer Prompts
  • Briefly: ApplyTexas Essay Topic E (Transfer Students Only)

The ApplyTexas application is basically the Texas version of the Common Application , which many US colleges use. It's a unified college application process that's accepted by all Texas public universities and many private ones. (Note that some schools that accept ApplyTexas also accept the Common App.)

The ApplyTexas website is a good source for figuring out whether your target college accepts the ApplyTexas application. That said, the best way to confirm exactly what your school expects is to go to its admissions website.

Why Do Colleges Want You to Write Essays?

Admissions officers are trying to put together classes full of interesting, vibrant students who have different backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and dreams. One tool colleges use to identify a diverse set of perspectives is the college essay .

These essays are a chance for you to show admissions officers those sides of yourself that aren’t reflected in the rest of your application. This is where you describe where you've come from, what you believe in, what you value, and what has shaped you.

This is also where you make yourself sound mature and insightful—two key qualities that colleges are looking for in applicants . These are important because colleges want to enroll students who will ultimately thrive when faced with the independence of college life .

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Admissions staff want to enroll a diverse incoming class of motivated and thoughtful students.

ApplyTexas Essay Requirements

There are four essay prompts on the ApplyTexas application for first-year admission (Topics A, B, C, and D). For Topics A, B, and C, there are slight variations on the prompt for transfer students or those looking to be readmitted. We’ll cover each variation just below the main topic breakdown. There are also several short-answer prompts for UT Austin and Texas A&M , as well as Topic D for art and architecture majors and  Topic E for transfer students only . Although there are no strict word limits, colleges usually suggest keeping the essays somewhere between one and one and a half pages long.

All Texas colleges and universities have different application requirements, including which essay or essays they want. Some schools require essays, some list them as optional, and others use a combination of required and optional essays. Several schools use the essays to determine scholarship awards, honors program eligibility, or admission to specific majors.

Here are some essay submission requirement examples from a range of Texas schools:

  • You are required to write an essay on Topic A .
  • You also have to answer three short-answer prompts (250–300 words each) .
  • If you're applying for a studio art, art education, art history, architecture, or visual art studies major, you'll have to write a short answer specific to your major .
  • UT Austin also accepts the Common App.

Texas A&M

  • If you're an engineering major, you'll have to respond to  a short-answer prompt .
  • Texas A&M also accepts the Common App .

Southern Methodist University

  • You must write an essay on Topic A .
  • You may (but do not have to) write an essay on Topic B .
  • You also have to answer two short-answer prompts .
  • SMU also accepts the Common App and Coalition App and has its own online application, so you have the option to pick and choose the application you want to fill out .

Texas Christian University

  • You must write an essay on any of the topics (A, B, or C) .
  • TCU also accepts the Common App and Coalition App has its own online application, so it's another school for which you can choose the application you want to use.

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The essays required as part of each admissions application differ from college to college. Check each institution's website for the most up-to-date instructions.

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Three of the ApplyTexas essay topics try to get to the heart of what makes you the person you are. But since Topics A, B, and C all focus on things that are essential to you as a person, coming up with a totally unique idea for each can be difficult—especially since on a first read-through, these prompts can sound really similar .

Before I dissect all of the ApplyTexas essay prompts, let's see how A, B, and C differ from one another. You can then keep these differences in mind as you try to think of topics to write about.

ApplyTexas Prompts

Here are the most recent prompts for Topics A, B, and C on the ApplyTexas application.

Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?

Most students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. Tell us about yourself.

You've got a ticket in your hand. Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?

How to Tell Topics A, B, and C Apart

One helpful way to keep these topics separate in your mind is to create a big-picture category for each one: Topic A is outside, Topic B is inside, and Topic C is the future .

In other words, Topic A is asking about the impact of challenges or opportunities on you and how you handled that impact. Topic B is asking about your inner passions and how these define you. Finally, Topic C wants to know where you're going from here. These very broad categories will help as you brainstorm ideas and life experiences you can use for your essay .

Although many of the stories you think of can be shaped to fit each of these prompts, think about what the experience most reveals about you. If it’s about how your external community shaped you, that'd probably be a good fit for Topic A. If it’s a story about the causes or interests that you're most passionate about, save it for Topic B. If it’s primarily about an event that you think predicts your future, it'll likely work well for Topic C.

(Note: if you are a transfer student writing the essay variation for Topics A, B, or C, keep in mind that these variations still ask you about the outside, inside, or future respectively.)

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Your years-long passion for performing in theater productions is an appropriate subject for ApplyTexas Topic B essays.

Now, we'll thoroughly deconstruct everything you need to know about Topic A, the first ApplyTexas essay prompt.

What’s the Prompt Asking, and How Should You Answer It?

This prompt wants to see how a particular external experience as a high school student has shaped you . The prompt uses the phrase "your story," signaling that admissions staff want to know what you believe has had the biggest impact on you.

Step 1: Describe Your Experience

The first part of the prompt is about identifying and describing specific experiences you've had as a high school student. You don't want your essay coming across too vague, so make sure you're focusing on one or two specific experiences, whether they've been positive or negative. The prompt suggests zeroing in on something "unique," or something that has affected you in a way it hasn't impacted anyone else.

You'll want to choose an opportunity or challenge that you can describe vividly and that's really important to you. In other words, it   needs to have had a significant impact on your personal development.

It should also be an experience that has been part of your life for a while . You're describing something that's affected you "throughout your high school career," after all.

Step 2: Explain How This Experience Shaped You

You shouldn't just describe your experience—you also need to discuss how that experience affected you as a person . How did this particular opportunity or difficulty turn you into the person you are today?

It's best if you can think of one or two concrete anecdotes or stories about how your chosen experience(s) helped shape you. For example, don't just say that a public piano recital made you a hard-working person— describe in detail how practicing diligently each day, even when you weren't feeling motivated, got frustrated by particular parts of the piece you were performing, and experienced stage fright showed you that working toward your goals is worthwhile, even when it's hard.

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Elaborating on how a specific challenge or obstacle that you faced during your high school career helped shape your current perspective and personality is one option for Topic A essays.

What Are Readers Hoping to Learn About You?

Admission staff are looking for two main things. First, they want to see that you can be mature and thoughtful about your surroundings and events in your life . Are you curious about the world around you? If you've really reflected on your experience, you'll be able to describe the people, places, and events that have impacted you as a high school student in a nuanced, insightful way.

Second, they want to see how you stand out from other applicants . This can be accomplished in one of two ways: (1) you can emphasize how you are somehow different because of your experience and how it impacted you, or (2) you can emphasize how you learned positive qualities from the event that differentiate you from other students. Basically, how did your experience turn you into a special, interesting person?

How Can Your Essay Give Them What They Want?

How can you make sure your essay is really answering the prompt? Here are some key strategies.

#1: Pick a Specific Experience

You'll need to select a particular opportunity or obstacle to zero in on. Opportunities include travel, internships, volunteer or paid jobs, academic events, and awards. Challenges might include competitions, performances, illnesses, injuries, or learning something new. Remember, you'll want to focus on one or two particular events or experiences that have truly contributed to your personal growth .

As you're choosing the experiences you want to write about, think about significant things that happened to you in connection with those events. Remember, you'll need to get beyond just describing how the opportunity or challenge is important to you to show how its impact on you is so significant .

#2: How Did This Experience Shape You?

You then need to consider what about your experience turned you into a person who stands out . Again, this can be about how you overcame the difficulty or how the opportunity fostered positive qualities or traits in you that would make you an appealing member of the college's student body. You want to make sure you have a clear message that links your experience to one, two, or three special traits you have.

Try to think of specific stories and anecdotes related to the event. Then, thoughtfully analyze these to reveal what they show about you. Important adults in your life can help you brainstorm potential ideas.

#3: Think of the Essay Like a Movie

Like a good movie script, a college essay needs characters, some action, and a poignant but ultimately happy ending . When you’re planning out your personal statement, try to think of the story you’re telling in movie terms. Ensure that your essay has the following features:

  • Setting: As you're describing your experience, taking time to give a vivid sense of place is key. You can accomplish this by describing the actual physical surroundings, the main "characters" in your community, or a combination of both.
  • Stakes: Movies propel the action forward by giving characters high stakes: win or lose, life or death. Even if you are describing your experience in positive terms, there needs to be a sense of conflict or dynamic change. In the anecdote(s) you've selected to write about, what did you stand to gain or lose?
  • External conflict resolution: If there's an external conflict of some kind (e.g., with a neighbor, a family member, a friend, or a city council), you need to show some level of resolution.
  • Internal conflict resolution: Inner conflict is essentially about how you changed in response to the event or experience. You'll need to clearly lay out what happened within you and how those changes have carried you forward as a person.

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Describing your feelings before, during, and after the opportunity or challenge is a crucial element of a Topic A college essay.

#4: Add Details, Description, and Examples

Your essay will really stand out if you add effective examples and descriptions.

For example, imagine Karima decides to describe how learning to navigate public transit as a high school first-year student made her resourceful and helped her explore the city she grew up in. She also discusses how exploring the city ultimately changed her perspective. How should she frame her experience? Here are some options:

I was nervous about taking the El by myself for the first time. At the station, there were lots of commuters and adults who seemed impatient but confident. At first, I was very afraid of getting lost, but over time, I became as confident as those commuters.

I felt a mixture of nerves and excitement walking up the Howard red line turnstile for the first time. What if I got lost on my way to the museum? I was worried that I would just seem like a nuisance to all of the frowning commuters who crowded the platform. If I needed help, would they help me? Was I even brave enough to ask? When the metal doors opened, I pressed my nails into my palms and rushed in after a woman with a red briefcase. Success! At least for the first step. I found a sideways-facing seat and clutched my macrame bag with my notebook and sketching supplies. A map hung above my seat. Pressing my finger to the colorful grid, I found my stop and counted how many I still had to go. I spent the entire train ride staring at that map, straining my ears for everything the conductor said. Now, when I think about the first time I rode the El by myself, I smile. What seemed so scary at the time is just an everyday way to get around now. But I always look around on the platform to see if any nervous kids linger at the edges of the commuter crowds and offer them a smile.

Both versions set up the same story plotwise, but the second makes the train ride (and therefore the author) come alive through the addition of specific, individualizing details , such as the following:

  • Visual cues: The reader "sees" what the author sees through descriptions such as "frowning commuters who crowded the platform," "woman with a red briefcase," and "colorful grid."
  • Emotional responses: We experience the author’s feelings: she "felt a mixture of nerves and excitement." She wonders if she's brave enough to ask for help. The train ride was "so scary at the time" but feels "everyday" now.
  • Differentiation: Even though the commuters are mostly a monolithic group, we get to see some individuals, such as the woman with a red briefcase.

ApplyTexas Topic A Essay Ideas

There's no one best topic for this essay prompt (or any other), but I've included some potential ideas below to help you get started with your own brainstorming:

  • Describe a time you organized the people around you to advocate a common local cause.
  • Hone in on a particular trip with one or more family members.
  • Identify a time when you were no longer in your comfort zone. Describe how you adapted and learned from that experience.
  • Discuss being a minority in your school or neighborhood.
  • Describe going through a cultural or religious rite of passage as a high school student.
  • Elaborate on how you moved from one place to somewhere totally different and handled your culture shock.

ApplyTexas Topic A for Transfer, Transient, or Readmit Students

If you are applying to transfer or to be readmitted, you likely already have some college experience. So in this case, ApplyTexas offers a personal statement option that allows you to write about your life beyond your high school years. This option still asks you to demonstrate what in your experience has turned you into a unique individual. But if, for instance, you left college and now are reapplying, you’ll want to address how some aspect of that experience made an impact on who you are now. Otherwise, follow the advice above for the standard Topic A prompt.

Here’s the current Essay Topic A prompt for transfer applicants:

The statement of purpose will provide an opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances that you feel could add value to your application. You may also want to explain unique aspects of your academic background or valued experiences you may have had that relate to your academic discipline. The statement of purpose is not meant to be a listing of accomplishments in high school or a record of your participation in school-related activities. Rather, this is your opportunity to address the admissions committee directly and to let us know more about you as an individual, in a manner that your transcripts and other application information cannot convey.

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Next up, let's go through the same process for ApplyTexas Topic B, taking it apart brick by brick and putting it back together again.

What’s the Prompt Asking?

At first glance, this prompt seems pretty vague. "Tell us about yourself" is not exactly the most detailed set of instructions. But if we dig a little deeper, we can see that there are actually two pretty specific things this question is asking.

#1: What Defines You?

This prompts posits that "most students"—which likely includes you!—have some kind of defining trait . This could be "an identity, an interest, or a talent," so you need to express what that defining trait is for you specifically.

For instance, are you an amazing knitter? Do you spend your free time researching cephalopods? Are you a connoisseur of indie movies or mystery novels? Or maybe you have a religious, cultural, ethnic, or LGBTQIA+ identity that's very important to you. Any of these things could plausibly be the main, framing theme of your essay.

