When you write an apply Texas essay, you have the opportunity to make a difference and show the admission department a different you that they wouldn’t normally be exposed to during an interview. You have the chance to write about what matters to you or what you are passionate about.
This will also reflect on your values, and the officers get a better idea of how they can help you reach your goals. While they read your essay, they get an opportunity to see just how mature you are and how you, like many others in your generation, can change the world.
The Essay Requirements
When you are on the website, you will find four essay prompts geared toward freshman admissions. These are topics A, B, C, and D. You will also see three essay prompts that are not on the ApplyTexas application itself.
These three prompts are found on the UT Austin Essay Application though. They are topics N, S, and W. When writing an essay, you will see that there are no word limits; however, many colleges will suggest that the essays be a total of 1 to 1 1/2 pages long.
Requirements of Texas Colleges And Universities
In addition to the application and the essay, some colleges will also use that essay to help determine potential scholarship awards, honor programs, and other special majors that not everyone will qualify for. Find some essay submission requirement examples for each school are below.
Essay Requirements for UT Austin
- Write an essay on Topic A
- Write an essay on one more topic B, C, D, N, S, or W.
- Your second essay will be on Topic D if you are applying to enter into Fine Arts, Art and Art History, or Architecture.
- Your second essay will be on Topic N if you are applying for the nursing program.
- Your second essay will be on Topic W if you are applying for the social work program.
Essay Requirements for Texas A&M
- You will need to write essays on both Topic A and Topic B.
- If you find that you are not meeting automatic admission standards, it is recommended that you also write an essay on Topic C. This is not a requirement, only a suggestion.
Essay Requirements for Southern Methodist University
- You can choose which Apply Texas prompts you want to write about, as long as it follows the Southern Methodist University FAQ.
- Southern Methodist University accepts the Common App and its online application when applying.
Essay Requirements for Texas Christian University
- Write one essay on any of the topics that interest you
- Texas Christian University accepts the Common App as well as its online application.
Apply Texas Essay Example One: Family Paella, Tomas, and Cuban-German Heritage
“When I think of family, I taste Cuban “paella,” – but with something a little extra. My family’s unique mixture of second-generation Cuban and German-American makes large family gatherings all the more interesting.
My dad’s German side of the family is more traditional – every great paella needs a strong base of white rice. The Cubanos from my mom’s side mix in the exotic ingredients, the varied colors, and spices. While our family recipe contributes to who I am today, one of our most special ingredients stands out – loudly at times.
Holidays are a hive of activity. Pots clang while people loudly shuffle between rooms and from the kitchen to the backyard. Even I have trouble following the conversations.
Any outsider may be intimidated by this chaos. For me, it’s normal. My Cuban grandparent’s house bustled. I love my grandmother’s traditional Cuban cooking, my favorite part.
Her savory concoctions helped endure the sometimes frustrating and unnecessarily excessive amount of visitors popping in to chat. Amid all the chaos, there remained one constant. Every weekday around 4 pm, a voice rose above the din, “Tyleeer!” Tomas announces his arrival.
Tomas is one of my closest cousins for many reasons. Not only is he a permanent fixture at grandparent’s house, but he also requires a bit of attention. Tomas has autism. He is our paella’s most special ingredient.
It feels awkward writing this because I know how much of a stigma the word “autism” carries. Once someone hears “autism,” that, unfortunately, becomes his defining characteristic. Tomas is much more than his autism, and what others see as a weakness, our family views it as one of his greatest gifts.
Tomas is one of the smartest and most compassionate kids that I know. It’s just sometimes he requires a little bit of extra attention. I learned this very quickly. Like many things in life, I adapted.
I am not going to lie, sometimes, settling Tomas down or working through a task with him proves a huge struggle. Small tasks are easy to manage like helping with his homework or playing around the house.
But when he starts knocking things off the shelves at Tom Thumb, and the stares from other customers turn their gaze and judgment, things become complicated. In these moments, he pushes our patience to their limits.
These often daily occurrences began wearing me down. Looking back, I recognize that with every “grocery store tantrum,” I grew as a person.
Tomas grants me the humility that I will never be able to teach or change him. With each test, I become a little more conscientious and composed.
Most importantly, he reminds me of the importance of accepting others no matter the label attached to them.
While I see strangers in public judging Tomas based only on a limited snapshot or one instance of an outburst, it falls on the responsibility of each individual to withhold judgment and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I can’t control their stares.
No matter what stigma or connotation someone’s appearance or disability may have, I do my best to look past appearances and see the whole person.
