texas tech essay length

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?

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. 

Essay ATell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?~800Depends on each university
Essay BSome 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.~800Depends on each university
Essay CYou’ve got a ticket in your hand – Where will you go? What will you do? What will happen when you get there?~800Depends on each university

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:

UT AustinTopic A required 500-700 words3 required and 1 optional short answer essays 250-300 words
Southern Methodist1 essay (topic of your choice) 250-650 words2 required short answer essays 250 words
Texas A&MTopic A required 500-700 wordsNo additional essays
Baylor University1 essay (not specified) 500-700 words1 supplemental essay 450 words
TCU1 essay (topic of your choice) 300-500 wordsNo additional essays
UT Dallas1 optional essay (topic of your choice) 500-700 wordsNo additional essays
University of HoustonNot required1 short admissions essay if applying test-optional
Texas Tech1 optional essay (Topic A or B) 500 word maxOptional additional essay (Topic A or B) 500 word max

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 tech essay length

texas tech essay length

Texas Tech University Guide

The Ivy Scholars guide to Texas Tech’s culture, admissions, and other essential information for prospective students and their families.

Location:  Lubbock, Texas

Mascot:  The Masked Rider

Type: Public Research Institution

Population: 38,000 (32,000 undergrads)

Jump to Section:

Statistics  

Natl. Rankings  

Admissions Info

Academics  

Special Programs

Student Life  

Financial Info  

Fun Facts     

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About Texas Tech

texas tech essay length

Texas Tech Statistics

Year Founded:  1923

4 Year Graduation Rate:  35%

Gender Distribution: 55% male, 45% female

Acceptance Rate:  71%

Residency:  91% in state, 1% out of state, 8% international

Location Type:  Urban

Schedule System:  Semesters

Student/Faculty Ratio:  20:1

Average Class Size: 30

Demographics: 56% Caucasian, 28% Hispanic, 7% Other or Unknown, 6% Black, 3% Asian

National Rankings

US News Rankings:

  • #93 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
  • #105 Top Public Schools
  • #218 National Universities

Independent Rankings:

  • #28 Best Colleges for Agricultural Sciences per Niche
  • #72 Top Public Universities per Niche
  • #80 Colleges with the Best Student Life per Niche
  • #107 Public Colleges per Forbes
  • #116 Best Value Colleges per Forbes
  • #311 National Universities per Forbes

Texas Tech Admissions Information

Application Deadlines:

  • Priority: December 1st
  • Regular Decision: August 1st
  • Transfer Deadline: May 1st

Notification Dates:

  • Priority: Rolling
  • Regular Decision:  Rolliing

Acceptance Rates:

  • Priority: 71%
  • Transfer:  82%

Average Applicant Pool:  25,200

Average Number of Applicants Accepted:  17,400

Average Number Enrolled: 5,900

Application Systems:  Apply Texas, Common App

Average GPA: 3.57 weighted

SAT Scores:  25th percentile – 1070, 75th percentile – 1240

ACT Scores:  25th percentile – 22, 75th percentile – 27

*Test mandatory. Writing sections optional.

Demonstrated Interest: Texas Tech considers demonstrated interest.

Read more about  demonstrating interest .

Recommendation Letter Policies:  While no letters are required, up to three letters (2 teachers and 1 counselor) are suggested for students who do not meet the cutoff for automatic admission.

Texas Tech Essay Prompts:

  • Essays are not required, but they are recommended for students who do not meet the cutoff for automatic admission.
  • Common App Personal Statement (650 words) OR Apply Texas Prompt A.

Texas Tech Essay Writing Tips

Special Notes:

  • Texas high school students in good standing may gain automatic admission if they are in the top 10% of their class, or if they meet test score minimums , which vary depending on a student’s class standing.
  • The colleges of Business and Engineering exclusively admit students who meet the automatic admission criteria.
  • All students must submit proof of immunization .
  • Students applying for art, music, or performing arts are required to submit a portfolio of work or audition. More information here .

Need assistance with the college admissions process?

Texas tech academics.