#2: How Does That Defining Trait Fit Into "You" Overall?

Even though you have some kind of defining trait, that's not the entirety of you. Essentially, you need to contextualize your defining trait within your broader personality and identity. This is where the "tell us about yourself" part comes in. What does your defining trait say about you as a person? And how does it fit into your overall personality, values, and dreams?

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In a Topic B college essay, you could potentially describe your knowledge of chess and how it exemplifies your talent for thinking several steps ahead.

Admissions staff are hoping to learn two main things:

#1: What You're Passionate About

It's essential that this essay communicates genuine passion for whatever you write about. College is a lot of work, and passion is an important driving force when things get busy. Therefore, readers are looking for students who are really engaged in the world around them and excited about specific causes and activities!

#2: How You View Yourself (and How Successfully You Can Communicate That)

A strong, well-developed sense of self goes a long way toward helping you weather all the changes you're going to experience when you attend college. Even though you'll change and grow a lot as a person during your college years, having a sense of your own core traits and values will help those changes be exciting as opposed to scary .

Colleges are looking for a developed sense of self. Additionally, they are looking for students who can communicate messages about themselves in a clear, confident, and cohesive way .

The challenge with this prompt is giving a complete picture of you as a person while still staying on message about your defining trait. You need to be focused yet comprehensive. Let's explore the best ways to show off your passion and frame your identity.

#1: Define the Core Message

First, you need to select that defining trait . This could be pretty much anything, just as long as you're genuinely invested in this trait and feel that it represents some core aspect of you.

It should also be something you can describe through stories and anecdotes . Just saying, "I'm a redhead, and that defines me" makes for a pretty boring essay! However, a story about how you started a photography project that consists of portraits of redheads like you and what you learned about yourself from this experience is much more interesting.

Be careful to select something that presents you in a broadly positive light . If you choose a trait that doesn't seem very serious, such as your enduring and eternal love of onion rings, you risk seeming at best immature and at worst outright disrespectful.

You also want to pick something realistic —don't claim you're the greatest mathematician who ever lived unless you are, in fact, the greatest mathematician who ever lived (and you probably aren't). Otherwise, you'll seem out of touch.

#2: Fit Your Message into the Larger Picture

Next, consider how you can use this trait to paint a more complete picture of you as a person . It's great that you're passionate about skiing and are a member of a ski team, but what else does this say about you? Are you an adventurous daredevil who loves to take (reasonable) risks? Are you a nature lover with a taste for exploration? Do you love being part of a team?

Select at least two or three positive messages you want to communicate about yourself in your essay about your key trait.

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In a Topic B essay, a student could connect their long-time passion for cooking to their penchant for adding their unique touch to every project they take on.

#3: Show, Don't Tell

It's much more interesting to read about things you do that demonstrate your key traits than it is to hear you list them. Don't just say, "Everyone asks me for advice because I'm level-headed and reasonable." Instead, actually describe situations that show people asking you for advice and you offering that level-headed, reasonable advice.

#4: Watch Your Tone

It's important to watch your tone as you write an essay that's (pretty overtly) about how great you are. You want to demonstrate your own special qualities without seeming glib, staid, self-aggrandizing, or narcissistic .

Let’s say Andrew wants to write about figuring out how to grow a garden, despite his yard being in full shade, and how this desire turned into a passion for horticulture. He could launch into a rant about the garden store employees not knowing which plants are right for which light, the previous house owner’s terrible habit of using the yard as a pet bathroom, or the achy knee that prevented him from proper weeding posture.

Alternatively, he could describe doing research on the complex gardens of royal palaces, planning his garden based on plant color and height, using the process of trial and error to see which plants would flourish, and getting so involved with this work that he often lost track of time.

One of these approaches makes him sound whiny and self-centered, whereas  the other makes him sound like someone who can take charge of a difficult situation .

ApplyTexas Topic B Essay Ideas

Again, there's no single best approach here, but I've outlined some potential topics below:

  • Are you known for being really good at something or an expert on a particular topic? How does this impact your identity?
  • Discuss how you got involved in a certain extracurricular activity and what it means to you. What have you learned from participating in it?
  • Describe something you've done lots of research on in your free time. How did you discover that interest? What have you learned as a result?
  • What's your most evident personality trait? How has that trait impacted your life? (You can ask friends and relatives for help with this one.)
  • Relate the importance of your LGBTQIA+ identity.
  • Discuss your religious or cultural background and how this defines you.
  • Describe your experience as a member of a specific community.

ApplyTexas Topic B for Transfer, Transient, or Readmit Students

The ApplyTexas variation on Topic B is specifically designed for two different possible application situations. The first is for people who are applying as nondegree-seeking or postbaccalaureate students (aka “transient students”). In this case, they ask you to discuss the courses you want to take and what you hope to accomplish if you are admitted. That means they still want you to focus this essay on what you are passionate about, as mentioned above, but they expect that passion to be based on courses the university offers more directly.  

The second is for students who are reapplying after being suspended for academic reasons. In this situation, they ask you to describe any actions you have taken to improve your academic performance and to give them a reason why you should be readmitted. You’ll still need to focus on your positive traits in this variation, so this can be a tricky task. As in the example above, you’ll need to watch your tone and not come across as whiny. Instead, confront the cause of your academic suspension and what you learned from that experience; then, turn it into a newfound strength. Maybe you learned new study habits you can describe for them. Maybe working full-time while you were suspended improved your work ethic. Whatever you choose, show how a negative situation changed into a positive learning experience for you, and focus on the better person you are now because of it. 

Here’s the current prompt for Essay Topic B for transfer applicants:

If you are applying as a former student and were suspended for academic reasons, describe briefly any actions you have taken to improve your academic abilities and give reason why you should be readmitted. If you are applying as a nondegree-seeking or postbaccalaureate application, briefly describe the specific objectives you wish to accomplish if admitted, including the courses in which you would like to enroll.

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Now, we can take apart Topic C to get a good handle on how to tackle this future-facing essay.

You've got a ticket in your hand—where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?

If ApplyTexas Topic A and Topic B were all about your past experiences, Topic C wants you to give readers a glimpse of your imagined possibilities .

There are basically two potential approaches to this question. We'll break them down here.

Option 1: Describe Your Long-Term Goals

One approach to this prompt is to use your essay as a chance to describe your long-term goals for your career and life .

For some students, this will be a straightforward endeavor. For example, say you’ve always wanted to be a doctor. You spend your time volunteering at hospitals, helping out at your mom’s practice, and studying biology. You could easily frame your "ticket" as a ticket to medical school. Just pick a few of the most gripping moments from these past experiences and discuss the overall trajectory of your interests, and your essay would likely be a winner!

But what if you’re not sure about your long-term goals yet? Or what if you feel like you really don't know where you're going next week, let alone next year or 10 years from now? Read on for Option 2.

Option 2: Demonstrate Thoughtful Imagination

Although you can certainly interpret this as a straightforward question about your future, you can also use it as a chance to be more imaginative.

Note that this entire question rests on the metaphor of the ticket. The ticket can take you anywhere; you decide. It could be to a real place, such as your grandmother's house or the Scottish Highlands or the Metropolitan Museum. Or it could be somewhere fantastical, such as a time machine to the Paleolithic.

The important point is that you use the destination you select—and what you plan to do there—to prove you're a thoughtful person who is excited about and actively engaged with the world around you .

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The destination you choose to write about, whether realistic or fantastical, should be clearly linked to a specific goal or set of goals that you wish to pursue or are currently pursuing.

If you're on a direct path to a specific field of study or career, admissions officers definitely want to know this. Having driven, goal-oriented, and passionate students is a huge plus for any college. If this sounds like you, be sure your essay conveys not just your interest but also your deep love of the subject, as well as any related clubs, activities, or hobbies you’ve done during high school.

If you take the more creative approach to this prompt, however, realize that in this essay (as in all the other ApplyTexas essays),  the how matters much more than the what . Don't worry that you don't have a specific goal in mind yet. No matter where your eventual academic, career, or other pursuits might lie, every activity you've done up to now has taught you something, whether that be developing your work ethic, mastering a skill, learning from a mentor, interacting with peers, dealing with setbacks, understanding your own learning style, or persevering through hardship. Your essay is a chance to show off that knowledge and maturity.

So no matter what destination you choose for your ticket (the what ), you want to communicate that you can think about future (and imagined!) possibilities in a compelling way based on your past experiences (the how ).

Whether you take the ideas of "where you are going" and "what you are doing" in a more literal or more abstract direction, the admissions committee wants to make sure that no matter what you study, you'll be able to get something meaningful out of it . They want to see that you’re not simply floating through life on the surface but are actively absorbing the qualities, skills, and know-how you'll need to succeed in the world.

Here are some ideas for how to show that you have thoughtful and compelling visions of possible futures.

#1: Pick Where You're Going

Is this going to be a more direct interpretation of your goals (my ticket is to the judge's bench) or a more creative one (my ticket is to Narnia)? Whichever one you choose, make sure that you choose a destination that is genuinely compelling to you . The last thing you want is to come off sounding bored or disingenuous.

#2: Don’t Overreach or Underreach

Another key point is to avoid overreaching or underreaching. For instance, it’s fine to say that you’d like to get involved in politics, but it’s a little too self-aggrandizing to say that you’re definitely going to be president of the United States. Be sure that whatever destination you select for your ticket, it doesn’t come off as unnecessary bragging rather than simple aspiration .

At the same time, make sure the destination you've chosen is one that makes sense in the context of a college essay. Maybe what you really want is a ticket to the potato chip factory; however, this essay might not be the best place to elaborate on this imagined possibility.

While you can of course choose a whimsical location, you need to be able to ground it in a real vision of the kind of person you want to become . Don't forget who your audience is! College admissions officers want to find students who are eager to learn . They also want to be exposed to new thoughts and ideas.

#3: Flesh It Out

Once you've picked a destination, it's time to consider the other components of the question: What are you going to do once you reach your destination? What will happen there? Try to think of some key messages that relate back to you, your talents, and your goals .

#4: Ground Your "Journey" in Specific Anecdotes and Examples

The way this question is framed is very abstract, so ground your thoughts about your destination (whether it's more straightforward or more creative) in concrete anecdotes and examples that show you're thoughtful, engaged, passionate, and driven.

This is even more important if you go the creative route and are writing about an unusual location. If you don't keep things somewhat grounded in reality, your essay could come across as frivolous. Make sure you make the most of this chance to share real-life examples of your desirable qualities.

Imagine Eleanor’s essay is about how she wants a ticket to Starfleet Academy (for the uninitiated, this is the fictional school in the Star Trek universe where people train to be Starfleet officers). Which essay below conveys more about her potential as a student?

My ticket is to Starfleet Academy. There, I would train to become part of the Command division so I could command a starship. Once I was captain of my own starship, I would explore the deepest reaches of space to interact with alien life and learn more about the universe.

I've loved Star Trek since my dad started playing copies of old episodes for me in our ancient DVD player. So if I could have a ticket to anywhere, it would be to Starfleet Academy to train in the command division. I know I would make a superb command officer. My ten years of experience in hapkido have taught me discipline and how to think on my feet. Working as a hapkido instructor in my dojo the past two years has honed my leadership and teaching qualities, which are essential for any starship commander. Additionally, I have the curiosity and sense of adventure necessary for a long career in the unknown reaches of space. Right now, I exercise my thirst for exploration through my photography blog. Using my DSLR camera, I track down and photograph obscure and hidden places I find in my town, on family trips, and even on day trips to nearby cities. I carefully catalogue the locations so other people can follow in my footsteps. Documentation, after all, is another important part of exploring space in a starship.

Both versions communicate the same things about the imagined destination, but the second essay does a much better job showing who Eleanor is as a person. All we really learn from the first excerpt is that Eleanor must like Star Trek .

We can also infer from version 1 that she probably likes leadership, exploration, and adventure because she wants to captain a starship, but we don't really know that for sure. Admissions officers shouldn't have to guess who you are from your essay; your essay should lay it out for them explicitly and articulately.

In the second essay, by contrast, Eleanor clearly lays out the qualities that would make her a great command officer and provides examples of how she exemplifies these qualities . She ties the abstract destination to concrete activities from her life, such as hapkido and photography. This provides a much more well-rounded picture of what Eleanor could bring to the student body and the school at large.

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Eleanor's essay about her desire to explore the final frontier creatively illustrates her curiosity and leadership potential .

ApplyTexas Topic C Essay Ideas

I've come up with some sample essay ideas for the two different approaches to this prompt.

