Apply Texas Essays

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 Essays

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?

Apply Texas Essays

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!

College Search Feature

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. 

EssayPromptWord LimitRequired
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?

Apply Texas Essays

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. 

UT Austin

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). 

Texas Tech

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:

SchoolApply Texas essaysAdditional supplemental essays
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?

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

Apply Texas Essays

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.

Apply Texas Essays

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 can support you in the college application process.