  • College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
  • College of Architecture
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jerry S Rawls College of Business
  • College of Education
  • Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering
  • College of Human Sciences
  • College of Media and Communication
  • J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts

Core Requirements:

  • All students are required to take classes in core areas: Written Communication (6 hours), Oral Communication (3 hours), Mathematics (6 hours), Life and Physical Sciences (8 hours), Language, Philosophy, & Culture (3 hours), Creative Arts (3 hours), Social and Behavioral Science (3 hours), American History (6 hours), Political Science/Government (6 hours), Multicultural Requirements (3 hours)
  • Comprehensive General Education Information

Courses of Study: 

  • 150+ Majors Offered
  • Option to double major
  • Popular majors include Interdisciplinary Studies, Health & Physical Education, Business Administration, Marketing and Psychology
  • Minors Offered

AP Credit Policies:

  • Texas Tech awards credit for scores of 3, 4, or 5 on most AP exams and scores of 4 or above on most IB higher-level exams.
  • Comprehensive AP Credit Information

texas tech essay length

Honors Programs:

  • The Honors College is a small community with its own programs, housing, and advising, offering a community of scholars for high-achieving students. Students must apply to the honors college separately as an extension of their university application. However, students will not be considered for honors until they are accepted into the university. The honors program requires the submission of two additional essay questions, and two letters of recommendation. 
  • Departmental Honors (contact individual departments for more information)
  • Graduation Honors : Students may earn honors (including Latin honors) based on GPA
  • Academic Honors Societies

Research Availability:

  • There are many research opportunities available for students on campus.

Study Abroad: 

  • Study Abroad Options

Business Options: 

  • Rawls College of Business offers seven majors , along with a number of certificate programs and minors for students who wish to specialize further. 
  • There are dual degree programs, offering a joint BBA/MSA , BBA/MS in finance, or the STEM pathway, which offers a MBA program for undergraduate STEM majors.
  • Students in the business school can also double major in other schools at the university.
  • Scovell Business Leadership Program provides additional opportunities to high-achieving business students.

Pre-Med Options:

  • Pre-med is considered a designation , and not a major. There is a set track of courses for pre-med students to take to prepare them for med school. Otherwise, pre-med students can major in any program they prefer.
  • See Texas Tech’s Pre-Health Advising page for more information on planning a pre-health academic programme.
  • Automatic admissions program for Honors College students to the medical school. They also offer an early acceptance program.
  • Pre-Law Advising Program
  • Early Decision Plan Available through the Honors College.

Additional Specialty Programs: 

  • Undergraduate to Pharmacy Initiative
  • Architecture Dual Degree Programs

texas tech essay length

Student Life at Texas Tech University

School Motto: From here, it’s possible.

Mission and Values:

  • Mission: As a public research university, Texas Tech advances knowledge through innovative and creative teaching, research and scholarship. The university is dedicated to student success by preparing learners to be ethical leaders for a diverse and globally competitive workforce. The university is committed to enhancing the cultural and economic development of the state, nation and world.
  • Additional Information
  • Student Testimonials: Niche , Unigo , Grad Reports

House System:

Freshmen are required to live on campus, although they may apply for an exemption. The school offers traditional dormitories, and an Honors College-specific residence hall. The halls also offer optional learning communities for students who want to socialize with students of similar academic interests. There are both apartment-style and traditional residence halls available.

Housing Statistics:

  • 84% of freshmen live on campus
  • 20% of undergraduates live on campus at any given time

Campus & Surrounding Area :  

  • Featuring Spanish Renaissance-style architecture, the campus is considered one of the most beautiful in the country.
  • Points of interest on and around campus include the Museum of Texas Tech, the Lubbock Lake Landmark , and the National Ranching Heritage Center . The campus is also considered a historic site .
  • Safety information: ( Texas Tech , College Factual )

Transportation:

  • Most transit happens via car, but there is a bike clinic on campus with several programs to support bike riders on campus. 
  • Parking Information

Traditions:

  • Carol of Lights – Each December, the campus is festooned with lights to celebrate the holiday season. This event celebrates the first lighting of the year with singing and other celebratory, seasonal activities. 
  • Riding into the Sunset – Students wrap this iconic statue in red crepe paper before each home football game to protect it from pranks by visiting teams.
  • Raider Gate – A school-sanctioned tailgating event for students. It starts four hours before every home football game.
  • Arbor Day – Students and faculty gather each year to plant trees and flowers in an ongoing project to further beautify Texas Tech’s campus. 

Student-Run Organizations:  

  • Organization Database
  • Sample Organizations ( Saddle Tramps , Goin’ Band From Raiderland , The Daily Toreador )
  • D1 Athletics Big 12 Conference (Good Football and Women’s Basketball)
  • Intramural Sports
  • Club Sports
  • Main Rival: UT Austin

Greek Life: 20% of undergraduates participate in greek life, including social, academic, and service organizations.