Possibility 1: Your Concrete Goals

  • Describe your goal to pursue a particular academic field or career and discuss how specific classes or extracurricular activities ignited that passion
  • Discuss how your plans to pursue politics, project management, or another leadership role were fostered by a first experience of leadership (this could be a straightforward leadership position in a club or job or a more indirect or unplanned leadership experience, such as suddenly having to take charge of a group).
  • Discuss how your desire to teach or train in the future was sparked by an experience of teaching someone to do something (e.g., by being a tutor or by helping a sibling deal with a particularly challenging class or learning issue).
  • Describe your goal to perform on stage, and discuss how your past experiences of public creativity (e.g., being in a play, staging an art show, performing an orchestra, or being involved in dance,.) led you to this goal

Possibility 2: Creative/Abstract Destination

  • What would you do if you could visit the world of a favorite childhood book, movie, or TV series? What qualities does that show about you?
  • Is there a relative or friend you would like to visit with your ticket?
  • Is there a particular historical period you would like to time travel to?
  • Is there a destination you've always wanted to go to that you've read about, heard about, or only conjured up in dreams or in a moment of creativity?

Remember to tie your imaginative destination to concrete details about your special qualities!

Topic C for Transfer, Transient, or Readmit Students

ApplyTexas offers a Topic C alternative in case there is personal information you want them to consider along with your application, such as why you are transferring to a new school. They still want you to focus on the future, but they encourage discussing any hardships, challenges, extenuating circumstances, or opportunities that have affected your abilities and academic credentials (in a positive way). They also want you to discuss how these circumstances can help you contribute to a diverse college community. In this case, this variation is not fundamentally different from the ticket question; it just asks for a more specific focus. So if this variation applies to you, use the advice above for question C option one. 

Here’s the current prompt for Essay Topic C for transfer applicants:

There may be personal information that you want considered as part of your admissions application. Write an essay describing that information. You might include exceptional hardships, challenges, or opportunities that have shaped or impacted your abilities or academic credentials, personal responsibilities, exceptional achievements or talents, educational goals, or ways in which you might contribute to an institution committed to creating a diverse learning environment.

feature_apworldhistoryexam

Would you use your ticket to visit Renaissance Italy, a journey you metaphorically hope to take as a history major?

If you're applying to one of several fine arts fields, you might have to write this essay.

Personal interaction with objects, images, and spaces can be so powerful as to change the way one thinks about particular issues or topics. For your intended area of study (architecture, art history, design, studio art, visual art studies/art education), describe an experience where instruction in that area or your personal interaction with an object, image, or space effected this type of change in your thinking. What did you do to act upon your new thinking and what have you done to prepare yourself for further study in this area?

If you’re applying to study architecture, art, or art history, one of the essays you will likely have to write is this one. This essay topic is trying to ask as broadly as possible about an experience with art that has moved you in some way. This means that your options for answering the question are quite varied. So what are the two different parts of this prompt? Let's take a look.

Part 1: Observation and Reaction

Think of a time you experienced that blown-away feeling when looking at something human made. This is the reaction and situation the first part of the essay wants you to recreate. The prompt is primarily interested in your ability to describe and pinpoint exactly what quality made you stop in your tracks. The huge set of inspiring object options the prompt offers tells us that your taste level won't be judged here.

You can focus on a learning experience, which includes both classes and extracurricular activities, or you can focus on a direct experience in which you encountered an object or space without the mediation of a class or teacher. The only limit to your focus object is that it is something made by someone other than you. Your reaction should be in conversation with the original artist, not a form of navel-gazing.

The key for this part of the essay is that your description needs to segue into a story of change and transformation . What the essay topic is asking you to show isn’t just that you were struck by something you saw or learned about, but that you also absorbed something from this experience that impacted your own art going forward.

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Did seeing the Angkor Wat Temple during a trip abroad with your family foster your intellectual passion for Southeast Asian art or religious monuments?

Part 2: Absorption

This brings us to the second part of the essay prompt: this is where you need to move from the past into the present — and then at least gesture meaningfully toward the future.

It’s one thing to look at a piece of art, such as a sculpture or architectural form, and feel moved by its grace, boldness, or vision. But it’s a sign of a mature, creative mind to be able to take to heart what is meaningful to you about this work and then transmute this experience into your own art or your interpretation of others' creative works.

This essay wants to see that developing maturity in you ; therefore, you should explain exactly how your own vision has changed after this meaningful encounter you've described. What qualities, philosophy, or themes do you now try to infuse into what you create or how you analyze art?

More importantly, this essay prompt asserts that being affected by something once isn’t enough. That’s why in this second part of the essay,  you also need to explain what you’ve been doing to keep having similarly moving encounters with other creative works .

You have some choice, too, when it comes to answering, "What have you done to prepare yourself for further study in this area?" For example, you could describe how you’ve sought out other works by the same artist who moved you the first time. Or you could describe investigating new media or techniques to emulate something you saw. Or you could discuss learning about the period, genre, school, or philosophical theory that the original piece of art comes from to give yourself a more contextualized understanding.

If you’re planning an academic career in the visual arts or architecture, then you’re entering a long conversation started by our cave-painting ancestors and continuing through every human culture and society since.

This essay wants to make sure that you aren’t creating or interpreting art in a vacuum and that you have had enough education and awareness to be inspired by others. By demonstrating how you react to works that move you—not with jealousy or dismissal but with appreciation and recognition of another’s talent and ability—you're proving that you're ready to participate in this ongoing conversation.

At the same time, this essay is asking you to show your own creative readiness.  For example, describe not only the work you have produced but also your ability to introduce new elements into that work—in this case, inspired by the piece you described. This way, you can demonstrate that you aren’t a one-note artist but are mature enough to alter and develop what you make. Or if you want to major in art history or art education, relate how your perspective on a particular piece of art or architecture is shaped by your unique perspective, based on your experiences, education, and cultural identity.

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A student might write their Topic D essay on how Michelangelo's Madonna della Pietà   has influenced their own artistic renderings of youth and beauty in grief.

What are some best practices for teasing out the complexities of art in written form? Here are some helpful tips as you brainstorm and write your essay.

#1: Pick One Piece of Art or Learning Experience

Once you’ve chosen between these two contexts, narrow down your selection even further . If you're writing about an educational encounter, don’t forget that it can come from an informal situation as well. For example, you could write about something you learned on your own from a documentary, a museum visit, or an art book.

If you're writing about a direct experience with art, don't necessarily fixate on a classic piece . Alternatively, you could discuss a little-known public sculpture, a particularly striking building or bridge you saw while traveling, or a gallery exhibition.

Whatever you end up writing about, make sure you know some of the identifying details . You don’t need to know the answers to all the following questions, but do your best to research so you can answer at least two or three of them:

  • Who is the artist?
  • Where is the piece on display?
  • What kind of work is it?
  • With what materials was it made?
  • When was it made?

#2: Figure Out Why You Were Struck by This Particular Work

The make-it-or-break-it moment in this essay will be your ability to explain what affected you in the object you're writing about . Why is it different from other works you’ve seen? Were you in the right place and time to be moved by it, or would it have affected you the same way no matter where or when you saw it? Did it speak to you because it shares some of your ideals, philosophies, or tastes—or because it was so different from them?

Be careful with your explanation because it can easily get so vague as to be meaningless or so obscure and "deep" that you lose your reader. Before you start trying to put it down on paper, try to talk out what you plan to say either with a friend, parent, or teacher. Do they understand what you’re saying, and do they believe you?

#3: Make a Timeline of Your Own Creative Works

When you think about what you've been making or thinking about making during your high school career, what is the trajectory of your ideas? How has your understanding of the materials you want to work with or study changed? What message do you want your works to convey, or what message in others' works most resonate with you? How do you want your works to be seen or engaged with by others? What is the reason you feel compelled to be creative or involved in the arts?

Now that you’ve come up with this timeline, see whether your changes in thought overlap with the art experience you're planning on describing . Is there a way you can combine what was so exciting to you about this work with the way you’ve seen your own ideas about art evolve?

#4: Use a Mix of Concreteness and Comparisons in Your Description

Just as nothing ruins a joke like explaining it, nothing ruins the wordless experience of looking at art as talking it to death does. Still, you need to find a way to use words to give the reader a sense of what the piece that moved you actually looks like —particularly if the reader isn't familiar with the work or the artist that created it.

Here is my suggested trick for writing well about art. First, be specific about the object. Discuss its colors, size, what it appears to be made of, what your eye goes to first (e.g., bright colors versus darker, more muted ones), what it represents (if it’s figurative), where it is in relation to the viewer, whether or not you can see marks of the tools used (e.g., brush strokes or scrapes from sculpting tools).

Second, step away from the concrete, and get creative with language by using techniques such as comparative description. Use your imagination to create emotionally resonant similes. Is there a form of movement (e.g., flying, crawling, or tumbling) that this piece feels like? Does it remind you of something from the natural world (e.g., a falling leaf, a forest canopy being moved by wind, waves, or sand dunes shifting)?

If the work is figurative, imagine what has been happening just before the moment in time it captures. What happened just after this point? Using these kinds of nonliteral descriptors will let your reader understand both the actual physical object and its aesthetic appeal.

Dissecting the UT and Texas A&M Short-Answer Prompts

Both UT Austin and Texas A&M require short answers as part of their first-year applications. For both schools, some prompts are required by all applicants, whereas others are required by those applying to certain majors or departments.

We'll go over the UT Austin prompts, followed by the Texas A&M prompt.

UT Austin Short-Answer Prompts

UT Austin requires three short answers from all first-year applicants and also offers an optional prompt. Each short answer should be approximately 250–300 words , or one paragraph.

Short Answer 1: Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?

Short Answer 2: Describe how your experiences, perspectives, talents, and/or your involvement in leadership activities (at your school, job, community, or within your family) will help you to make an impact both in and out of the classroom while enrolled at UT.

Short Answer 3: The core purpose of The University of Texas at Austin is, “To Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society.” Please share how you believe your experience at UT Austin will prepare you to “Change the World” after you graduate.

Optional Short Answer: Please share background on events or special circumstances that may have impacted your high school academic performance.

What Are These UT Austin Short-Answer Prompts Asking?

Obviously, these short-answer prompts are asking four different things, but they do have some similarities in terms of their overall goals.

These prompts basically want to know what you can offer UT Austin and why you'd be a great fit as a student there . They also want to know why you chose UT Austin and your specific major.

In other words, all these prompts essentially work together as a "Why This College?" essay .

How Can You Give UT Austin What They Want?

Admissions officers will be looking for evidence that you're genuinely interested in the school, the major you've chosen, and the career you want to pursue . Make sure to identify features of the program that appeal to you. In other words, why UT Austin? What makes you a good fit here?

Be as specific as possible in your responses. Since you won't have much room to write a lot, try to focus on a particular anecdote, skill, or goal you have.

Admissions officers also want to see that you have an aptitude for your chosen career path , so if you have any relevant work, research, or volunteer experience, they definitely want to know this! It's OK to take a broad view of what's relevant here.

Finally, they're looking for individuals who have clear goals as well as a general idea of what they want to do with their degree . Are you interested in working with a specific population or specialty? Why? What led you to this conclusion?

body-university-of-texas-at-austin-ut

Texas A&M Engineering Prompt

All engineering applicants to Texas A&M must submit an esssay responding to the following prompt:

Describe your academic and career goals in the broad field of engineering (including computer science, industrial distribution, and engineering technology). What and/or who has influenced you either inside or outside the classroom that contributed to these goals?

What Is This Texas A&M Engineering Prompt Asking?

The engineering prompt wants to know two essential things:

  • What are your future goals for your specific field of interest (i.e., the kind of engineering field you want to go into or are considering going into)?
  • What environmental or external factors (e.g., a person, a mentor, a volunteer experience, or a paper or book you read) contributed to your development of these goals?

How Can You Give Texas A&M What They Want?

Be as specific as possible in your response. For the engineering prompt, what admissions officers want to know is simply what your biggest engineering ambition is and how you came to have this goal.

You'll want to be as specific as possible. Admissions officers want to see that you have a clear future in mind for what you want to do with your engineering degree. For example, do you plan to go on to a PhD program? Why? Do you have a particular career in mind?

In addition, make sure to specify the main inspiration for or motivation behind this goal. For instance, did you have a high school teacher who encouraged you to study engineering? Or perhaps you decided on a whim to take a computer science class, which you ended up loving.

Remember that the inspiration for your engineering goals doesn't have to be limited to something school-related. If you get stuck, think broadly about what initially got you interested in the field.

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Briefly: ApplyTexas Essay Topic E (Transfer Students)

US transfer students and international transfer students must typically submit an additional essay responding to the following prompt (or must submit an essay on one of the topic variations listed above ).

Choose an issue of importance to you—the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope⁠—and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.

What's the Prompt Asking?

This prompt, which is intended for transfer students, essentially wants to know what hardship, challenge, or social issue has affected you on a personal level (or a larger group you're part of) and why you think this particular issue is so important to you .

For example, maybe you identify as LGBTQIA+ and have personally experienced discrimination in your local community because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. Or perhaps you grew up in a wealthy family but have begun to see recently how widespread the issue of homelessness really is and now are making a more conscious effort to find ways to remedy this problem in your own community.

The issue you choose doesn't have to relate to a wider social issue; it could be a learning disability you have, for instance, or the fact that you no longer share the same religious beliefs as your  family.

