Revealing College Essay Prompts Texas

College application essays allow students to showcase their personalities beyond just grades and test scores. The essay prompts in Texas give ample opportunity for students to tell their unique stories. Here are some insights into crafting an authentic, compelling personal essay for colleges in Texas.

The ApplyTexas Application

The ApplyTexas application is used by many public universities in Texas. It contains three main essay prompts:

  • Topic A: Tell your story. What unique opportunities or challenges have you experienced in high school? (500-700 words)
  • Topic B: Discuss an aspect of your identity, interest, or talent that defines you. (500-700 words)
  • Topic C: You have a ticket in your hand – where will you go? What will happen? (500-700 words)

Some colleges require one prompt, while others require two or all three. Be sure to check each college’s requirements.

Crafting Your Narrative

The ApplyTexas essays are essentially your chance to tell admissions officers your story. Think of it as writing a narrative with yourself as the lead role.

  • Focus on 1-3 pivotal moments, rather than summarizing your whole life. Depth is more compelling than breadth.
  • Show your personality, perspectives, and values through anecdotes and reflections. Don’t just tell abstract traits.
  • Be genuine and vulnerable. Admissions officers want to understand the real you.

Here’s an example outline for Prompt A:

  • Introduction paragraph explaining your challenging family situation
  • Story of a specific time your mom kicked you out of the house and how you handled this
  • Reflection on how this experience shaped your resilience and perspective

Standing Out with Your Essay

With so many students applying to Texas colleges, it’s important to stand out with your essay. Here are some tips:

  • Be specific and vivid with sensory details to bring your story to life. Help the reader visualize it.
  • Show rather than tell by illustrating your qualities through stories rather than stating them.
  • Find your unique perspective – what insights have your experiences given you?

Optional Essays

Some ApplyTexas colleges also have school-specific essay prompts that are optional. For example, UT Austin has an additional prompt for certain majors.

While optional, these essays allow you to further customize your application for each school. Admissions officers will be impressed by responses that align with the school’s mission.

Common Application Essays

The Common App is used by many private and out-of-state colleges. Their prompts for 2023-2024 are:

  1. Background, identity, interest, or talent that is meaningful to you
  2. Lessons you learned from a challenge, setback or failure
  3. Time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea
  4. Problem you would solve in the world and how
  5. Accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked personal growth
  6. Topic, idea, or concept you find engaging
  7. Open topic of your choice

These wide-ranging prompts allow you to select the topic you feel will showcase your individuality. Consider which stories and qualities you want to highlight as you brainstorm ideas.

Here is an example from Prompt 5 on starting a community service project:

When I witnessed bullying at my school, I felt compelled to make a difference… Disheartened by the lack of resources, I decided to start an anti-bullying program where students… Though I made missteps, this experience sparked growth in my confidence as a leader and passion for service.


The essay prompts in Texas provide plenty of opportunities to share your unique background. By showcasing your personality and perspectives, you can help your application stand out during competitive admissions processes. Focus on authenticity and finding your voice to craft a compelling personal essay.

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