  • The town of Lubbock has a small but vibrant nightlife scene, and many bars and restaurants . 
  • Sporting events are also very social, and often revolve around tailgating plans and after-parties.
  • Frat and house parties are a common weekend occurrence. 
  • The #4 party school in Texas, according to Niche.

texas tech essay length

Financial Information

Yearly Cost of Attendance:

  • Total: $27,156/$39,426
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,600/$23,870
  • Room & Board: $9,956
  • Books: $1,200
  • Transportation: $2,400
  • Personal Expenses: $2,000

Financial Aid:

The Red Raider Guarantee is a program which guarantees students meeting the given criteria will have their education funded by a variety of grants, without needing to take out loans. All students are considered for the program once they submit their financial aid paperwork. Students who apply and submit paperwork by the priority deadline are given first consideration for financial aid.

Additional Financial Aid & Student Loan Information

Scholarships:

57% of students receive some form of grant aid or scholarships. There are a number of merit based and competitive scholarships available. Students are automatically considered for scholarships when they apply. The school stops giving awards when funding runs out, so students are encouraged to apply early for the best possible aid package.

  • The largest collection of documents on the Vietnam War in the nation is the Vietnam Center and Archive at the school. It is the first archive of its kind in the country to sign an exchange agreement with the state archive in Vietnam.
  • Raider Red is the school’s alternate mascot, as some schools don’t allow the masked rider’s horse on campus.
  • The “Tech” in the university’s name isn’t an abbreviation.
  • John Hinckley Jr., who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, attended the university sporadically but never graduated. 
  • Notable alumni include quarterback Patrick Mahomes, and former President of Panama Demetrio B. Lakas.
  • Students wishing to be the Masked Rider mascot must audition and hold the position for 1 year, during which they make 300+ appearances. 
  • The statue “Riding into the Sunset” originally faced due West, but this meant visitors to campus were greeted by the rear end of the statue. Texas Tech decided to rotate the statue by 23 degrees so the rear end cheekily faced Texas A&M instead.

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How Long Should Your College Essay Be? What Is the Ideal Length?

What’s covered: , personal statement length vs. supplemental essay length, are college essay word limits hard, what if a college essay word count isn’t given, what if you need to submit a graded paper, where to get your essays edited.

Students often spend hours agonizing over the best topics for their college essays. While it’s natural to wonder whether your personal statement is original or compelling enough, there’s one aspect of the process that shouldn’t cause you undue stress—how many words should a college essay be? Fortunately, with a little research, you can uncover the ideal college essay length for all your applications.

Unlike high school assignments, which typically have a strict page requirement, most colleges provide a word limit or word range for their application essays. This practice helps ensure that essays are the same length regardless of font or formatting. A good guideline is that students should strive to get as close as possible to the upper limit of the word range without exceeding it. Keep reading to learn more about best practices for college essay length.

How many words should a college essay be? Personal statements are generally 500-650 words. For example, the Common Application , which can be used to apply to more than 800 colleges, requires an essay ranging from 250-650 words . Similarly, the Coalition Application , which has 150 member schools, features an essay with a recommended length of 500-650 words.

650 words is the most common limit for your personal statement, but some schools may ask students to write more or less. For example, ApplyTexas , a platform used to apply to Texas public universities and other select colleges, requests essays with requirements that vary by school. For example, students applying to UT Austin will need to submit an essay of 500-700 words, along with three short-answer questions of 250-300 words each.

On the other hand, the University of California (UC) application includes a Personal Insight section with eight prompts . Students are asked to respond to any four of these prompts, with each response topping out at 350 words.

Additionally, some schools request a few supplemental essays, which are typically shorter than a personal statement. These questions are designed to gain more information about a student’s interests and abilities, and may include topics like your reasons for wanting to attend their school, your desired major, or your favorite activity.

Most schools require 1-3 supplemental essays, though some may require more or none at all (see our list of top colleges without supplemental essays ). These essays tend to be around 250 words, but some may be just as long as your main essay. For example, Cornell requires applicants to write a second supplemental essay (of 650 words max) that is specific to the program they’re applying to. The exception to this is the Cornell College of Engineering, for which applicants are required to compose two supplemental essays of 250 words max each.

For best results, keep your essays within the word range provided. While you don’t have to hit the count exactly, you should aim to stay within a 10% difference of the upper limit—without including fluff or filler. For example, if the school requests 500 words, try to ensure that your essay is between 450 and 500 words.

For the Common App, try to stay within 550-650 words, even though the given range is 250-650. Any submission shorter than 500 words will make it look as though you simply didn’t care enough to give your best effort. An essay shorter than 500 words won’t be long enough to truly share who you are and what matters to you.