The most important part of this question is the connection between the issue and yourself . In other words, why is this issue so important to you ? How has it affected your life, your goals, your experiences, etc.?

This essay is a way for admissions officers to get to know you and what matters to you personally on a much deeper level than what some of the other essay topics allow, so don't be afraid to dive into topics that are very emotional, personal, or special to you .

Furthermore, be sure to clearly explain why this particular issue—especially if it's a broader social issue that affects many people—is meaningful to you . Admissions officers want to know about any challenges you've faced and how these have positively contributed to your own growth as a person.

The Bottom Line: Tips for Writing ApplyTexas Essays

The ApplyTexas application contains four essay prompts (Topics A, B, C, and D), with different schools requiring different combinations of mandatory and optional essays . There are also short-answer prompts for UT Austin, as well as a Topic E only for transfer students.

One way to keep these three similar-sounding essay topics (A, B, and C) separate in your mind is to create a big-picture category for each one:

  • Topic A is about your outside .
  • Topic B is your inside .
  • Topic C is about your future .

Now, let's briefly summarize each essay topic:

Essay Topic A

  • Overview:  Describe any unique experiences you've had as a high school student and how these have shaped who you are as a person.
  • Pick a specific aspect of your experience.
  • Describe how it made you special.
  • Describe the setting, stakes, and conflict resolution.
  • Add details, description, and examples.

Essay Topic B

  • Overview:  Describe a defining trait and how it fits into the larger vision of you.
  • Define the core message.
  • Fit that core message of yourself into the larger picture.
  • Show things about yourself; don’t tell.
  • Watch your tone to make sure that you show your great qualities without seeming narcissistic, boring, glib, or self-aggrandizing.

Essay Topic C

  • Overview:  Describe "where you are going" in either a literal, goal-oriented sense or a more imaginative sense.
  • Pick where you’re going, but don’t over- or underreach.
  • Flesh out your destination. How does it relate back to you?
  • Ground your “journey” in specific anecdotes and examples.

Essay Topic D

  • Overview:  Describe being affected by a work of art or an artistic experience to make sure that you are ready to enter a fine arts field.
  • Pick one piece of art or one specific experience of learning about art.
  • Figure out exactly why this work or event struck you.
  • Examine your own work to see how this artwork has affected your creativity or engagement with art or art history.
  • Use a mix of concrete descriptions and comparisons when writing about the piece of art.

Short-Answer Prompts

  • Overview: Specific to UT Austin applicants
  • Describe your relevant experiences and interests up to this point.
  • Describe what about the program appeals to you and how you will use your degree (i.e., your future goals).
  • Treat the prompts as parts of a "Why This College?" essay.

Essay Topic E (Transfer Students)

  • Overview: Specific to US and international transfer applicants
  • Pick an issue that means a lot to you and has had a clear effect on how you see yourself.
  • Emphasize how this issue or how you've treated this issue has ultimately had a positive impact on your personal growth.

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What's Next?

Curious about the other college essay choices out there? If your target college also accepts the Common Application, check out our guide to the Common App essay prompts to see whether they would be a better fit for you.

Interested to see how other people tackled this part of the application? We have a roundup of 100+ accepted essays from tons of colleges .

Stuck on what to write about? Read our suggestions for how to come up with great essay ideas .

Working on the rest of your college applications? We have great advice on how to find the right college for you , how to write about your extracurricular activities , and how to ask teachers for letters of recommendation .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points?   We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download them for free now:

Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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Important information about SAT and ACT scores

Texas State University does not require ACT or SAT test scores for first-time applicants ranked in the top 75% of their high school classes for admission to the university, application to the Honors College, or for consideration for Assured and Competitive Scholarships.

How to Apply

Submit an online application through ApplyTexas or Common App. Not sure what the deadlines or requirements are? View all applicant details below.

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For all applicants, including freshmen, transfers, international readmits, and non-degree seeking students.

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For freshmen and transfers (domestic and international) only. Readmits and non-degree seeking applicants must use ApplyTexas.

Freshman Students

You are a freshman applicant if you plan to attend Texas State the semester after your high school graduation (not including summer), regardless of how many dual credit or transferable college credits you’ve earned.

Steps to Apply

  • Fill out the online application at ApplyTexas or Common App .

Pay the application fee (need-based fee waivers  are available).

Send your high school transcript (by mail, document uploader , or electronic service).  

Have your official college transcripts sent by the institution (if applicable).

Have your SAT or ACT scores sent by the testing agency (not required for students in top 75% of class).

Submit an application essay (optional).

Freshman Application Deadlines

November 15

December 1 (Priority) / July 15 (Final)

We recommend you review Freshman Admission Requirements before applying.

Transfer Students

You are a transfer applicant if you have earned transferable credit hours from a college or university and have been out of high school for at least one semester (not including summer).

  • Complete and submit the online application at ApplyTexas or Common App (essay not required).

Have official transcript(s) sent from all colleges and universities attended.

Submit your high school transcript or GED certificate with scores (if 15 or fewer credit hours completed or to satisfy foreign language requirement ).

Transfer Application Deadlines

February 15 (Priority) / July 15 (Final)

We recommend you review Transfer Admission Requirements before applying.

International Students

You are an international applicant if you’re coming to Texas State from a country outside the United States. You’re a freshman applicant if you plan to attend Texas State the semester after your high school graduation (not including summer). You’re a transfer applicant if you have completed transferable college credit hours after graduating from high school. There is a nonrefundable $90 USD application fee required for all international applicants (no fee waivers).

Submit a completed application at ApplyTexas or Common App and pay the application fee (fee waiver not available).

Submit your official school transcripts and exam results (with certified English translations if applicable).

Submit proof of English language proficiency (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL, etc.), if required.

Have ACT or SAT test scores sent from the testing agency (optional).

International Application Deadlines

Spring freshmen, spring transfers, summer freshmen, summer transfers, fall freshmen.

December 1 (Priority) / June 1 (Final)

Fall Transfers

Other admission types.

Apply as a  Returning Student ,  Veteran ,  Seeking 2nd Bachelor's , or  Non-degree seeking student .

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How to Respond to the ApplyTexas Essay Prompts

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Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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Bill Jack has over a decade of experience in college admissions and financial aid. Since 2008, he has worked at Colby College, Wesleyan University, University of Maine at Farmington, and Bates College.

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Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Respond to the ApplyTexas Essay Prompts

If you are looking to use ApplyTexas to apply to multiple Texas universities, you have come to the right place. The ApplyTexas essay prompts are a crucial part of the application, and we will walk you through them step-by-step in this guide.

ApplyTexas is a common application form used by most Texas public universities and a few private Texas universities. The ApplyTexas website is a good source for determining if the ApplyTexas application is accepted by your dream Texas school. When filling out the application, there are a few ApplyTexas essay prompts applicants need to fill out. 

Here’s our guide for how to ace each ApplyTexas essay prompts on the application.

Related: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

“Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?” (500-750 words)

This prompt essentially wants to know what events or experiences in high school shaped you into the person you are today. Focus on what you believe to be the biggest impact on your life. Make sure to focus on you . 

Try and choose one to two main life-shaping events that occurred in high school. Be sure that they are specific! Try to zero in on something unique that you were able to participate in or that you overcame. For example, perhaps you sadly lost someone you love due to a disease that inspired you to enter into the medical field. Or perhaps working at an ice cream shop made you realize how much you love customer service. While these are two different life experiences, both show self-awareness and growth. The main goal of writing these supplemental essays is to allow the reader to get to know you and what makes you unique. 

After describing these events, now turn the focus to you! How did you use these opportunities to thrive into the stand-out person you are today? Make sure to clearly link your environment in high school to some prominent traits you now possess.

Questions to consider: 

  • How did your particular environment and experiences make you special? 
  • What challenges or opportunities have you encountered? 
  • How did you overcome these challenges or take these opportunities head on? 

Don’t miss: How many schools should I apply to?

“Most students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. Tell us about yourself.” (500-750 words)

Define what that unique trait you have is! It can be a piece of your identity, an interest or even a talent. Brainstorm ideas of things that make you so different from everyone else.

Describe this trait or thing that makes you so unique in a story-telling manner. Be creative! Do not just state what makes you unique, but describe it instead. This is the time to make yourself stand apart as a unique individual. Maybe you are an experienced photographer and taking pictures is your passion. Was there a special person who taught you how to take pictures? Do you turn towards a famous photographer for inspiration? Who gave you your first camera? The keys to getting to know the real you are found within your responses. The “why” is what drives the reader to understand the real personable you. 

Be sure to choose a positive trait that makes you look good! Remember this is going to colleges that you want to attend. You want to draw them in, but you also want to make a good impression. So, keep it appropriate and mature, but also creative! 

Once you have determined and written about your special trait, write about how this “piece of you” defines you! You need to contextualize this trait to the rest of your personality and life. How does this one aspect of you make you who you are? 

  • What makes you unique from others?
  • If you were thrown onto a stage for a talent show what would you perform? 
  • How does this unique trait align with your aspirations and identity? 

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Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG)

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$10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

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Niche $25,000 “No Essay” Scholarship

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“You’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?” (500-750 words)

This is a fun prompt that gives you plenty of creative freedom in your response. However, remember that this is going to be sent to a college that you want to attend! Therefore, use this essay to show off your career and long-term goals. 

To be extremely creative, realize that this prompt just states a “ticket,” but does not specify what kind of ticket. Most applicants may immediately think of a plane ticket, but this is your response! Therefore, the “ticket” can be a ticket to medical school, a ticket to a fantasy world where everyone wears fedoras or a ticket to your grandfather’s house. The creativity is endless! 

The most important part of this answer is your ability to justify where you are going with this ticket. You want to be able to show that you have goals for your life. Prove that having this metaphorical opportunity to have a magical ticket will allow you to succeed and reach some of your goals. 

No matter how creative a college essay question is, you always want to make sure you are revealing pieces of your personality. Throughout your response, make sure to be describing yourself and your personal goals. 

Questions to consider:  

  • Is there a destination you have always wanted to go to? 
  • If money was not an issue, where would you go? 
  • What are your aspirations for the future and where would you go to make these aspirations a reality? 

Also see: How to choose financial safety, reach, and match schools

“Personal interaction with objects, images and spaces can be so powerful as to change the way one thinks about particular issues or topics. For your intended area of study (architecture, art history, design, studio art, visual art studies/art education), describe an experience where instruction in that area or your personal interaction with an object, image or space effected this type of change in your thinking. What did you do to act upon your new thinking and what have you done to prepare yourself for further study in this area?” (500-750 words)

This essay option is specific for certain majors. Therefore, if you are not applying as a major in architecture, art, art history, design, studio art, visual art studies, or art education, then you are not required to answer this question. 

To begin responding to this essay prompt, begin with a moment of observation you have experienced that changed your thinking. This could be an instance during an art class when a piece was first taught to you or a time when you stumbled upon a piece of art in a gallery. Whatever the experience you had, make sure that you select a point in time where the observation of an object, image or space really made you contemplate. 

After you have described this moment, it is important to list specific details of the piece as well as accurately describe your own emotions while viewing the piece. 

Some questions to consider

  • What type of emotion did the art make you feel? 
  • Why did the art make you feel some type of emotion?
  • What changed in your thinking? 

After describing how your view changed, it is then important to connect back to the future. How will you use what you learned from this experience in your life going forward? It is important to reveal that the lessons learned from this moving experience will stick with you throughout your life.

Also see: How to get in-state tuition as an out-of-state student

Which colleges require which ApplyTexas essays? 

Every Texas university has slightly different essay requirements from the ApplyTexas essay prompt list. For full information, you must create an ApplyTexas account and review the specific requirements. Here are a few Texas colleges and their particular requirements on the ApplyTexas application: 

Baylor University

  • Essay A, B and C are optional

Southern Methodist University

  • Essay B – optional

Texas A&M University, College Station

Texas christian university, university of texas at austin.

  • Essay A 

Next steps after responding to the ApplyTexas essay prompts

Now that the hard part is over, and your ApplyTexas essay prompts are flawless – take a deep breath! 

The different Texas universities found under the ApplyTexas application will have slightly different requirements when it comes to which essay prompt responses they select. Each Texas school will require a different combination of the above three essay-prompts or even all three. In fact, some schools will even have additional prompts of their own. 

Texas universities use these prompts for not only admission, but for selecting students to award scholarships to as well. Therefore, it is crucial to put effort into your essay prompt responses! 

If your dream college also accepts the Common Application, check out our guide on how to answer the 2021-2022 Common App essay prompts to see whether they would be a better fit for you.

Don’t miss: Top Texas scholarships

Additional resources

In addition to prompt-specific advice, it’s a good idea to examine your general writing technique when it comes time to draft your college essays. Check out our guides on how to write an essay about yourself , how to write 250 and 500-word essays, and our general guide for rocking college applications . We can also help you decide how many schools to apply to and how to find safety, reach, and match schools .If you’re wondering whether to send test scores to test-optional schools , we’ve got a guide for that as well. And once you start hearing back, we can help you create a college comparison spreadsheet to make your college choice. Finally, check out our free scholarship search tool to help fund your education and keep all of your college options open. Good luck!

