Ultimate Guide to the ApplyTexas Application

🏜 Going through the ApplyTexas Application

The ApplyTexas application is the Texas version of the Common Application. It is a unified college application process accepted by all Texas public universities and many private schools. (Note that some schools that accept ApplyTexas also accept the Common App.)

🚦 Starting the Application

This is the "easier" part - so feel free to get started before having your essays and chosen colleges ready! Though it is easier, it requires more legal information, so you may need a family member's help.

🙋 Profile

  • The Profile section is about you and your background; remember to have your full legal name so that paperwork can be connected together. Make sure to be honest in the entire college admissions process.

👨‍👩‍👦 Family

  • The Family section is about your family members and their career as well as education; it also shows if you are a first-generation student, legacy student, twin applicant, etc.

🎓 Education

  • The Education section is about your high school (or secondary school) experience, including dual enrollment. Here, you will have to put your grades, GPA, senior courses, future plans, and more.

🍎 Testing

  • The Testing section is about your test scores, including AP, SAT, ACT, SAT Subject, IB, and more. You also should enter in tests you expect to take. If you will get your score back before the results come out, make sure you send your score to the admission office so they can add that to your file.
  • If your colleges allow self-reporting scores, all you have to do is submit your scores here, and you don't have to pay extra! Here is a list of colleges that allow self-report.
  • If not, you will have to send scores through College Board (or the corresponding organization). There will be a cost - make sure you also submit at least 2 weeks before the deadline so you don't have to pay extra fees.
  • Check each college's website regarding their testing policies. For example, international applicants will have to send TOEFL or similar scores.

🛑 Extracurricular and Volunteer Activities

  • At this point, we've finished all the sections that are more logistical and don't require too much thinking. The next few—activities & writing—require more thinking and changing around.
  • The Activities section is tougher, and you will be changing this often. To sum it up, you should start by creating a spreadsheet or document with a non-restricted description of all your activities and extracurriculars, then pick the best 10 and narrow it down!
  • This section is also the section with Honors. These Honors don't have to be all national awards! It can be smaller awards, such as school awards (honor roll, spirit awards, club awards, etc.), hackathon awards, and more. It's totally fine if you don't fill it all up, too.
  • "Community/Volunteer" such as American Heart Association, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and more should be listed here.

📑 Employment Information

  • This is a chance to highlight any work experience you may have!

✍️ Custom Questions

  • Here, you'll find questions ranging from involvement with certain organizations to enrollment at specific schools. However there are usually 'optional' short answer questions regarding topics like, but not limited to; describe any financial need circumstances you would like for the scholarship committees, Why have you chosen to apply here, and many more! Add anything "additional" but necessary! It is not required, and don't add any information the admissions officer can already find in your application.
  • Also, don't add a second personal statement in these short answers. It should be more of extra circumstances that you want the admissions officer to know, such as extended activity information (that's significant), family circumstances, situations that hindered your academic performance, identity, employment, changes in personal life, or anything to answer the question while providing additional information!

✏️ Essay Prompts

This essay is the scary part — a section where you get to be vulnerable and show your personality, aside from all the hard facts (activities, test scores, GPA, etc.) and the uncontrollable sections (letter of rec, family/education, etc.). Find more information in the next section.

There are four essay prompts on the ApplyTexas application for freshman admission (Topics A, B, C, and D). There are also several short answers prompts for UT Austin and Texas A&M, as well as an additional Topic E for transfer students. All Texas colleges and universities have different application requirements, including essays. 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.

There are three ApplyTexas essay topics that try to get to the heart of what makes you the person you are in three different ways. But since Topics A, B, and C all focus on things that are essential to you as a person, it can be difficult to come up with a totally unique idea for each. 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.

Topic 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?

Topic B

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

Topic C

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

💗 Getting Familiar with a Prompt

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. On the other hand, 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.

Remember that you can reuse essays - for example, these essays can be for the Common App as well.

Check out these other guides that you might need.