Exceeding the word count isn’t an option—the application portal cuts off anything over the maximum number of allowed words. This is something you want to be particularly careful of if you’re drafting your essay in a Word or Google document and pasting it into the application.

Although most schools provide applicants with a specific word count, some offer more general guidelines. For example, a college may ask for a particular number of pages or paragraphs.

If you aren’t given a word count, try to adhere to the best practices and conventions of writing. Avoid writing especially short or overly long paragraphs—250 words per paragraph is generally a safe upper limit. If you’re asked to write a certain number of pages, single- or double-spaced, stick to a standard font and font size (like 12-point Times New Roman).

In the event that the college doesn’t offer any guidelines at all, aim for an essay length of around 500 words.

While essays are the most commonly requested writing sample, some colleges ask for additional pieces of content. For example, Princeton University requires students to submit a previously graded paper for evaluation .

Princeton offers guidelines that cover length, but if another school requests an old paper and doesn’t offer length requirements, a paper ranging from 3-5 pages should yield the best results. The goal is to select a paper long enough to showcase your writing skills and unique voice, but short enough that the admissions officer doesn’t get bored reading it.

Is your essay effective while staying within the required word count? It’s hard to evaluate your own writing, especially after rereading it numerous times. CollegeVine’s free Peer Essay Review provides an opportunity to have your essay reviewed by a fellow student, for free. Similarly, you can help other students by reviewing their essays—this is a great way to refine your own writing skills.

Expert advice is also available. CollegeVine’s advisors are prepared to help you perfect your personal statement and submit a successful application to your top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, how to write perfect applytexas essays.

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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.

Want to write the perfect college application essay?   We can help.   Your dedicated PrepScholar Admissions counselor will help you craft your perfect college essay, from the ground up. We learn your background and interests, brainstorm essay topics, and walk you through the essay drafting process, step-by-step. At the end, you'll have a unique essay to proudly submit to colleges.   Don't leave your college application to chance. Find out more about PrepScholar Admissions now:

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.

Want to build the best possible college application?   We can help.   PrepScholar Admissions combines world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've guided thousands of students to get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit and are driven to get you admitted to your dream schools. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in:

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.

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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?

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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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MSN Family Nurse Practitioner

Although TTUHSC is not currently mandating facial coverings, the SON Office of Admissions highly recommends you wear a facial covering when you visit our department, or any of our campuses or educational sites. Facial coverings have been an effective part of the COVID-19 management strategy. This safety precaution supports our efforts to continue operations without disruptions and provide as traditional of an educational experience as possible. 

All applicants and incoming students need to be aware that while the School of Nursing does not require COVID-19 vaccination, our clinical partners are requiring that all students are fully COVID-19 vaccinated prior to clinical placement and proof of vaccination must be provided, in advance.  The successful completion of the clinical component of your program is essential for graduation.  As a result, students will not be able to complete program requirements for graduation without completing the clinical requirement.

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner Track (FNP) prepares graduates to assume a primary care provider role in a multitude of health care settings including rural and underserved settings.

A Post-Graduate Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate is also available to those who currently hold a Master of Science in Nursing and wish to assume a specialized role as a primary care provider.

Upon completion of course requirements, graduates of the Master’s and Post-Graduate Certificate tracks are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Family Nurse Practitioner and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Exams.

Disclaimer: Due to changing regulations, the TTUHSC SON Graduate Programs cannot guarantee at the time of submission of an application that we can accept students from a particular state. At this time, we are unable to accept students living in the following states – Arizona, California, Louisiana, New York, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington.

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Financial aid (student loans, grants, scholarships) are available upon admittance to the School of Nursing. Additional information may be found at the  Financial Aid Office website   or by calling 806-743-3025.

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The Graduate Department Chair and/or Program Director will review the applicant's previous academic preparation and/or competency in required courses in order to award transfer credit. Any deficiencies will be met by enrollment in required courses.

Generally, credits earned at an accredited college or university are accepted for transfer credit provided course content is equivalent. A grade below B is not acceptable for transfer credit.