Frequently asked questions about ApplyTexas 

How do i get a waiver for applytexas, does ut austin prefer the applytexas or coalition application, what colleges can you apply to with applytexas, scholarships360 recommended.

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Apply Texas Essays 2022‒2023

Apply texas essays 2023.

If you live in Texas or plan on applying to schools there, it’s likely that you’ve heard of the Apply Texas portal . At Texas schools, the Apply Texas essays are an important part of the application process. In fact, the Apply Texas essays are the best way to let your personality, experiences, and interests impress admissions teams. 

In many ways, Apply Texas—including the Apply Texas essays—resembles the Common Application. So, you can likely repurpose plenty of information from the Common Application as you complete the Apply Texas application. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to tackle each of the Apply Texas essays. We’ll discuss:

  • General information about the Apply Texas portal 
  • How to respond to each of the Apply Texas essay prompts
  • Different Texas college requirements
  • The importance of the Apply Texas essays
  • More useful essay resources from CollegeAdvisor

Now, let’s start our deep dive into the Apply Texas essays. But first, let’s talk about the Apply Texas application more broadly. 

What is Apply Texas?

Apply Texas is a college application portal where students can apply to higher education institutes in Texas. The portal was created in order to allow students to fill out one application for all Texas schools. Students will create an Apply Texas login in order to access their applications. 

However, while many of the best colleges in Texas require an Apply Texas login to complete their application, some don’t. So, make sure to check the application requirements for every school. 

Apply Texas essay vs. the Common Application essay

You may be wondering, what’s the difference between the Apply Texas essay and the Common Application essay? Well, logically, Apply Texas can only be used to apply to schools in the state of Texas. However, some Texas schools may also accept applications through the Common Application or Coalition Application. If that’s the case, then you can decide which portal to use. 

Overall, the Apply Texas essay format is similar to the Common Application essay format. This means that many of the tools you’ve used for your Common Application essay will help you complete your Apply Texas essays. You can also look at Common App essay examples to help you write the Apply Texas essays. 

Understanding the Apply Texas essay requirements

Different schools will have different requirements when it comes to the Apply Texas essay prompts. Some schools may not even require an essay at all. 

For example, Texas State University applicants will complete their applications using the Apply Texas login. While Texas State only lists their essay as “highly recommended,” you should still complete it. You can also check out some Apply Texas essays examples to bolster your application. 

The Apply Texas application also has its own unique Apply Texas essay prompts, which differ from the prompts on the Common App. So, while you might be able to repurpose your Common App essay for one of the Apply Texas essay prompts, you should think carefully about your choice of topic. 

What schools use Apply Texas?

Many two- and four-year universities in Texas use Apply Texas. This includes the majority of public universities as well as some private colleges. 

However, you should always double-check each school’s admissions site to see which application portal you should use. Each school’s requirements will vary. 

You can use Apply Texas to apply to some of the best colleges in Texas , including UT Austin and Texas A&M University. However, Rice University—the top college in Texas, according to U.S. News—does not use Apply Texas. 

Understanding the Apply Texas essay format

If you’re planning to apply to multiple Texas schools, you should create an Apply Texas login. However, all schools’ requirements will be different. This means the Apply Texas essay format could slightly vary.

While you’ll find one Apply Texas essay word limit on the application itself, different schools will recommend different word counts. You may also not complete all of the Apply Texas essays for every school.

So, top Texas universities such as the University of Houston , Texas Tech , and TCU will have slightly different requirements, even though you’ll use the same Apply Texas login to access their applications. Use our College Search Feature below to learn more about each school’s unique features!

What are the Apply Texas essays?

Next, let’s check out the Apply Texas essays. 

There are three Apply Texas essay prompts. You’ll complete different Apply Texas essays depending on which schools you apply to. For example, some schools may require that students respond to the Apply Texas essay A, while others may let you choose your prompt.  

Below, we’ve provided a chart with each of the Apply Texas essay prompts. 

Applicants should also note that Apply Texas word limits will vary by school. In this chart, we’ve provided the word limit suggested by the portal itself. However, you should adapt your word count to each university’s requirements. 

Remember to consider school supplements 

Additionally, note that some universities will require other short essays as well as one of the Apply Texas essay prompts. 

For example, the UT Austin application will differ from the Baylor application even though both will use an Apply Texas login. Likewise, the UT Austin application requirements aren’t exactly the same as the UT Dallas application requirements. So, always be sure to double-check the admissions sites for school specifics. 

Before tackling your Apply Texas essays, try to read some Apply Texas essays examples. This will give you an idea of the different ways to approach the essay. The Apply Texas essay format can vary, so looking at Apply Texas essays examples can help you think outside of the box. 

How long should Apply Texas essays be?

As you tackle the Apply Texas essays, you should keep the word count in mind. According to the Apply Texas application portal, you have 800 words for each of your essays. 

However, when it comes to the word limit, you’ll want to see what each university requires or recommends. Every school’s requirements will be different. 

Let’s check out a couple of schools in Texas and compare their approach to their Apply Texas essay word limit. 

The University of Texas Austin requires its applicants to respond to Apply Texas Essay A if using the Apply Texas application. Their word limit is 500-700. Additionally, students will complete three required short answer essays with word limits of 250-300 words. They can also choose to complete a fourth optional essay (also 250-300 words). 

Alternatively, Texas Tech does not require applicants to complete an essay. However, the essay is “highly recommended.” So, as usual, consider this optional essay a requirement. If using the Apply Texas application, Texas Tech gives students the option to respond to Apply Texas Essay A or B. They have placed a 500-word limit on this essay. Check out some tips from Texas Tech admissions to write your Apply Texas essays. 

Texas Christian University

The TCU admissions office requires applicants to complete one essay. However, which of the Apply Texas essays students write is up to them. The word limit is 300-500 words, so you’ll need to impress TCU admissions with a concise, authentic, and passionate essay. 

As you begin your Apply Texas essays, check out Common App essay examples and Apply Texas essays examples to help you prepare.

Apply Texas Essay A

Tell us your story. what unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today.

The Apply Texas Essay A seems to be the overwhelming favorite among universities using the Apply Texas essays. This prompt asks students to “tell us your story.” Simple enough, right? 

Of course, a prompt this broad can feel overwhelming. However, it’s a great opportunity to show admissions who you are. This is your chance to really make your application stand out by sharing something that you haven’t yet revealed (or expanded upon) in other parts of your Apply Texas application. 

This prompt is quite similar to one of the Common Application prompts. So, if you want some inspiration, you can check out Common App essay examples. 

Which Texas colleges require it?

Surprisingly, many universities in Texas do not require applicants to submit an essay. However, if a school includes an “optional” essay requirement, you should still submit one. The Apply Texas essays are a great way to stand out and enrich your application narrative. 

That being said, some universities in Texas do require applicants to submit Apply Texas Essay A. For instance, Texas A&M requires applicants to respond to Apply Texas Essay A. And, as we mentioned, the UT Austin application also requires Apply Texas Essay A.  

Remember, while going through the Apply Texas application, double-check the essay requirements. They will vary depending on each school. 

How to write Apply Texas Essay A

Like many college essays, Apply Texas Essay A asks you to share experiences that have made you who you are. Whether you have a million ideas or are drawing a complete blank, don’t worry. We’re here to help.

Let’s check out the best way to respond to Apply Texas Essay A.

You could probably tell many stories. Apply Texas Essay A asks you to share just one. This leaves a lot of room for interpretation. 

So, think about significant moments in your life. It could be easier to focus on the last few years, as you’ve probably grown a lot throughout high school. 

Make a list of moments that have changed or shaped you as a person. No moment is too small to include. As long as it shows some growth—and you can write authentically and passionately about it—then it’s a good topic. 

Answer the prompt completely

Now, the prompt mentions an opportunity or challenge. Don’t blatantly point out this in your draft by stating “this was a huge challenge/opportunity.” Most likely, if you’ve chosen a story that shows your personal growth, then it’s probably an opportunity or challenge. And, if you tell your story well, this will come through. 

You will need to clearly show how that moment that you’re sharing has shaped who you are today. For example, let’s say that you want to discuss the day you went to your first protest. From that moment forward you’ve been passionate about activism. That clearly shows how pivotal this moment was in your life. Maybe it’s even shaped what you’d like to study or your future career. 

Remember to research your school, too. Well-written Apply Texas essays will be specific to each individual school. For example, if writing an essay for Southern Methodist University , check out their specific programs and offerings. Even though this isn’t a “why school” essay, you can still link your interests and growth to the school.

Write passionately

This isn’t the time to write vague statements that could apply to any high school student. Your story should be unique to you. Make sure to choose your topic wisely to highlight your passion and authenticity. 

Don’t be afraid to get creative. Set the scene. Remember that it’s much more impactful to show rather than tell when writing. If we continue with our protest example, you might open your essay by describing the atmosphere using descriptive language that puts the reader right there with you. Then, you can reflect back on how this moment has affected you to date. 

Apply Texas Essays – Topic B

While a few schools require applicants to answer the Apply Texas essay A, some may ask you to choose which essay to respond to. Let’s review the second of the Apply Texas essay prompts:

Some students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. If you are one of these students, then tell us about yourself.

Again, the goal of this prompt, like all of the Apply Texas essays, is to let you show each school what makes you unique. You should also aim to relate it back to your aspirations. For example, how does who you are shape what you want in your future?

Approaching Apply Texas Essay B

Topic B asks you to explore a part of your identity. Is there something you can point out that shows your values, character, and personality?

For example, maybe you’ve been dancing ballet since you started walking. Maybe it’s become a form of meditation or a way for you to express yourself. Perhaps it’s taught you discipline. It doesn’t matter how it’s shaped you (although it should be in a positive way)—you just need to show how it has impacted you. 

If you decide to focus on an “identity” instead of an “interest,” then you’ve got even more options to choose from. You can choose to highlight your background, experiences, family, values, or other key features. 

Overall, your topic should be unique to you. And, again, don’t be afraid to get creative in writing this essay. Your Apply Texas essays shouldn’t read like a resume; they should be engaging while still answering the prompt. 

Apply Texas Essay Prompts – Topic C

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a university that requires students to respond to the last of the Apply Texas essays. However, you may be given the option of which Apply Texas essay prompts you’d like to respond to. So, let’s check out Essay C.

You’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?

You may notice that this essay seems quite different from the other Apply Texas essays—it gives you a lot more freedom. So, you can really dive into the creativity of this topic. However, remember to not get too carried away and forget that, in the end, you’re still writing a college essay. The main goal, like the other Apply Texas essay prompts, is to show who you are as a person and an applicant. 

Crafting a response to Essay C

For Essay C, your process doesn’t have to be wildly different than it was for the other Apply Texas essay prompts. First, decide what you’ll write about. Start by brainstorming options if nothing comes to mind right away. 

Maybe you have a topic in mind immediately. That’s great! If you can write passionately about your ticket destination and activity, then that’s the topic for you.

Once again, get creative. You could go to a magical land, back in time, outer space, or to a remote island. The ticket and the destination don’t matter—it’s what they show about who you are. 

Most importantly, make sure to tie in your career goals or future aspirations. How will this trip impact you and your future? What experience will you have that will shape you?

Exploring Texas college’s essay requirements

When it comes to factors such as the Apply Texas essay word limit or Apply Texas essay prompts, requirements will vary by school. While the general Apply Texas application will be the same, the Apply Texas essay format will be different. Namely, each school will request different Apply Texas essay prompts. 

Let’s look at some of the essay requirements for the best colleges in Texas:

As you can see, while the Apply Texas application is uniform, the essay requirements vary greatly by school. For instance, you’ll see the Apply Texas essays for the Baylor application vs the University of Houston application are not the same. So, always double-check with your university’s admissions sites for all requirements. 

And, don’t forget, when it comes to “optional” essays, treat them as though they are required. While Texas A&M admissions requires an essay, Texas Tech does not. However, strong essays will impress both Texas Tech and Texas A&M admissions. After all, Apply Texas essays are the best way for schools to get to know you better. 

How important are the Apply Texas essays?

When it comes to the admissions process, the Apply Texas essays are extremely important. In general, college essays let applicants share a part of their personality that they haven’t highlighted elsewhere in their application. 

Additionally, most schools use a holistic admissions approach when evaluating students. That means that they review all parts of the application: GPA, essays, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and more. In fact, with more schools going test-optional, essays are an even more significant piece of your application puzzle. 

All to say: strong Apply Texas essays can make a huge difference. So, give yourself ample time to write them.

5 Tips to Make Your Apply Texas Essays Stand Out

Since the Apply Texas essays are so important in the admissions process, you’ll want to do everything you can to make yours stand out. 

5 tips to write Apply Texas essays that impress 

1. meet the requirements.