I started to realize this importance when I perceived qualities in Tomas that others wouldn’t have allowed their own time or energy for him to share.
People are complex and multidimensional. When we apply labels and make assumptions, these sometimes become unintentional put-downs. In the end, Tomas and I’s unconditional love and trust cannot be broken.
Tomas pushes me to my temperamental boundaries, and sometimes I want to surrender, but I don’t. As I’ve become older, I’m especially grateful for this special ingredient in my life. Without it, our paella wouldn’t be complete.”
I feel this essay is thoughtful for a few reasons. It’s an engaging essay that captures their reader’s attention, is thoughtful, and well-written.
They integrate the metaphor of paella throughout their essay to describe their mixed background. It’s always more effective to illustrate rather than tell. What better way to illustrate your family background than making your reviewer’s mouth water?
The metaphor is effective because it lays the foundation to discuss their home life, parents, and grandparents. Moreover, this student does an effective job of painting a nuanced portrait of their cousin Tomas.
Tomas plays an important role in this essay and is more than just a recipient of Tyler’s generosity, for example. Tyler effectively conveys how Tomas is a central part of their family and, in turn, a key ingredient to their paella.
He also takes the next step by discussing how Tomas encourages him to be more patient and understanding while also considering the larger context of society’s perceptions of people with special needs.
Apply Texas Essay Example Two: The Saigon Spirit, Recent Immigrant
“It was flaming hot! The Vietnamese sun takes no prisoners.
I could feel the scorching sun with its invisible, piercing rays sneaking under my skin burning it relentlessly. Automatically, my body reacted to the enveloping heat by protecting itself with a blanket of sticky sweat.
My hands hurt. My back begged me to release my incredibly heavy box of iced milk-tea bottles – it was nearly as big as me! With all of my might, my grip clung to both sides of the box. My classmates and I wandered the streets of Saigon aimlessly, desperately hoping to sell some of these bottles. It was a refreshing drink on a hot summer day, after all.
Taking the lead, I shouted and rallied my lagging friends. “Come on! Keep moving! We can’t give up. We need money badly. People depend on us.”
As we dragged ourselves and the hefty box down the road, we heard a question inquiring from behind. “Hey kids, what are you doing?”
We turned to face the croaky voice. Our eyes rested on a man in his mid-forties with thin, balding hair. He was a typical motorcycle driver with an old, scratched Honda Wave 125CC.
“We are raising funds to buy school supplies for underprivileged kids of Binh Phuc Nhut Middle School in Tien Giang Province,” I responded with measured optimism. Five drivers had already rejected my offer earlier that day.
To my surprise, he not only bought our product. He offered to take our name cards to spread the word about our project. “What you are doing is wonderful. That’s the Saigon’s spirit!”
Hearing his compliment felt like a cool breeze passing through our aching bodies allowing us, momentarily, to forget about our sweaty skin and aching hands.
His statement reminded me fondly about the spirit of Saigon’s inhabitants – people are willing to work hard and sacrifice for others, especially those less fortunate.
My taste of success selling milk-tea bottles on the street served as inspiration for continuing my journey of community service.
Most people living in Saigon – also known as Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s major city in the south – are immigrants. Many destitute farmers migrate from the northern countryside – home to boundless rice terraces as far as the eye can see – in search of a better life.
They also come from the west the territory of immeasurably vast mangroves. Life in Vietnam’s countryside is extremely laborious, so it is fathomable that many people are attracted to the allure of city life.
People come from every corner of Vietnam to Saigon to follow their dreams. Since the majority of people in Saigon come from rural areas, they own very little and must work their way from the bottom.
Many residents share this same history and remember the hardship of the early days.
People in Saigon help each other with everything they have because we understand the struggle. They sympathize with the difficulties faced by many people to feed and provide shelter for their families. Without this sense of community, Saigon would not be an easy place to live.
We don’t wait until we are rich to give a hand. Mr. Pham Van Luong runs a small motorcycle repair shop on the sidewalk of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai. Even though he struggles to make a living, Luong provides free service for poor students and disabled people anyways.
My favorite example of the Saigon Spirit is free iced-tea boxes set up anonymously. The owners don’t need recognition or appreciation from the public. Putting names on buildings is trivial.
I believe that we help each other out of kindness and respect. Someday, we may also need help. There are other public services as well: pharmacy boxes donated by everyone rides to desire destination given by some motorcycle drivers and free meals by multiple restaurants. Of course, not everyone is kind-hearted, but those who are helping earnestly.”