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IMPORTANT NOTE FOR APPLICANTS WHO ATTENDED A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY IN SPRING 2020

An explanation of how TTUHSC School of Nursing considers courses in which a student earns grades of Pass (P), Fail(F), Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) is outlined below:

  • Official transcripts with courses awarded with P or CR during the SPRING 2020 semester can be used to meet prerequisite course requirements and will not be used in calculating either the cumulative or science GPA for admissions.  
  • TTUHSC SON reserves the right to determine how, and if, courses awarded with P or CR during any semester, outside of spring 2020, will be calculated into a GPA and/or considered for transfer credit.
  • Official transcripts with courses awarded with a Fail (F) or No Credit (NC) during any semester cannot be used to meet prerequisite course requirements
  • Valid unencumbered RN License
  • Baccalaureate nursing degree (BSN) from a regionally accredited college or university with nursing program accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or from the American Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
  • Applicants with a nursing transcript from a foreign university are to submit an official course-by-course evaluation from CGFNS. If the coursework is not related to a nursing degree, the applicant must submit an official course-by-course evaluation from one of the four agencies listed here .
  • Completion of undergraduate courses in research and statistics with a grade of C or better
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) for all coursework leading to a baccalaureate degree
  • Personal Statement/Essay (maximum of 500 words)
  • Professional letters of reference (3). Family members, friends, ministers, are not considered a professional reference
  • Official transcript for the BSN plus transcripts for all undergraduate courses including undergraduate research and statistics course if not included on the BSN transcript
  • Computer Literacy: defined as an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of a computer and how to use them wisely within clinical workflow and for scholarly work. Applicants must complete the TTUHSC SON Computer Literacy Test located at http://nursing.ttuhsc.edu/skills/ prior to applying
  • TOEFL Scores – Applicants from a country where the primary language is not English must provide evidence of achieving a total score of 84 or higher with a speaking score of 26 or higher and a writing score of 27 or higher on the TOEFL iBT. This may only be waived if the student has received a degree from an accredited college/university in one of the listed countries: Australia, Canada (except the Province of Quebec), Commonwealth Caribbean countries (including Anguilla, Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands), Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales), United States.

International students with F1 and F2 status are not eligible to apply to an online program

Non-Academic Considerations include, but are not limited to

  • Evidence of leadership in nursing (Professional organizations, committees, etc.)
  • Potential for leadership in an advanced role as evidenced by reference letters
  • Professional nursing work experience
  • Diversity of work or life experience (For example: experience with other cultures, study/travel/work abroad, community service, military service, degree in other field, volunteerism or other related extracurricular activities)
  • Curriculum vitae/resume which includes educational background, honors, nursing experience, professional membership(s), and community service
  • Permanent resident of Texas or TTUHSC service area/county or TTUHSC campus location
  • First generation college student
  • Fluent in a language in addition to English

Track-specific Requirements

  • Must have one (1) year of RN experience prior to application submission to the FNP track
  • Response to Track specific essay questions
  • Application

It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that their application is complete: Application Instructions

All application fees and placement fees/enrollment deposits are non-refundable.  Please be sure you are applying for the correct term/program before submitting your application.

Admission Term Application Open Application Deadline
Fall November 1 of previous year February 15
Spring May 1 of previous year August 1 of previous year

Additional Information to Note

  • It is to your advantage to include as much information as possible in your application including any certifications you may have (i.e. BLS, ACLS, PALS, CCRN, etc.), information on any professional nursing organizations of you may be a member, current and previous work experience. Additional tips can be found by reviewing Tips for a Successful Application to the Graduate Program .
  • There are two steps to submitting the application. First, submit all application fields and submit the application. Within 24-48 hours, supplemental items will post on your status page. This is the second step you will be required to complete. Application will be marked complete once all supplemental items are received.
  • Ensure that all required application documents are received by the deadline. It is the responsibility of the applicant, not that of TTUHSC, to make sure that your application is complete and submitted. We will not contact you for missing items.
  • If you already have your MSN degree and are interested in applying for the post-master's certificate program, you will need to follow a different application process which is outlined on the websites for the post-master's tracks.

Important Reminder About Transcripts

  • Once you have submitted your application, official transcripts must be submitted by ALL colleges or universities attended. You may only request official transcripts – you may not submit an official transcript yourself.

TTUHSC School of Nursing Office of Admissions 3601 4th St. STOP 8212 Lubbock, TX 79430-8212

[email protected]

  • *Effective immediately, TTUHSC School of Nursing will no longer accept transcripts transmitted through the SPEEDE system.  Please ensure your official transcripts are submitted electronically to [email protected] or mailed to the Office of Admissions.

*DISCLAIMER:  Please be aware that if the Office of Admissions does receive an official transcript transmitted via the SPEEDE system (either directly from the sending institution or a third-party transcript provider), we may use it to evaluate and process your application.  Therefore, as an applicant, it is important you remain aware that information on transcripts submitted via SPEEDE may not be accurate.  It is to your benefit to have the transcript sent to the Office of Admissions either electronically to [email protected] or through the mail.