This may seem obvious, but you need to make sure that you understand the requirements for each school. Double-check the word counts and requirements for each to make sure that you hit all targets. 

2. Choose a topic carefully

Your topic is the most important part of the process. If you choose a topic that you aren’t authentically passionate about, it will show. Don’t think about what admissions wants to hear. Instead, choose a topic that you can easily write about. Then go back and fine-tune your essay to answer every aspect of the prompt. 

3. Get creative

Your Apply Texas essays should be engaging and unique. Don’t feel like you need to stick to a certain format. Set the scene and capture your audience. This is your opportunity to show who you are as well as your writing chops. So, as long as you answer each prompt fully, get as creative as you’d like!

4. Show personal growth

Your Apply Texas essays should show how you’ve evolved. Ideally, you should connect your personal growth to future aspirations in college and beyond. No matter the prompt, this is your opportunity to shine. These are college essays, so you want to show what you’ll bring to campus with your responses. 

5. Start early!

The last thing you want to do when it comes to your Apply Texas essays is wait until the last minute. Creating impactful essays will take time. You’ll brainstorm, draft, edit, and redraft. You should also leave enough time to have someone else proofread your essay for mechanical errors. Likewise, if they don’t understand the narrative, you’ll want to rework your story and message so that it makes sense to a reader. 

Apply Texas Essays & More Essay Resources from CollegeAdvisor

Writing the Apply Texas essays can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled many essay resources to help you create your best essays. While admissions requirements and essay prompts will change, the overall goal of your college essays stays the same: show admissions who you are and why you belong at that university. 

Before writing essays, you’ll also want to research specifics about the school. We have college pages that outline acceptance rates, enrollment, majors, and more to give you some quick facts on different schools in Texas. To jumpstart your research, check out the Baylor University , Texas A&M University , and University of Texas Austin pages . However, make sure to also do a deep dive into each university’s website to learn more about specific programs and campus life. 

Essay guides and other resources

Follow up by checking out our essay guides. These guides are specific to individual universities. You may even find it helpful to look at past essay guides such as our Baylor , Texas A&M , or UT Austin essay guides. Again, while prompts may change, the end goal of the essays stays the same. 

Additionally, check out the most recent guides such as this 2022-2023 Texas Christian University guide for the most up-to-date tips on making your essays stand out to TCU admissions. Looking at example essays can also help you get inspired. 

CollegeAdvisor has a wealth of resources to help you on your college journey. No matter if you’re trying to create the best Baylor application or impress Texas A&M admissions, our team can help. For expert guidance on the Apply Texas essays and more, schedule a meeting with our team here .

This essay guide was written by Sarah Kaminski. Looking for more admissions support? Click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.

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texas state application essay prompt

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texas state application essay prompt

Freshman Admission Requirements

You are considered a freshman student if you plan to attend Texas State the semester after high school graduation (not including summer sessions) regardless of how many dual credit or transferable college credits you've earned.

Regarding Test Scores

Texas State University does not require SAT or ACT test scores for students ranked in the top 75% of their high school classes for admission to the university, application to the Honors College, or for consideration for Merit and Competitive Scholarships.

Texas State University Admissions Standards

We recommend students complete the following curriculum or equivalent for assured admission. Students applying without this curriculum will go through our review process.

4 credits of English Including: English I, II, III and IV

4 credits of Math Including: algebra I and II, geometry and advanced math courses such as pre-calculus, calculus and statistics

4 credits of Science Including: biology, chemistry and two advanced sciences such as physics, environmental science, anatomy and physiology; integrated physics and chemistry (IPC) is acceptable if taken between biology and chemistry

3 credits of Social Studies Including: world/human geography or world history, U.S. history since 1877, U.S. government (half credit) and economics (half credit)

2 credits of a Language other than English Refer to Texas Administrative Code for specific courses or approved course substitutions.

Admission Review

ACT and SAT test scores are not required for applicants ranked in the top 75% of their graduating class. Those applicants who do not meet assured admission, or do not submit test scores, will be reviewed holistically. All students ranked in the fourth quartile of their class must submit scores that meet assured admission standards for admission.

When reviewing your application, Texas State will consider your high school curriculum, admission essay(s), quality and competitive level of courses taken and grades earned, in addition to other factors presented in your application.

We strongly encourage anyone who is not offered freshman admission to attend another college, complete 30 hours of transferable credit with a minimum GPA of a 2.25, and apply for transfer admission.

State of Texas Uniform Admission Standards

Assured Admission

Assured admission will be granted to students who will graduate with one of the following diploma types:

  • (HB5) Distinguished Achievement
  • (UAP) Distinguished
  • (UAP) Recommended
  • or equivalent

AND meet the class rank and test score requirements listed in the chart below.

1 The ACT score is your composite score from a single sitting. 2 SAT scores are the sum—from a single sitting—of the Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math sections only. (Applications will be considered through Admission Review when test scores are not available, if the student is ranked in the top 75% of their class. All students ranked in the 4th quartile are required to submit a score that meets the minimum required for assured admission.)

Non-Ranking Public and Private High Schools

Students from a non-ranking school who do not fall into the non-traditional school definition will be assigned a rank. This rank, determined by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, will be based on one's academic rigor, grades in academic courses, GPA (if available) and the profile of the high school.

For more information regarding the ranking process for applicants from non-ranking schools or other educational programs, contact your freshman  Admission Counselor .

Nontraditional Secondary Education: GED and Homeschool Applicants

In accordance with Senate Bill 1543 (SB1543), applicants for admission who present evidence of completion of a nontraditional secondary education without an official class rank will have a class rank assigned by Texas State. The class rank will be comparable to the average class rank of other applicants who have equivalent ACT or SAT scores. Applicants without an ACT or SAT score will be ranked based on their GED scores or grades in academic courses. A nontraditional secondary education includes Homeschool and GED graduates. Texas State requires an official homeschool or GED transcript and scores to demonstrate evidence of completion.

McCoy College: Limited Access

All Business Administration majors within the McCoy College of Business are classified as Limited Access. Students applying as freshmen to these majors who do not meet Assured Admission will be considered for acceptance to the McCoy College through a holistic review and may be admitted as a Pre-Business major. They must then work with their academic advisor to meet requirements for acceptance to their chosen major.

Additional Entry Requirements

Some majors at Texas State have entry requirements that must be completed in addition to receiving general admission to the university. These majors may require you to start as a "pre-major" and/or meet specific program requirements to be admitted to that major or degree program.

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texas state application essay prompt

A Great ApplyTexas Essay Example

texas state application essay prompt

ApplyTexas allows its users to apply to hundreds of Texan colleges on one platform. While each school has its own essay requirements, most students should be prepared to answer either Topic A, B, or C. This article focuses on Topic A.

In this post, we’ll share an essay a real student submitted for Topic A. We will also cover what the essay did well and where it could be improved to give you ideas for your ApplyTexas essay. You’ll also have the opportunity to download another sample essay.

Please note: Looking at examples of real essays students have submitted to colleges can be very beneficial to get inspiration for your essays. You should never copy or plagiarize from these examples when writing your own essays. Colleges can tell when an essay isn’t genuine and will not view students favorably if they plagiarized. 

Read our ApplyTexas essay breakdown to get a comprehensive overview of this year’s supplemental prompts. 

ApplyTexas Topic A Essay Example

Prompt:   Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today? 

Soft melodies float in the air, feathery sounds of consonance and dissonance create a bed of melodies that I fall asleep on each night. I was born into a family of musicians. I’m the daughter of two pianists who moved across the world to continue their studies, built a home to house two grand pianos, and taught their children to write their life stories on black and white keys. My version of a bedtime story was The Swan by Saint-Saëns; I can sleep through a concerto to this day.

When I turned four years old, my parents dedicated a portion of my day to sitting and practicing at our piano bench. As my relationship with music evolved from reading into interpreting, my hours with the piano turned into adventures, times to transform a monochrome score into a piece of art with color and dimension. Throughout most of my life, the best part of my day was spent creating music.

Enter high school, I found myself taking more classes, joining more extracurricular activities to feed my resume, and spending more time studying subjects that never quite sparked my interest.

As a result, my hours spent with the piano were replaced with hours spent at my bedroom desk. I became increasingly frustrated when my parents would remind me daily to practice the piano and envious of my older brother whose piano accomplishments made my parents so proud. By sophomore year, it would need to be a good day for me to practice the piano for even an hour.

My performances became defined by cold hands and memory slips, and I found it difficult to keep up with others in competitions. I began to resent the instrument I once considered to be my first love because I believed I had digressed from the hardworking pianist my parents have always wanted me to be, to a girl who let her talents go to waste. For months, I felt empty and distant from even myself; I no longer had the means to express my emotions and relate to the people I love the most.

Two nights before my brother left for college, he asked me the question I had been avoiding: “Are you ever going to practice the piano again?” After watching my uneasiness and embarrassment of not having an answer, he shrugged and explained simply: “I don’t practice the piano to win anything. I practice because I enjoy the process. I thought you did too.”

When my brother moved to Austin, my home became quiet. I no longer studied to his late-night practice sessions or fell asleep to his classical music study playlists. Our pianos were left untouched for longer periods of time and scores of music begged to be read. This absence of music made my heart grow fonder of the piano. I realized that I longed for the process of learning. It wasn’t the awards or successful performances that I craved; I wanted to again embark on the journey of telling an infinite amount of stories with just eighty-eight keys.

As I began spending more time expressing myself through the piano, I felt the joy of being heard and the vulnerability of being understood. I learned that music, much like academics, is about the individual journey. In our overly competitive society, I forgot to simply enjoy the moment in front of me. My journey with music over the past years has taught me that the travel is often more important than the destination, that I should cherish the imperfections inherent to learning and be content with my capabilities.

What the Essay Did Well

This student’s writing brings a level of musicality to her essay that nicely echoes the piano motif. From the beginning, she introduces their topic with descriptive language and a metaphor, incorporating imagery that immediately creates an immersive quality and grabs the reader’s attention. The student then shows, rather than tells, how music has been a formative part of her life by saying her “ version of a bedtime story was The Swan, ” and her “ hours with the piano turned into adventures. ” Using this word choice rather than saying “ I am very passionate about music ” shows admissions officers what your life is like.

As the prompt asks for your story, this essay follows the flow of a traditional story. After establishing a sense of serenity in the exposition, she incites conflict in the form of a busy schedule that drew her away from the piano. Although this isn’t the most unique conflict—as every high schooler is busy juggling a dozen different activities—the student gives the reader enough context to see the impact on her life. She describes the experience of playing as “ cold hands and memory slips “, a feeling that she “ let her talents go to waste “, and effect it had on her relationship with others including letting down her parents and fueling sibling jealousy.

This student’s vulnerability about how she lost her passion and had a tense relationship with her family members allows the reader to appreciate just how integral piano is to her story; without it she became a shell of the person she once was. Being vulnerable with the reader is the key to building the pathos needed to make your story resonate. If we can feel for this student at her lowest, we will celebrate her when she triumphs.

The author concludes this essay by mentioning her family again and making an extended metaphor about the world being a piano. By reiterating her family’s influence, she effectively connects back to the beginning of the essay and thus improves the overall flow of the essay. Furthermore, her metaphorical ending demonstrates her writing prowess and allows the essay to end on a more general, future-facing note.

What Could Be Improved

One area that could be strengthened is the turning point of the story where the student learns to love the piano again. She overly emphasizes her brother’s role by making this climactic point revolve around the advice he gave. It is important to emphasize how you were able to overcome your challenges; while it is okay to get help, you should remain the focus of the passage.

The student mentions her self-reflection after her conversation with her brother and how she worked towards reframing the way she thought about piano. In the end, it is her brother’s absence that causes this student to start playing again.  While this thought process is informative, the essay could be stronger if she detailed tangible steps she personally took to relearn the piano.

For example, if she fell in love with a piece she heard in a movie and made it her mission to nail those notes, or if she taught a younger cousin how to play and in doing so, rediscovered her love of making music, this could be an even more compelling read. Thus, it is important to pick a topic in which you were an active part of the resolution. Detailing tangible actions will show colleges your approach to conflict-resolution more than a passive recounting of your thought process. 

Where to Get Your ApplyTexas  Essays Edited

Do you want feedback on your ApplyTexas essays? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool , where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays. 

If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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  • Apply Texas College Essay Prompts for Class of 2023

January 17, 2022 By Jolyn Brand

College essay writing

The Apply Texas application is a common application form for most Texas public universities. It allows students to input their information for several different colleges at once. ApplyTexas college essay prompts for class of 2022 are:

  • Essay A:   Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?
  • Essay B:  Some students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. If you are one of these students, then tell us about yourself.
  • Essay C:  You’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?

Each school requires a different combination of these three college essays-some require all three, some just one or two, or others make certain ones recommended or optional. Some schools even use these essays for both admissions decisions AND scholarships so it’s important to put time and effort into each one!

