UT Austin Supplemental Essays 2023-24
As one of the top public universities in the United States, the University of Texas Austin (UT Austin) is a popular choice for many students. Housed within the University of Texas System, UT Austin attracts students from all over the world. An integral part of any application is the UT Austin supplemental essays. Impactful and well-written essays will help your application stand out and allow UT Austin admissions officers to better understand your unique qualifications and personality.
The UT Austin supplemental essays may be only one part of your larger UT Austin application, but they should be taken seriously. This means that you’ll want to carefully and comprehensively respond to each of the UT Austin essay prompts.
The UT Austin essay prompts are designed to give admissions officers a deeper look into your motivations and goals. Your UT Austin essays can help paint a holistic picture beyond your Common App essay and resume. With UT Austin ranking highly across multiple lists (including U.S. News and Forbes), ensuring that your essays stand out is crucial.
For many students, starting the UT Austin essays can feel daunting–especially given the competitive UT Austin acceptance rate. However, we’re here to help! This guide will detail the UT Austin essay prompts and help you work through the University of Texas supplemental essays. Keep reading to learn more about the UT Austin supplemental essays and the best way to help your essays stand out.
UT Austin Admissions: Quick Facts
University of Texas at Austin Quick Facts
- UT Austin Acceptance Rate: 31%–U.S News ranks UT Austin #9 on its Top Public Schools list. You can read more about UT Austin’s acceptance rate here.
- UT Austin Essay Requirements:
- 1 long-form essay (500-700 words)
- 3 short answer essays (250-300 words)
- UT Austin Application: Students can submit their application through the Common App, or through the Apply Texas application.
- UT Austin Application Deadlines:
- Priority Deadline: November 1st
- Regular Deadline: December 1st
- UT Austin Essay Tip: Start your UT Austin supplemental essays early! With so many UT Austin essay prompts, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to edit and receive feedback. Give yourself several weeks at a minimum, and start earlier if you can!
Does UT Austin have supplemental essays?
Yes, there are several required UT Austin supplemental essays. Students will need to complete a long-form essay unique to UT Austin, as well as several short-answer essays. These UT Austin supplemental essays help admissions officers understand your application on a deeper level. Therefore, they can help your UT Austin application stand out.
The UT Austin essay prompts are designed to help you showcase your proudest achievements. The University of Texas Austin supplemental essays allow you to elaborate on your high school experiences – be sure to think through your responses carefully! Think of the UT Austin essays as an opportunity to demonstrate who you are and what you’re passionate about. We’ll detail the UT Austin essay prompts later in this guide, so keep reading!
UT Austin Essay Requirements
According to the UT Austin website, students need to complete a total of four UT Austin essays. The UT Austin supplemental essays will differ if you are a transfer student (we’ll get into this later in this guide). For first-year students, the UT Austin supplemental essays will include one 500-700-word essay and three 250-300-word short-answer essays. The UT Austin essay prompts can be found on the Common App, or the Apply Texas portal, but we will also detail them in this guide.
The long-form essay prompt for the 2023-24 application cycle is:
University of Texas at Austin Essay Prompt
Tell us your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced throughout your high school career that have shaped who you are today?
This essay will need to be between 500-700 words. Students will not need to submit other Common App essays to UT Austin. Therefore, you can think of this essay as replacing the standard Common App essay that many other colleges use.
We’ll discuss some more detailed tips later in this guide, but you should focus on 1-2 core experiences for this essay. 500-700 words is not a lot of space, so it’s important to be mindful of how you use your words. Reflect on who you are today, and try to identify 1-2 things that have shaped you. This can be a club or leadership opportunity, a work experience, or your family/cultural background. The UT Austin essays help admissions officers learn more about you, so think about what you want them to know!
Of course, as you now know, this isn’t the only essay you’ll need to write–it’s simply the longest! Let’s check out the short-answer essay prompts!
UT Austin Short Answer Essays
In addition to the long-form essay detailed above, students will need to complete three separate UT Austin supplemental essays. All of these essays have a word count of 250-300 words. So, it’s important to be efficient with your answers. Think of these UT Austin supplemental essays as part of a collective whole – try to build themes between each prompt that will help with your overall application narrative. Each essay should add new information to your application.
Here are the UT Austin essay prompts:
University of Texas at Austin Short Answer Essay Prompt #1
Why are you interested in the major you indicated as your first-choice major?
This prompt is best described as a “Why Major” essay. You’ve most likely seen similar prompts in other college apps. Our guide on Why Major Essay Examples will allow you to see how these essays should be written. Check it out before tackling your University of Texas supplemental essays. In fact, reading essay examples can help inspire you when writing your essays!
Keep in mind that out of all the UT Austin application essays, this essay requires the most research on UT Austin’s programs. Most importantly, you should be specific in your reasons for applying to your chosen major. So, be sure to search for relevant coursework, professors, and research opportunities.
University of Texas at Austin Short Answer Essay Prompt #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.