Application Portal

Request More Information about this program

  • Degree Plan
  • Enrollment, Graduation and Certifications Outcomes / Pass Rates
  • Immunizations
  • Technical Standards for Nursing Education

View the minimum computer system requirements for this program

Prospective Students & Applicants

806-743-9294 [email protected]

To set up an advising session, please click here

Newly Admitted Student Support

806-743-6450 [email protected]

Currently Enrolled Student Management

Kayla New 806-743-1543 [email protected]

Accreditation

The master's degree program in nursing at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( http://www.ccneaccreditation.org ).

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Undergraduate Admissions

For Transfer Students

TTU

Let's get started.



01

Complete an application for admission.



If you have questions about whether you should complete a domestic or international application, complete this questionnaire .

The Summer 2024 and Fall 2024 application is still available on Common App.



02

Submit required and/or supplemental documents.




 

We require official transcripts from every college you have attended. If you have completed less than 12 transferable hours after high school graduation, a high school transcript and ACT/SAT scores are required.

If the transcript service you use requests an email address for delivery, please use [email protected]. SPEEDE and Parchment are preferred digital transcript services. Official mailed transcripts may be sent to: Box 45005, Lubbock, TX 79409.



03

Create a account to get an update on your application status and register for events created by Undergraduate Admissions.





Transcripts

  • If you are admitted with work in progress, your decision will be conditional.
  • You can attend orientation and register for classes for one term with a conditional decision
  • When we receive your final transcript, if it has grades that bring your GPA below our minimum, your decision can be revoked.
  • If we are still missing a final transcript for the prior term on the 12th class day, a registration hold for the following term will be placed on your account and all final grades must be submitted to resolve that hold.

IMPORTANT DATES

Are you uncertain if you should apply as a domestic or international student? Click here to determine which application you need to submit.

Requirements

Assured admission.

If you present the required combination of transferable hours and GPA below, you are assured admission. GPA is cumulative for all transferable courses (including dual credit) from all schools attended. Courses taken for grade replacement are used for GPA calculation only if the same course is repeated at the same institution where it was originally taken.

12-23 hours 2.50 cumulative
24 or more hours 2.25 cumulative

Note: Some academic colleges and departments at Texas Tech University only accept students who meet assured admission criteria or meet specified requirements. Review the special requirements by college here .

Admission Review

If you do not meet assured admission requirements but have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA, an admission committee will evaluate your potential based on other criteria.

  • Academics – types of courses taken and pattern of progress, as well as coursework taken leading toward major
  • Student-submitted essay – explanation of the decision to transfer to Texas Tech, reasons for past academic performance and plans to ensure future academic success
  • Extracurricular activities/employment – leadership and work experience, special talents or awards, other information relevant to the admission decision
  • Students with a cumulative GPA or transferable credit hours below requirements or who haven't taken college coursework in the past two or more semesters are encouraged to explain circumstances that have impacted their past academic performance and to submit an essay.
  • Architecture - 3.0 GPA
  • Biology, Cell & Molecular Biology, Microbiology - 2.5 GPA
  • Business - 2.75 GPA, 15+ hours, Students should also have a C or better in Math 1331 (TCCN Math 1325) or Math 1451 (TCCN Math 2413).
  • Counseling & Addiction Sciences - 2.5 GPA
  • Engineering - 3.0 GPA, 24+ hours
  • Honors College - 3.5 GPA
  • Human Development & Family Science - 2.5 GPA
  • Interior Design - 2.7 GPA
  • Physics - 2.5 GPA

We strongly recommend that you provide a high school transcript for your file. This will be used for advising and for satisfying foreign language requirements in some majors. This is only a mandatory admissions requirement if you have completed fewer than 12 transferable hours after graduating from high school. International applicants have additional requirements. Call the International Admissions office at 806.742.3667. Every student attending Texas Tech for the first time must show proof of a meningitis vaccination.

Already applied?

Admission applications are accepted beginning July 1 for Fall admission and June 1 for Spring admission. Decisions usually take 2-4 weeks. If you have any questions regarding the application or enrollment processes, contact your admissions counselor here.

Transfer Events

Virtual transfer info sessions.

Join us to receive helpful information about navigating the transfer process at Texas Tech University. During the presentation we will discuss admissions requirements, the application process, transfer merit scholarships, transfer resources, life as a transfer student, and transferring credit to Texas Tech.