UT Short Answer Question Requirements

As part of ApplyTexas, all freshman applicants will also respond to  short-answer questions .

Fall 2022 Prompts-Required Short Answers (250-300 words each):

1.     Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?

2.     Describe how your experiences, perspectives, talents, and/or your involvement in leadership activities (at your school, job, community, or within your family) will help you to make an impact both in and out of the classroom while enrolled at UT.

3.     The core purpose of The University of Texas at Austin is, “To Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society.” Please share how you believe your experience at UT-Austin will prepare you to “Change the World” after you graduate.

4.     Please share background on events or special circumstances that you feel may have impacted your high school academic performance, including the possible effects of COVID-19.

Texas A&M University-  3 Short Answer Questions for all applicants

  • Texas A&M University believes that diversity is an important part of academic excellence and that it is essential to living our core values (loyalty, integrity, excellence, leadership, respect, and selfless service). Describe the benefits of diversity and inclusion for you personally and for the Texas A&M campus community. (250-300 words)
  • Tell us about the person who has most impacted your life and why.
  • Describe a life event which you feel has prepared you to be successful in college.

Texas A&M University- Short answer question for Engineering majors (Priority deadline- October 15)

Engineering Essay : Describe your academic and career goals in the broad field of engineering (including computer science, industrial distribution, and engineering technology). What and/or who has influenced you either inside or outside the classroom that contributed to these goals?

The Apply Texas application has moved to https://goapplytexas.org/

Applying to colleges with the common app, be sure to check out the common app essay prompts here., share this:.

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  • How to Write the Apply Texas Essay [2022-2023]

How to Write the Apply Texas Essay [2022-2023]

About ApplyTexas Platform

Apply texas application process and requirements, prompts and essays, tips for writing essay a prompt with topic ideas, 1. choose a specific aspect of your surroundings, 2. talk about how your surroundings made you special, 3. make it interesting, tips for writing essay b prompt with topic ideas, 1. identify your core message, 2. make your core message a part of a bigger picture, 3. don’t be afraid to describe situations, 4. be mindful of your tone, tips for writing essay c prompt with topic ideas, 1. pick your destination, 2. don’t overdo it, 3. include all other elements.

If you’re a student looking for a great opportunity to pursue a rewarding undergraduate education in the state of Texas, it could be very helpful to know that there are over 150 four-year universities at your disposal. 

The process of applying for these universities includes using the ApplyTexas application platform. Prospective students can use the Apply Texas platform to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Apply for admission to any of the 150 public university institutions in the state of Texas, including private colleges and participating communities.
  • Apply for graduate, international and undergraduate admission.
  • Take a submitted application to another university.
  • Submit your ApplyTexas essays online (get college essay help).
  • Find all necessary specific and general information regarding universities.

The 2022-2023 application season is about to knock on your door, and you’ll have to do everything in your power to pass the admissions committee. 

The Apply Texas Platform is a direct result of a collaboration between a wide range of private and public universities from around the state, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board . 

This platform ensures that both Texans and non-Texans get an integrated means of applying to various post-secondary educational institutions. Prospective students can take their compelling application and use it to apply to multiple universities around the state. 

Instead of submitting applications for each school, students can use only one application that’s valid in all the 150 public university institutions in the state of Texas. The platform allows students to apply for admission to all private colleges and participating communities as well. 

Students can use this platform to find all necessary information about the platform, the process of application and requirements, and college essay topics according to their preferences, answer prompts, and more. 

It’s a great, actionable and very informative platform that helps students make their way to the school of their choosing. More importantly, students can use their ApplyTexas application to submit it to any other institution on the Apply Texas list of institutions.

The Apply Texas application uses a standardized form that allows students to use one application for several universities at once. Before you start your application process, make sure you verified that the school you want to get into is featured on the platform.

ApplyTexas is accepted in all public universities in the state of Texas. This platform offers a comprehensive range of tools students can use to determine whether a university of their liking is featured in the platform.  

Aside from ApplyTexas, students also use the Common Application colleges . It’s essential to determine which type of application suits your college list the most. ApplyTexas is just like an ordinary college application. There are some requirements, components, and materials you’ll need to consider before getting started. 

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started:

  • One copy of your high school transcript
  • Your standardized test results
  • Evidence of any extracurricular activities
  • Contact information for your guidance counselor and guardians
  • Evidence of your parents’ employment
  • A personal statement
  • Letter of recommendation

Just like any other application system, Apply Texas application is divided into sections that deal with your interests, background, and personal information. These sections are:

  • Biographical information 
  • Educational background
  • Educational information
  • Test scores
  • Residency information
  • Extracurricular and volunteer activities
  • Employment information
  • School-specific questions

The system is divided into these sections to help admissions officers learn more about the prospective students, their habits, behavior, interests, aspirations, extracurricular activities, working and volunteering experiences, and more.

Since your application holds your personal information, they can use it to contact you in case they need clarification regarding questions, your information, etc. These sections help the officers get a clear picture of who their prospective students are, by understanding their interests and backgrounds.

When it comes to your biographical and educational information, it includes your demographics, school, and contact details. Admissions officers use this information to determine how you compare to other candidates, what resources your school provided you with, your background, etc.

Aside from these requirements, there are also custom questions to think about. These are included in most Texas universities are the Apply Texas version of supplemental essays. The most common topic of these custom questions is to find out why you’ve chosen a certain school or major or what you think your contribution should be to campus, etc.

Spring applications are mostly asked to write about their background and the environment in which they grew up in their essays. UT at Austin requires applicants to give answers to three 250-word questions that cover their future leadership, academics, and career. 

To make sure you’re properly prepared for your application and Apply Texas essay , see that you include all extra requirements before you submit.

If you’re comparing high school vs colleges , you’ll find out that college essays are almost the same, only a bit more serious. When it comes to Apply Texas essay requirements, these vary. The required prompts vary from school to school, but the most common essay prompt is Essay A. 

For example, UT Austin supplemental essays require Essay A with three smaller custom questions, while Texas A&M requires Essay A and B. All universities require an essay no longer than 1200-1500 words. If we take the fact that admissions officers have a lot of applicants to deal with, it would be wise to keep your word count to less than 1000. 

Now, there are three different ApplyTexas essay prompts for freshman and international freshman applications:

  • Essay A: Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?
  • Essay B: Most students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. Tell us about yourself.
  • Essay C: You’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?

Let’s take a closer look at each of the three.

This prompt is almost like your personal statement, only different. Students who are using the Coalition App or the Common App usually write Essay A. It includes the most important things that admissions officers should know about you. 

The trick with Essay A is to make it unique and personal to make your essay impactful and memorable. That means that centering your essay around your strongest test performance isn’t going to be enough to make you stand out. 

The narrative you choose to go with should be focused on you and your personality. You’re applying to college, hoping to get a good education that will help you build your career. You can’t expect to reflect on such a major event in your life by writing about scoring great on a math test. 

The story you choose to go with should be deeply connected to you. In most cases, adversity comes in handy. With that in mind, our recommendation would be to write about certain challenges and obstacles you had to overcome, such as a natural disaster, loss of a family member, an illness, etc. 

On the other hand, you can use this prompt to write about your expectations and opportunities. It’s even better if you had a chance to engage in some activities that other students haven’t. It’s essential to pick a topic that separates you from the rest.

Essay B gives you full control over your essay. You have complete freedom to write about anything that comes to your mind. Essay B isn’t about all of the activities you’ve crossed your path with, so you’ll have to stick with the most essential and meaningful one.

Pick the one that really defines you as a person and then elaborate on it. Talk about it, why it matters to you, how it helped you and defined you as a person, what you’ve learned from it, and how it helped develop a specific interest.

It’s even better if the activity is connected to the theme of your application. It helps to highlight your commitment to what you’ve actively pursued and felt so passionate about. The most important part of Essay B is talking about you and your identity. 

This part of your personality refers to anything related to your personality like an unusual hobby that defines your personality, your socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, languages you speak, culture, ethnic background, and so on. 

Pretty much, anything that you think is essential and played a big role in defining who you are as a person, your way of thinking and acting could be the topic of your essay. 

It’s not just enough to talk about your identity — you have to go further beyond it and expand on the concept. Talk about why you think this matters to you and how it helped shape you, your life, and your perspective.

The third prompt is about using your imagination without limits or boundaries. In essence, writing an essay should be fun. You’re not here to defend your dissertation in medicine — you’re here to tell the admissions officers who you are, what you love, how you feel, and where you would like to be in the next few years. Essay C is exactly that — your view of the future.

You can talk about where you would like to go with your life and then expand on that concept by thinking critically about the reasons that compelled you to go that way. If you can relate it back to your application, that would be even better.

By doing so, you have far better chances of standing out in the entire college admissions process. The best thing about the Essay C prompt is that you can choose a fictional place, as there are no rules stating it has to be a real place.

Essay C is essentially how admissions officers ascertain your character and capability. By letting your imagination run wild, you’re showing them how your mind works but, more importantly, what your true values are. 

This question is also an excellent way to show them what characteristics of a community you really hold dear. There is no one size fits all when it comes to writing a college essay that stands out. You’ll just have to think it through and try to connect all the dots into a bigger picture. 

It’s vital that you give answers to the following questions: 

  • What made you choose that particular location? 
  • How are you connected to that place?
  • What role does that place play in your life?

It’s important that you describe some meaningful situations that helped define you as a person. Oh, and don’t forget to edit before you submit as you can’t afford to submit an essay with grammar mistakes, etc.

Let’s elaborate a bit on what you can do with your Essay A prompt. The main goal of this prompt is to allow admissions officers to see how the external environment has shaped you as a high school student. You can start by describing your environment. 

Identify and describe specific events and experiences that shaped your personality while in high school. Only describe the experiences that are really important to you. It’s essential that you focus on how these experiences shaped you through your high school career. 

Just describing the environment isn't enough as you have to show how that environment shaped you into the person you are today. Your audience is hoping to learn two main things about you:

  • That you can be thoughtful and mature about your surroundings
  • What makes you different from the rest in your environment

Here are some key strategies you can use to make sure you answer the prompt correctly.

Take ideas such as your community, neighborhood, home, or family and work on them in several different directions. Expand on each concept by including the most significant things and events that connected you with the surroundings. 

Reflect upon how this environment helped turn you into who you are today. More importantly, how it helped you stand out. You can talk about how your environment positively fostered certain traits or qualities in you or mention some obstacles you had to overcome. 

It’s vital that you make a connection between your special traits and the environment to send a clear message to your readers. Think of specific events, anecdotes, or stories that could be related to your interaction with your surroundings and explain what they say about you.

Remember when we said that writing an essay should be fun? You can make your essay more interesting by including some action and characters. Just like a good movie, your essay needs a happy ending or, at least, a poignant one. 

Here are some good features to consider for your essay:

  • Setting — try to depict the main characters and their connection to the environment or start by describing the actual physical environment.
  • Stakes — adding high stakes to the story gives your essay a dynamic range, making things more interesting. So, explain what you gained or lost in your anecdote.
  • Conflict resolution — every story has an external and internal conflict that needs resolution. External conflict includes someone like a friend, a family member, a neighbor, etc. Inner conflict is essentially your response to a particular experience or event. Both conflicts need some level of resolution to express how the changes impacted you. 

Here are some good Essay A ideas:

  • Describe a situation where you made the initiative to organize people in your surroundings to contribute to a common local cause.
  • Reflect upon a close relationship with someone very close to you.
  • Talk about a particular place in your environment and why it matters so much to you.
  • Describe how it feels being a minority where you come from.
  • The things you had to do to handle culture shock from having to move.

Prompt B is all about telling others about yourself. Now, this is pretty vague, but we can dissect it into two specific sections:

  • The things that define you — every person has certain traits that define them, whether it’s a talent, an interest, or an identity.
  • How these things make who you are — having traits alone isn’t enough, you’ll have to elaborate on how these traits make you who you are, what they say about you as a person.

Essay B tells your readers two things about you:

  • How you see yourself — colleges are looking for students who are aware of themselves and can communicate messages about themselves in a cohesive, confident, and clear way. Describe your values and core traits that helped you go through changes and develop a sense of self.
  • What your passion is — prompt B speaks about your ability to communicate genuine passion. You’ll face a lot of challenges in college, and you’ll need a driving force to overcome them all. Speaking about what you’re passionate about tells your readers that you can be engaged in the world around you.

It’s important not to lose yourself in describing a complete image of your personality. Keep in mind that you have to stay on the right course in describing your defining trait. 

So, be both comprehensive and focused at the same time. Here are a couple of ways you can frame your identity and put your passion in the best perspective.

To be able to precisely, comprehensively, and accurately describe the essence of who you are, you first need to identify your defining trait. It has to be something that clearly represents who you are or the core aspect of your personality.

This is where we’ll mention anecdotes and stories once again. The best way to identify your core message isn’t by just saying what it is. If you can tell a story about how you’ve come to recognize it, now that’s a completely different thing. Be positive and realistic as this helps make your essay sound serious and mature.