This essay is an opportunity to highlight an extracurricular activity, job experience, or leadership skill for the UT Austin admissions officers. Resist the urge to write about the same experiences as the previous prompt. You may notice that this prompt is similar to the long-form answer prompt, so it’s important to write about a different topic and focus on how you’ll make an impact at UT Austin.
Research similar clubs/leadership opportunities at UT Austin and link them to your experiences. Mention how you’ll build from your high school experiences. As the University of Texas Austin supplemental essays help build a cohesive narrative, you can connect this essay to your long-form essay, but be sure to have a fresh perspective.
University of Texas at Austin Short Answer Essay Prompt #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.
This essay allows you to imagine your future career goals and how UT Austin will help prepare you to accomplish them. If you’re still not sure what you’d like to pursue after college, the UT Austin essay prompts can help you detail larger-scale goals. Do you want to pursue a graduate degree, start your own business, or help solve a difficult problem? Make sure to build connections to resources available at UT Austin specifically!
UT Austin Transfer Essays
It’s important to note that if you are a transfer student, your UT Austin essay prompts will differ slightly. The University of Texas supplemental essays are designed to encapsulate a student’s experiences and qualifications. So, it’s understandable that transfer students have different UT Austin application essays.
Transfer students must complete two UT Austin supplemental essays, both between 500-700 words. The UT Austin essay prompts are different for transfer students, but they offer the same opportunity to directly address the admissions committee. These UT Austin essays will help determine if you are a good fit, so it’s important to spend adequate time and energy on them.
All prospective transfer students must complete “Topic A” as the first of two UT Austin supplemental essays:
University of Texas at Austin Transfer Essay Topic A
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/college or a record of your participation in school-related activities. Rather, this is your opportunity to address the admission committee directly and to let us know more about you as an individual, in a manner that your transcripts and the other application information cannot convey.
Out of all the University of Texas Austin supplemental essays, this prompt is the most open-ended. The personal statement is meant to help you communicate directly with the admissions office, and provide a narrative around who you are as a student. Your UT Austin essays can help explain aspects of your resume or transcript and provide a more holistic sense of your accomplishments. Out of the two transfer UT Austin essay prompts, Topic A allows you to paint a broader picture of your academic experiences.
Focus on 2-3 aspects of your resume or transcript, and try to build a cohesive narrative around them. Discuss what you studied at your previous university, and talk about your goals at UT Austin. Ideally, use the University of Texas supplemental essays as a way to break down your accomplishments so they stand out in your application.
Transfer students then need to pick another one of two UT Austin essay prompts in order to complete their application, “Topic C” or “Topic E”. Here are the prompts:
University of Texas at Austin Transfer Essay Topic C
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.
University of Texas at Austin Transfer Essay Topic E
Choose an issue of importance to you—it 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.
Picking between these two UT Austin essay prompts can be difficult – if you’re not sure which to choose, try to draft a thesis sentence for both. You may then have a better idea of which of the two UT Austin essays will complete your application. It’s important to differentiate your UT Austin application essays, so as to avoid redundancy. Make sure you’re discussing different ideas, experiences, and accomplishments in each essay. Most importantly, write on topics that you’re passionate about. The only way to write an authentic, moving essay is if you truly care about the theme.
Additionally, you can use this essay to build on a common theme in your application. But, be sure to use the UT Austin supplemental essays to cast a wide net. The more you’re able to communicate across your University of Texas supplemental essays, the better you’ll be able to explain why you’re a good fit for UT Austin!
How to write UT Austin Supplemental Essays
Writing your UT Austin supplemental essays can feel daunting, so we’ve compiled some tips to help! Most importantly, give yourself the time to prepare and map out your answers. This will make the writing process easier, and ideally, less stressful! Additionally, it will ensure that you write your best UT Austin essays possible!
Here are five tips on how to write your University of Texas Austin supplemental essays:
Five Tips for Writing University of Texas at Austin Supplemental Essay
1. Answer all parts of the prompt
The UT Austin essay prompts are designed to allow you to elaborate on your resume and overall application. Therefore, it’s important to touch on all aspects of the question. Many students will only address one part of the prompt; however, your University of Texas Austin supplemental essays serve as the best opportunity to speak directly with the admissions office. They developed the UT Austin essay prompts to help them understand you as an applicant. This means you need to address every part of each prompt. When reading through your first draft, ask yourself “Does this answer all parts of the question?”. If it doesn’t, be sure to expand!
2. Rank your accomplishments
With so many UT Austin essays, it can be easy to keep focusing on your top achievements. However, you want to use each essay strategically – the UT Austin essay prompts allow you to expand on many different aspects of your resume. Alternatively, you may want to write on a topic that hasn’t been seen elsewhere in your application. With so many possible paths to take in your responses, a good place to start the essay writing process is to rank your top accomplishments or most meaningful experiences. Then, match them with the different UT Austin essay prompts. This will ensure your UT Austin supplemental essays cover a wide range of experiences.