Transfer Resources

  • Transfer Scholarships

Scholarships are offered to transfer students who meet the GPA and credit hour requirements. To learn more about the Transfer Merit Scholarship Program, visit scholarships.ttu.edu . 

Pre-Transfer Advising

Start working with our pre-transfer advisors even before you get here! We'll help you research your academic options and guide you through a variety of decisions while you attend your current institution. Whether you plan to transfer from a two-year or four-year institution, we'll help make your transition to Texas Tech a success.

Find your degree plan .

See how your credits transfer using the Transfer Equivalency Search .

Identify how your credits transfer and apply to your degree plan using DegreeWorks Transfer .

Regional Degree Programs

Interested in studying at one of the many Texas Tech University regional teaching sites? You don't necessarily have to come to Lubbock to receive a Tier One degree! Check out the many options available at our regional site locations .

Looking for an online degree that will give you the flexibility needed for school and life? Check out our many online degree options .

  • FERPA Policy (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974)
  • Summer Scholarship Program
  • Withdraw Application
  • Red Raider Bound - Planning to transfer at a later time? Let us know!

Have questions?

We have a dedicated team of admission and financial aid experts ready to answer your questions!

  • Like Undergraduate Admissions on Facebook Like Undergraduate Admissions on Facebook
  • Subscribe to Undergraduate Admissions on YouTube Subscribe to Undergraduate Admissions on YouTube
  • Follow Undergraduate Admissions on Instagram Follow Undergraduate Admissions on Instagram

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r/ApplyingToCollege is the premier forum for college admissions questions, advice, and discussions, from college essays and scholarships to college list help and application advice, career guidance, and more.

ApplyTexas Essay Lengths

I am applying to UT at Austin and Texas A&M. However, I couldn't find nearly anything about the length of the required essays. After searching the sub I found that the maximum character limit was 9600. This many characters would mean at least 1500 words. Do they expect essays this long? What is the average length of essays sent? Will my 500-650 word essays be okay or should I improve them?

COMMENTS

  1. PDF College Admissions Essay Tips

    2. Your essay should be typewritten. Do not submit handwritten essays. 3. Do not exceed 500 words. Be concise. 4. Use proper grammar and spelling (use spell check and have your essay proof-read) 5. Do not list any other universities that you're applying to in your essay. It should be customized for the university to which you are applying. 6.

  2. Texas Tech University

    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.

  3. First Time in College

    Let's get started. STEP. 01. Complete an application for admission. Common App. If you have questions about whether you should complete a domestic or international application, complete this questionnaire here. The Summer 2024 and Fall 2024 application is still available on Common App. STEP. 02.

  4. First-Year Writing Curriculum

    First-Year Writing Curriculum. The English 1301 and 1302 curriculum was redesigned in 2018 to provide a stronger rhetorical foundation for students at Texas Tech and to provide students with practice in the habits of mind of rhetoric and writing in university life and in public deliberation. This curriculum was designed to support students in ...

  5. Texas Tech Admission Requirements 2023

    During Texas Tech's regular decision cycle, it received 33,756 applications and accepted 22,908 students (68%). Tech is a widely popular school to apply to. *Note that Texas Tech does offer a Priority Deadline. Applications received by the Priority Deadline are given the most consideration* Texas Tech's Transfer Acceptance Rate is high. Of ...

  6. Texas Tech Essay Prompts

    Here are the Texas Tech essay prompts that you'll have to choose from: Personal Statement (Common App) - Students can choose one of seven unique essay prompts. 650 words max. Essay A (Common App/Apply Texas) - Students can respond to an essay prompt about the opportunities or challenges they've faced. 800 words max.

  7. Apply Texas Essays- Latest Guide

    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). Texas Tech. Alternatively, Texas Tech does not require applicants to complete an essay. However, the essay is "highly recommended."

  8. Texas Tech Guide

    Texas Tech University Guide The Ivy Scholars guide to Texas Tech's culture, admissions, and other essential information for prospective students and their families. Location: Lubbock, Texas Mascot: The Masked Rider Type: Public Research Institution Population: 38,000 (32,000 undergrads) Jump to Section: About Statistics Natl. Rankings Admissions Info Academics Special Programs Student Life ...

  9. TTU ApplyTexas Essay? : r/TexasTech

    lightninghorns08. •. All good points here. One thing to mention though is, if you're going to apply to the Honors College at TTU, then you must put your best foot forward with your essays (at least try to answer them fully with good length). I'm pretty sure the Honors College looks at all of your general essays.