So, you’ve identified your core message. The next phase should be using it to create a complete image of your personality. Think about what your core trait says about you. 

  • Are you adventurous? 
  • Are you passionate? 
  • Do you like exposing yourself to risk? 
  • Do you have a taste for exploration? 
  • Are you a team player ? 

Go with two or three traits and start painting your final masterpiece about who you are in your essence.

Just telling about some event or experience that demonstrates your key trait isn’t nearly as effective as showing or describing how certain situations led you to develop and recognize those traits.

You’re here to talk about the special qualities that make you unique and valuable to your college and community. Therefore, avoid seeming narcissistic, self-aggrandizing, staid, and glib.

You don’t want to sound self-centered and whiney. Instead, describe yourself as a person people can rely on, as someone who can take charge of a touchy or difficult situation.

Here are some good Essay B ideas to contemplate on:

  • If you’re an expert on some topic or really good at something, try to explain how that impacts your identity.
  • Describe what a certain extracurricular activity you got involved in means to you and what you’ve learned from it.
  • If there’s anything you did thorough research on, speak about how you’ve come to discover that interest and the things you’ve learned from it.
  • If you have a personality trait, explain how it impacted you, your life and the people around you.
  • Describe how your cultural or religious background defined you.

Essay C is essentially about you giving your imagined possibilities to your readers. Since there’s a pretty vast array of possibilities to reflect on here, we recommend taking one of the following two approaches:

  • Take your long-term goals and expand on them — describe what long-term goals you’d like to accomplish in your life and career to show what your interests are.
  • Make your narrative imaginative — the C topic doesn’t put any limits on you. It gives you complete freedom to talk about anything, anywhere. It’s important to determine the place and the things you’ll do there. This helps express yourself as a thoughtful person, capable of thinking ahead of things and situations.

Essay C helps admissions officers understand a specific path you’re set on. This prompt allows you to demonstrate your maturity and knowledge. More importantly, it tells about your capability to include all possibilities and portray a futuristic picture of your life and career in a compelling way. It is crucial to find out all the essay requirements the university you are going to enter has. That's why we prepared different blogs such as Virginia Tech GPA requirements , Carnegie Mellon essay prompts , Johns Hopkins essay that worked , etc, to help our users prepare for this writing task.

Here are some tips to help you express compelling and thoughtful visions of your future.

Since this is practically your direct interpretation of what you should be doing in the future, you have to pick a destination that has a special meaning for you. It has to be genuinely compelling to you.

Students usually get lost in describing their vision because there is so much they would want to say but are limited by the word count. Therefore, stick with a simple aspiration rather than brag about your vision. 

Remember that you’re writing a college essay . It has to be real, convincing and serious yet imaginative. Talk about what kind of person you’d like to become.

Picking a destination is just one side of the coin. Don’t forget to include and consider other elements of your story. Take the key ideas that relate back to your goals, talents, and personality. 

Your admissions officers shouldn’t have to think about your point or who you are — your paper is there to explain that to them.

Here are some good Essay C ideas you can use to accomplish that:

  • Describe how a particular extracurricular activity or class led you to pursue a particular academic career.
  • Put yourself in a leadership role and describe what that experience taught you and how you’ve learned to take charge and solve problems.
  • Start a discussion on how you had the chance to teach someone to do something and how that inspired you to teach in the future.
  • If you want to make it more abstract and fictional, describe a place from your favorite movie or book you’d like to visit and what that says about you.
  • Name a historical period you’d like to visit.

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Essays & Short Answers

Summer/Fall 2025 Essay

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

Please keep your essay between 500–650 words (typically two to three paragraphs).

Spring 2025 Essays

All freshman Spring 2025 applicants must submit a required essay:

  • UT Austin Required Essay in the Common App, or
  • Topic A in ApplyTexas

Please keep your essay between 500–700 words (typically two to three paragraphs).

Spring 2025 Essay Topic

Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?

Submitting Your Essay

You can submit your essays:

  • In conjunction with your application.
  • Using the Document Upload System in MyStatus.

*Students do not need to submit other Common App essays. We’ll only review what is required.

Short Answers

  • Submit the required short answers to prompts in your admission application.
  • Answers are limited to no more than 40 lines, or about 250–300 words per prompt, typically the length of one paragraph.

Summer/Fall 2025 Prompts

  • Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?
  • Think of all the activities — both in and outside of school — that you have been involved with during high school. Which one are you most proud of and why? ( Guidance for student s: This can include an extracurricular activity, a club/organization, volunteer activity, work or a family responsibility.)

Optional Short Answer

Please share background on events or special circumstances that you feel may have impacted your high school academic performance.

Spring 2025 Prompts

  • Describe how your experiences, perspectives, talents, and/or your involvement in leadership activities (at your school, job, community or within your family) will help you to make an impact both in and out of the classroom while enrolled at UT.
  • The core purpose of The University of Texas at Austin is, “To Transform Lives for the Benefit of Society.” Please share how you believe your experience at UT Austin will prepare you to “Change the World” after you graduate.

Submitting Your Short Answers

You can submit your short answers with either your Common App or Apply Texas application. Short answer responses must be completed in order to submit your application.

  • Transfer applicants must submit one essay responding to Topic A.
  • Applicants to the School of Architecture are required to upload Topic D in addition to Topic A. 

Essay Topics

Topic a (required).

The statement of purpose will provide an opportunity to explain any extenuating circumstances that you feel could add value to your application. You may also want to explain unique aspects of your academic background or valued experiences you may have had that relate to your academic discipline. The statement of purpose is not meant to be a listing of accomplishments in high school/college or a record of your participation in school-related activities. Rather, this is your opportunity to address the admission committee directly and to let us know more about you as an individual, in a manner that your transcripts and the other application information cannot convey.

Topic D (School of Architecture majors only)

Personal interaction with objects, images and spaces can be so powerful as to change the way one thinks about particular issues or topics. For your intended area of study, describe an experience where instruction in that area or your personal interaction with an object, image or space effected this type of change in your thinking. What did you do to act upon your new thinking and what have you done to prepare yourself for further study in this area?

Submitting Your Essay(s)

texas state application essay prompt

Texas Tech University | TTU

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Texas Tech University | TTU’s 2023-24 Essay Prompts

Overcoming challenges essay.

Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?

Additional Info Essay

Most students have an identity, an interest, or a talent that defines them in an essential way. Tell us about yourself.

Common App Personal Essay

The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?

Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?

Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.

Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?

Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

What will first-time readers think of your college essay?

COMMENTS

  1. Freshman Admission Essays : Undergraduate Admissions : Texas State

    Freshman Admission Essays. An essay is not required for admission, but it is highly recommended. Essay topics A, B, and C below are the same topics found on the ApplyTexas application. If you choose to submit an admission essay, select one of these topics. Essays may be submitted through your ApplyTexas or CommonApp account or by using our ...

  2. Texas State University's 2023-24 Essay Prompts

    Common App Personal Essay. Required. 650 words. The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores?

  3. How to Write the ApplyTexas Essays 2023-2024 + Examples

    Texas A&M University, College Station: Topic A is required. 4 additional short answers for all applicants, 1 of which is optional. 1 short answer for applicants to the College of Engineering. Also accepts the Common App. Baylor University, Waco: Choose between Topic A, B or C (optional).

  4. How to Write Perfect ApplyTexas Essays

    You are required to write an essay on Topic A. You also have to answer three short-answer prompts (250-300 words each). If you're applying for a studio art, art education, art history, architecture, or visual art studies major, you'll have to write a short answer specific to your major. UT Austin also accepts the Common App.

  5. Apply for Admission : Undergraduate Admissions

    Steps to Apply. Complete and submit the online application at ApplyTexas or Common App (essay not required). Pay the application fee (need-based fee waivers are available). Have official transcript (s) sent from all colleges and universities attended. Submit your high school transcript or GED certificate with scores (if 15 or fewer credit hours ...

  6. PDF Essay Prompts

    Admissions and scholarships applications for Texas institutions of higher education.

  7. How to Respond to the ApplyTexas Essay Prompts

    The different Texas universities found under the ApplyTexas application will have slightly different requirements when it comes to which essay prompt responses they select. Each Texas school will require a different combination of the above three essay-prompts or even all three. In fact, some schools will even have additional prompts of their own.

  8. Apply Texas Essays- Latest Guide

    The University of Texas Austin requires its applicants to respond to Apply Texas Essay A if using the Apply Texas application. Their word limit is 500-700. Their word limit is 500-700. Additionally, students will complete three required short answer essays with word limits of 250-300 words.

  9. How to Apply : Undergraduate Admissions : Texas State University

    Texas State University will not require SAT or ACT test scores for students ranked in the top 75% of their high school classes for admission to the university, application to the Honors College, or for consideration for Assured and Competitive Scholarships. ... You can submit your essay with your application or by using our document uploader ...

  10. PDF ApplyTexas Essay Prompts A, B and C For U.S. Freshman and International

    ApplyTexas Essay Prompts A, B and C For U.S. Freshman and International Freshman Applications For inclusion in ApplyTexas applications for the 2022-2023 cycle (Summer 2022, Fall 2022, and Spring 2023 - opening 7/1/21) Essay A: Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high

  11. How to Write the ApplyTexas Essays for Transfers, Re-admits, and

    General Tips for Writing ApplyTexas Essays as a Transfer, Re-admit, or Transient Student Determine which essays are required before you start writing. While you are welcome to respond to every prompt, only a few are required for each University of Texas school. Check out the requirements for schools on your list before beginning your essays.

  12. Freshman Admission Requirements

    We recommend students complete the following curriculum or equivalent for assured admission. Students applying without this curriculum will go through our review process. 4 credits of English. Including: English I, II, III and IV. 4 credits of Math. Including: algebra I and II, geometry and advanced math courses such as pre-calculus, calculus ...

  13. A Great ApplyTexas Essay Example

    ApplyTexas allows its users to apply to hundreds of Texan colleges on one platform. While each school has its own essay requirements, most students should be prepared to answer either Topic A, B, or C. This article focuses on Topic A. In this post, we'll share an essay a real student submitted for Topic A. We will also cover what the essay ...

  14. College Essays for Students in Texas

    Apply Texas College Essay Prompts for Class of 2023. January 17, 2022 By Jolyn Brand. The Apply Texas application is a common application form for most Texas public universities. It allows students to input their information for several different colleges at once. ApplyTexas college essay prompts for class of 2022 are: Essay A: Tell us your story.

  15. How to Write Apply Texas Essay

    When it comes to Apply Texas essay requirements, these vary. The required prompts vary from school to school, but the most common essay prompt is Essay A. For example, UT Austin supplemental essays require Essay A with three smaller custom questions, while Texas A&M requires Essay A and B. All universities require an essay no longer than 1200 ...

  16. Where can I find example Apply Texas essays?

    Hi there! It's great that you're looking for examples and tips on the Apply Texas essays. You can definitely find resources online to guide you through the process. First off, you can visit the Apply Texas website itself, which provides the essay prompts and some guidelines for each of the topics. This will help you understand what the admissions officers are looking for.

  17. Six Examples of Apply Texas A "Tell Us Your Story"

    This student gained Early Decision admission to Johns Hopkins by submitting their Apply Texas essay for the Common Application. Of all the essays I present, this one is the most straightforward and literal, perhaps reflecting their math and physics-oriented mind. I like this essay because it does precisely what it needs with little fluff - a ...

  18. Apply Texas essay prompt help?

    Hello! I understand how challenging it can be to come up with ideas for essays, especially when they need to fit specific prompts. Here's a breakdown of some strategies you can use to approach the Apply Texas essay prompts: 1. Read the prompts carefully: Spend some time understanding the question being asked and what specific aspects of your life or experiences they want you to discuss.

  19. Eight Tips for New UT-Austin Apply Texas Essay A Prompt "Tell us your

    Update: Check out these thirteen Essay A Tell Us Your Story Examples from Fall 2020 UT applicants. Apply Texas announces its new Essay A prompt starting with Spring 2020. Your response can be longer than the recommended 700 words. Apply Texas allows submission of around 800 as I discuss thoroughly in this post.

  20. Freshman

    A freshman applicant is a current high school student (with or without college credit) or a high school graduate with no college credit earned after high school graduation. Join the Aggie Family Texas A&M University is home to more than 70,000 students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs studying business, engineering, liberal arts, nursing and much more.

  21. Freshman

    Requests can be made in the application, or by submitting the Request for Fee Waiver form via our Document Upload System in MyStatus. Essay and Short Answers. Applicants must submit at least one essay and the required short answer prompts. The essay topic, requirements and prompts can be found on our website and in the applications.

  22. Essays & Short Answers

    Essays. Summer/Fall 2025 Essay. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. Please keep your essay between 500-650 words (typically two to three paragraphs). Spring 2025 Essays. All freshman Spring 2025 applicants must submit a required ...

  23. Texas Tech University

    Common App Personal Essay. Required. 650 words. The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores?