The two applications most widely used by Texas students are the Common Application and the ApplyTexas application. The Common Application is used by nearly 700 colleges and universities; most of the colleges using the Common Application are private colleges, but there are increasing numbers of public universities which accept the Common Application. ApplyTexas is the application used by the Texas public universities and by some of the private Texas colleges and universities as well. Below are the prompts for these two applications that will be used by students who plan to enter college in the fall of 2018.
ApplyTexas Essay Prompts
Check the ApplyTexas application or a university website for determining which essays, if any, are required by the university. Keep in mind that students who don’t meet the assured admissions criteria for a Texas public university may want to submit essays even if essays are not required because they may help the student in the holistic review process. Texas A&M University requires Essay A and Essay B. Essay C is strongly encouraged for students who are being reviewed holistically (not top 10%) or who want to be considered for scholarships at Texas A&M University.
What was the environment in which you were raised? Describe your family, home, neighborhood, or community, and explain how it has shaped you as a person.
Some 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?
Essay D is specific to students who are applying for a major in Architecture/Interior Design, Art, Art History, Design, Studio Art, or Visual Art Studies/Art Education at UT Austin.
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/interior design, 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?
At UT Austin, Essay S may be submitted as a second essay, or as a third essay if you are required to submit an essay in response to Topic D due to the major you selected. You may also submit it as a third essay at your discretion.
Common Application Essay Prompts
Students write an essay using one of the prompts below. In addition, many colleges require students to write one or more supplemental essays.
- 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?
- Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma – anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
- 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.