  10. The Best College Essay Length: How Long Should It Be?

    In the simplest terms, your college essay should be pretty close to, but not exceeding, the word limit in length. Think within 50 words as the lower bound, with the word limit as the upper bound. So for a 500-word limit essay, try to get somewhere between 450-500 words. If they give you a range, stay within that range.

  11. How Long Should Your College Essay Be? What Is the Ideal Length?

    Personal statements are generally 500-650 words. For example, the Common Application, which can be used to apply to more than 800 colleges, requires an essay ranging from 250-650 words. Similarly, the Coalition Application, which has 150 member schools, features an essay with a recommended length of 500-650 words.

  12. How long should the Tech scholarship essays be? : r/TexasTech

    How long should the Tech scholarship essays be? On the scholarship tab on common app the word limit for each of the writing prompts is 50-800 or 0-500. This is obv a very large range, so i'm kind of confused. am i looking at a 200 word answer, or a 500 word answer?

  13. Writing Handouts

    Texas Tech University. 2500 Broadway Lubbock, Texas 79409; 806.742.2011; Follow Texas Tech University. Like Texas Tech University on Facebook ... Writing Application Essays; Citing AI; Rhetorical Analysis. Writing Centers of Texas Tech Writing Resources Rhetorical Analysis. Back; Kairos; Ethos; Logos; Pathos;

  14. Application Essay Prompts/Requirements : r/TexasTech

    Application Essay Prompts/Requirements. Hey all! I (17M) am going to be applying to go to TTU in 2025 and so I still have a little bit to go until I can apply, however I would like to get everything in order beforehand so I just have to submit everything. Does anyone know where I can find the prompts/requirements for the essay I will have to write?

  15. 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.

  16. Family Nurse Practitioner

    Program Length. The MSN FNP track is completed in 48 semester credit hours. ... Personal Statement/Essay (maximum of 500 words) Professional letters of reference (3). Family members, friends, ministers, are not considered a professional reference ... Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 3601 4th Street, Lubbock TX 79430 ...

  17. Writing a Personal Statement

    We recommend that students have multiple people critically read and critique their essay before submitting it. You can have friends, professors, the University Writing Center or the University Career Center review it for you ... Texas Tech University, 347 Drane Hall, Box 41038, Lubbock, TX, 79409-1038; Phone 806.742.2189; Email [email protected];

  18. How long should the Scholarship answers be? : r/TexasTech

    Mine were relatively short, about 150-250 words from what I remember. I was awarded a presidential merit scholarship, but I think that scholarship is solely based on how well you did in school. I would do around 300-500 if realistic. Bout 350. The word count for the scholarship questions is set to 50 to 800 words on Common App.

  19. "Can my UT-Austin Essay A and Short Answers Be Longer Than 700 and 300

    A Mighty big kitty www.kevinwithcats.com. Yes. You can submit MUCH MORE than 750 words for Essay A and more than 300 for each Short Answer on Apply Texas. I am very aware that my blog posts suggest 750 words for Essay Aand 350 words for the Short Answers, and that this suggestion does not align with UT's suggested 500-700 words or 250-300 ...

  20. Transfer

    If the transcript service you use requests an email address for delivery, please use [email protected]. SPEEDE and Parchment are preferred digital transcript services. Official mailed transcripts may be sent to: Box 45005, Lubbock, TX 79409. STEP. 03. Complete your application status!

  21. Should I bother with the Texas Tech optional essays?

    Essays. Applying to Texas Tech because of a generous scholarship opportunity. There's a section for two optional essays, and even though I know the advice is always "no essays are optional", I'm pretty sure I'm assured admission because of my stats. Also, there are a couple other applications I need to finish tomorrow, and I don't really even ...

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    Moody v. NetChoice is a milestone ruling in First Amendment law, giving internet platforms the highest level of constitutional protection.

  23. Transfer Application Optional Essays : r/TexasTech

    2.5 gpa is auto admit. I also transferred here last semester I don't remember doing the essay since optional. But you got a solid gpa so you shouldn't worry. Ask ChatGPT to write the essay. It'll crank something out in 30-seconds. Then add in some personal info and done. Hey all, I'm thinking of transferring to Texas Tech as a computer ...

  24. ApplyTexas Essay Lengths : r/ApplyingToCollege

    However, I couldn't find nearly anything about the length of the required essays. After searching the sub I found that the maximum character limit was 9600. This many characters would mean at least 1500 words. Do they expect essays this long? What is the average length of essays sent? Will my 500-650 word essays be okay or should I improve them?