I love this essay because it shares a lot of nice details about the city they come from and rich anecdotes to illustrate their points.
A non-native speaker wrote this essay. Maybe surprisingly, this final version looks relatively similar to their first draft. They supplied a lot of the rich details and context, and we worked together on word flow, word choice, style, grammar, and tone.
Their other essays discussed their family’s recent transition from Vietnam to Texas, so the overall strategy was essays about where they came from, where they are, and how UT can help take them to where they want to be.
It also demonstrates that non-native English speakers can produce great essays if they are willing to work hard, revise through multiple drafts, and consider thoughtfully their life circumstances, identity, and future goals.
I firmly believe that any student regardless of their background, culture, language, or socioeconomics can build outstanding college essays if they’re willing to put in the work.
Apply Texas Essay Example Three: Beaufort, South Carolina
“Salty breezes blow from the ocean and swim through the wetland marshes. Ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss sprinkle the landscape. Downtown houses predate the Civil War, and tourists explore by foot and horse-drawn buggies.
In Beaufort, South Carolina you’re never more than a few minutes’ journeys from the water. A nineteen-mile drive east brings you to idyllic Fripp Island where it’s best to go on weekdays to avoid the throng of weekend tourists.
Occasionally, sonic booms from F-16s break the tranquility of my hometown. “The noise you hear is the sound of freedom,” boasts the entrance to the nearby Marine Corps Air Station.
This sign is the first indication that the government and service industries dominate our local economy. While I love Beaufort, growing up here inspires me to expand my horizons and pursue studies elsewhere.
It is easy to understand why Beaufort is a popular retirement destination. Directors of popular movies like The Big Chill and The Prince of Tides recognize Beaufort’s quintessentially American qualities.
When Forrest Gump runs across the Mississippi River on his itinerant journey to the west coast, he is crossing the Beaufort River.
But the beauty of my hometown belies some stark economic truths. Beaufort is home to the Marine Corps Air Station and Parris Island, the eastern training facility for all new Marines and our largest employer.
Local businesses are a mix of chain restaurants, car dealers, tourist shops, branches of banks headquartered elsewhere, and service providers like doctors, attorneys, hairdressers, and veterinarians. We rarely manufacture, grow, or export anything.
Can a community dominated by government and services survive? Sometimes, I think about my mother’s hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio. Through the 1970s, Portsmouth had steel mills and factories producing shoes and bricks that employed thousands of people.
Portsmouth’s now-abandoned factories slowly give way to forest overgrowth. In two generations, the population has declined by half. The town leads Ohio in opioid overdoses, and the visible poverty is a hollow reminder of Portsmouth’s once-prominent past.
My concerns about our local economy drive me to take every business course available to me at my high school. I have taken a college economics course on DVD from a well-known professor.
Because my high school lacks courses or resources for financial planning or investments, I founded our school’s Investment Club.
Outside of school, I was fortunate to be selected for an internship with Beaufort’s most active real estate development and operations business. I have run studies and produced reports analyzing area real estate trends and property and hospitality taxes.
Our local campus of the University of South Carolina utilized some of my data to influence student housing policies. I have also assisted the company’s marketing efforts
I have even cleaned hotel rooms and worked at the front desk. In my free time, I read many nonfiction business books about many of the world’s great businesses and innovators, which have helped grow the economy.
I believe that the wealth and security of a community depend on the prosperity of its businesses and the diversity of its economy. Corporations and start-ups constantly innovate to drive down costs and provide consumers with quality products and services.
Years ago people did not anticipate how Amazon would revolutionize how we purchase products, or how smartphones would be a ubiquitous and useful presence in our daily lives.
These developments, however, are unevenly distributed to urban centers with young populations like San Francisco and New York City. I don’t see any compelling reasons why these innovations cannot happen in my community if talented leaders choose to return home.
I want to be a part not just of cutting edge innovations but finding ways to distribute access to economic opportunities more evenly. I consider the sign warning of military tests, and I think about how I can make a noise that boosts the sound of freedom.”
If the previous essay was almost all about the family, this student chose to focus almost entirely on their community and how it’s shaped their future professional goals. They are a current McCombs student, and this Essay A is a perfect example of how your response can demonstrate a fit for your major.
They begin with a few rich introductory details describing where they come from. Indirectly, they demonstrate how they will bring a diverse perspective to campus as an out-of-state student from a smaller city in the South.
The later paragraphs identify an issue in their community and what they have done to research and address it. It provides a lot of useful context for their resume and demonstrates to reviewers that they are concerned with local issues and go beyond expectations to be contributing member to their community.