3. Create a cohesive narrative
While you may write them one at a time, the admissions officers will read all your University of Texas Austin supplemental essays all at once. The most impressive UT Austin essays build a cohesive narrative around a student’s accomplishments and goals. If you want to become a doctor, make sure your essays echo this – bring up any experience you have in the medical field or connect your essays to your passion for medicine. You don’t want to be too repetitive but think of 1-2 major themes you want your UT Austin application essays to convey.
4. Do your research!
Many of the UT Austin essay prompts want to know how you’ll contribute to the overall campus environment. Therefore, it’s important to conduct extensive research for your University of Texas supplemental essays. Spend ample time on the UT Austin website, or consider booking a visit if you’re able. Use specific examples in your UT Austin supplemental essays to help the admissions officers understand your interest. Through these essays, admissions officers should be able to envision the positive impact you’ll have on the UT Austin campus.
5. Plan ahead
With so many UT Austin essay prompts, it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you’re able to craft the best University of Texas supplemental essays. You’ll have to spend significant time and effort on your UT Austin supplemental essays. Don’t wait until the day before the admissions deadline to write your UT Austin essays! Create a calendar for yourself to help you stay on track. The earlier you start your essays, the better! Stay organized and focused to ensure you give all of the UT Austin supplemental essays the time they deserve!
Does UT Austin care about essays?
Given the high amount of UT Austin essay prompts, it’s fair to say that your UT Austin supplemental essays matter. The University of Austin supplemental essays allow admissions officers to better understand your application. The UT Austin essays should paint a holistic picture for the admissions office of you as an applicant. Therefore, it’s important that they are an authentic reflection of your accomplishments and personality. With the competitive UT Austin acceptance rate, your University of Texas supplemental essays will need to stand out.
It’s hard to say exactly how the UT Austin essay prompts factor into the admissions process, but we know that they can greatly add to your application. The UT Austin essays are the best chance you have to speak directly with the admissions office, so it’s crucial that you develop a unique voice. Ensuring that your UT Austin essays reflect your personality and experiences will help your application significantly!
How to make your UT Austin Essays stand out!
Overall, crafting your UT Austin supplemental essays to highlight your proudest accomplishments will help your application stand out. The UT Austin essay prompts are designed to help bring out what you’re most proud of, so be sure to answer all aspects of the prompt for each question. And, most importantly, choose your topics carefully!
For your Why Major essay, make solid connections between your extracurricular experiences and your intended major – this will help your University of Texas Austin supplemental essays feel cohesive. For example, if you’re planning to major in business, be sure to discuss any entrepreneurial experiences you’ve had or focus on how you’ve developed an interest in business through clubs. Making strong connections in each of your University of Texas supplemental essays will help your application stand out.
In addition to the mandatory UT Austin essay prompts, there is an optional essay for students who wish to expand on additional circumstances:
University of Texas at Austin Optional Essay Prompt
Please share background on events or special circumstances that you feel may have impacted your high school academic performance.
Many students have experienced disruptions to their high school academics, or want to provide context to a dip in grades. If you had a rough semester, this essay prompt allows you to address it formally. Some students explain difficult situations at home that impacted their performance or detail a difficult class or two. It’s up to you if you’d like to complete this essay. But if you’ve had a drop in grades, it can be a good idea to use this opportunity to explain the circumstances. Responding to this optional essay if it pertains to you, will allow admissions to better understand your application as a whole.
Resources on the Best Schools in Texas from CollegeAdvisor
In addition to helping you with your UT Austin supplemental essays, CollegeAdvisor has many resources to help you on your college journey. Be sure to read our guides on the Apply Texas Essays and the Best Colleges in Texas. We also have extensive guides on UT Austin, including UT Austin Scholarships and How to Get Into UT Austin.
Our guides can help you as you answer the UT Austin essay prompts and craft your University of Texas supplemental essays. The University of Texas Austin supplemental essays are only one part of the overall application, so it’s important you’re prepared! Researching the university and application process will allow you to have the best chances of gaining admission to your dream school. Preparation is everything when it comes to writing college essays.
UT Austin Supplemental Essays – Final Thoughts
Your UT Austin supplemental essays can help admissions officers understand you on a deeper level. Additionally, they should explain why you’re interested in attending UT Austin. The UT Austin essay prompts are designed to round out your application, providing some context for your resume and activities list. It’s important to plan your University of Texas Austin supplemental essays ahead of time in order to avoid repetition and to make sure that they highlight all of your proudest accomplishments.
Think of your University of Texas supplemental essays as a single assignment, rather than many different essays. They should build off of each other, reflect common themes, and provide a detailed overview of your accomplishments and interests. The University of Texas Austin supplemental essays are the best way to showcase your talents and make your application shine. Be intentional with each essay, and see each UT Austin essay prompt as part of a larger whole.
Writing about yourself can be challenging; however, the more practice you have, the better. It’s important to use the UT Austin supplemental essays to your advantage, as they can provide a great boost to your application. Write many drafts for each essay, and be sure to collect robust feedback. These essays are your canvas – decide what kind of picture you want to paint!
This essay guide was written by senior advisor, Jess Klein. 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.