How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Into University of Texas

Saturday, December 02, 2023
Increase Chance Getting Into University Of Texas

The University of Texas at Austin is a dream school for many students. Like any dream school, getting accepted takes the right combination of preparation, determination, and strategy–and, of course, it has to be the right fit for you.

There is no one secret to getting into the University of Texas at Austin. Instead, as you work on your high school grades, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, resume, and personal statement, you should keep some specifics about UT Austin in mind.

The priority deadline for students seeking early acceptance is November 1st, and admission decisions will be in by February 1st. But for most applicants, the deadline will be December 1st of the year before you plan to begin classes.

Whether you're mid-application or just dreaming of becoming a Longhorn, here are some tips to help you increase your chances of getting into the University of Texas.

Get to know UT’s statistics

No matter where you apply to school for higher education, you should know essential facts about the admissions expectations, campus culture, and school programs before filling out the application. This information will allow you to impress admissions officers and ensure that the school in question is right for you.

Some of the most critical information about University of Texas at Austin may include:

  • It's competitive - the University of Texas Austin admissions rate sits around 31%. With over 50,000 applicants on average, less than 20,000 will get in.
  • For the 2024 rankings, U.S. News and World Report listed UT Austin as the 32nd-best school in the entire country.
  • While the school is affectionately called "The Forty Acres," it is a large campus with over 431 acres and over 40,000 students.

Holistic Application Review

UT Austin prides itself on a holistic application review, which means that no one statistic will be the reason for a rejection. That also means one good statistic doesn't guarantee your entrance - it's all about the whole picture.

Students should expect admissions officers to consider all information from the application, including scores and GPA. Still, supplemental materials like activities, personal statements, and other information students deem appropriate to share.

According to UT admissions information, the following items are considered during the holistic review:

  • Class rank
  • Strength of academic background
  • SAT Reasoning Test or ACT scores
  • Record of achievements, honors, and awards
  • Special accomplishments, work, and service both in and out of school
  • Essays
  • Special circumstances that put the applicant’s academic achievements into context, including his or her socioeconomic status, experience in a single parent home, family responsibilities, experience overcoming adversity, cultural background, race and ethnicity, the language spoken in the applicant’s home, and other information in the applicant’s file
  • Recommendations (although not required)
  • Competitiveness of the major to which the student applies

Transfer Applications

Transfer applications, like first-year applications, undergo holistic review as well. However, according to the University of Texas website, high school performance and SAT/ACT scores are not considered. Instead, admissions officers look for:

  • Substantial coursework from a challenging academic institution
  • Evidence of relevant coursework and experiences related to your field of study
  • Required courses for specific areas of study
  • Evidence of a positive academic trend (GPA)

Average Test Scores

While test scores will never be the only factor in your admission to UT Austin, knowing the average range of a student can be helpful and give you something to strive toward.

For the SATs, most (over 58% of admitted students) scored 1400 or higher on the 1600 scale - and over 90% scored above 1200. The average ACT score for an admitted student is 29.

Average GPA

Since UT Austin is a competitive school, students who study there, on average, also had high GPAs in high school. The average GPA at UT Austin is 3.68. Compared to the average GPA in Texas, 3.35, this is a higher standard.

If you have time left in high school, you can always strive toward a higher GPA. Taking AP and IB classes can be one way to raise this number if you do well or focus on getting good grades in other courses. And even if your GPA doesn't ever reach these averages, it's balanced against all the other qualities you showcase in your application.

Showcase your unique activities inside and outside of the classroom

Though your academic scores and GPA are important, they do not tell your entire story.

UT Austin will want to know all about the unique activities you’ve participated in, like community volunteering, sports, school organizations, jobs, internships, study abroad experiences, etc. This information will help admissions officers get to know you outside your academic statistics and see your passions. It may also show them how you would contribute to the campus if admitted.

Remember that you do not need to show you’ve done all possible activities; rather, demonstrating that you’ve kept up with one passion over a long period can be just as impressive, if not more intriguing, to the University of Texas at Austin admissions team.

Gather solid letters of recommendation

Letters of recommendation aren't a required part of the UT Austin admissions process - but they certainly never hurt, especially if another area of your application needs to be improved.

Be sure to approach previous teachers, employers, or adults you trust (who are non-family members) politely and with gratitude. Let them know you are applying to UT Austin and which major you are pursuing so they know what qualities of yours they should specifically highlight in their letter.

If you choose a teacher, remember that they may get many requests during application season, so the sooner, the better!

Of course, choose your letter writers carefully. You should ask adults you know to be strong writers and those who know you well enough to showcase your skills and talents best and help your application shine. Remember that you won't see the letter before they submit it, so you want to choose someone you trust.

Highlight your unique qualities with a well-written personal statement

Since UT Austin does look at all aspects of your application, your statements will be a crucial aspect of the process. Make sure you take your time to brainstorm, craft, and revise your essays to showcase what makes you unique and ideally suited for UT.

Ensure you know which programs, professors, classes, and organizations excite you most about UT Austin, and share those details when appropriate. That way, you will show admissions officers that you know what you love most about the University of Texas and have a game plan if UT accepts you as a student.

Search for tips on writing personal statements in books like College Admission: How to Get Into Your Dream School--Real Students, Real Stories, in which, along with sharing student success stories, author James W. Lewis interviews Brad Schiller of PROMPT. You can also use, an editing service meant to gently but effectively help students through the writing process.

Schiller explains that the most compelling essays often discuss a time of personal growth for a student or a particular passion; you are usually an essential element of a competitive personal statement. Write about your unique experiences as authentically as possible, sharing who you are–not the person you think admissions officers want to see.

You can always visit NSHSS’s website for more essay-writing tips and advice or ask trusted school guidance counselors and teachers for help with your statement.

Do the work, and enjoy the process

Lewis’s book also features stories of real students attending your dream schools. Arif Harianawala, for example, ended up attending the University of Texas at Austin and advises prospective students to enjoy and trust the application process:

“While you might be stressed about getting into college, remember that if you put in the effort and time, you will see results. And don’t forget to take time to breathe and enjoy your senior (or junior, sophomore…) year; you’ll only experience it once! I didn’t know my dream school when I applied, but now that I have committed, I am confident I ended up in the perfect place for me.” —Arif Harianawala, University of Texas Austin.

Arif is a success story, partly because of hard work but also because of trust and enjoyment in the process. Though you might be scrambling to raise your grades and test scores to get into a dream school like the University of Texas, all-nighters and overwhelm will not leave you in the best state to apply to UT with a clear mind and open heart.

Trust that if you continue to work, you will end up at the right school for you–whether that is the University of Texas or another!