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Ut Austin Application Essay Length For Middle School

Freshman Students

Join the latest Lumberjacks

Each year, more than 2,000 high school graduates enter our freshman class and transform into leaders, thinkers and motivated learners. With over 80 undergraduate majors and a supportive, caring campus culture, SFA offers every new Lumberjack a path to success.

Who succeeds at SFA? We’re looking for a freshman class of excited, motivated, curious individuals ready to make the absolute most of their college years in an exceptional setting.

Who is considered a first-time freshman? You are a first-time freshman if you have not attended a college or university since high school graduation, even if you’re entering with college-level credits.

Curious about community college transferable hours? Check our course equivalency guide and two-year planning guides.

Applying to SFA: The requirements

First-semester freshmen applicants must:

  • Complete an accredited high school program.
  • Meet the following standardized test requirements:

High school class rank

Old SAT 
(prior to March 2016)
(math + critical reading)

(after March 2016)

Top 10%No minimum requiredNo minimum requiredNo minimum required
Top 11-25%85093017
2nd Quarter 950103020
3rd Quarter 1100117024
4th Quarter File ReviewFile ReviewFile Review

When is the application deadline?

SFA is a rolling admissions university, meaning there is no application deadline. However, there are incentives if you apply early.

What are the benefits to applying early?

Students who complete the admission and housing application process by December 1, 2017, (for enrollment in Fall 2017) enjoy special benefits:

  • Get early notification of your Fall 2018 residence hall.
  • Receive priority sign-up for orientation, which provides the best opportunity to secure the class schedule you want.
  • Stop worrying about applying to college, and start preparing to become an SFA Lumberjack.

Applying to SFA: The process

Applying to SFA is easy with the ApplyTexas online admissions application. Use ApplyTexas to apply to SFA beginning July 1 of your senior year of high school. You can preview the application to get a sense of the questions.

Here’s a checklist of what you will need to complete your application for admission to SFA:

  • A completed application (done through ApplyTexas.org)
  • Your official high school transcript
  • Your official SAT/ACT scores

The cost for applying to SFA is $45. You’ll pay this at the end of the application process. Check here to see if you  qualify for an application fee waiver.

Unique circumstances

Nontraditional secondary education: Home-schooled applicants

Home-schooled applicants for admission who present evidence of completion of a nontraditional secondary education without an official class rank will have a class rank assigned by the Office of Admissions. This process is in accordance with Texas Senate Bill 1543. The class rank will be comparable to the average class rank of other applicants who have equivalent ACT or SAT scores.

As with other applicants, if initial rank and score requirements are not met, a holistic review of the applicant’s file carefully examines all credentials presented. Applicants are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible regarding their academic achievements and extra-curricular involvement when completing the Apply Texas application. An official, notarized home school transcript is required to demonstrate evidence of completion. The Office of Admissions has a notary on staff free of charge.

Nontraditional secondary education: Applicants with GEDs

The process is the same but will require a holistic file review. This is a careful examination of all the credentials presented by the student to determine whether the applicant not only meets the academic requirements for admission but also possesses the skills and experiences that facilitate a successful career at SFA.

You will need to submit your GED scores to the Office of Admissions.

Applicants who have dual-credit or Advanced Placement (AP) credits

The process is the same, but you will need to submit official college transcripts and/or advanced placement scores to receive earned credit.

Alternative Admissions

There are several ways to earn admission into SFA for students who do not immediately qualify. For details, visit Alternative Admissions.

When will I hear back?

Decision letters should arrive within 2-3 weeks of submitting a complete application. Once you apply, you’ll get your own mySFA account within one week. mySFA is the official communication method of the university, so it’s important that you log on and set up your account. 

After you apply, don’t forget:

More about accredited high school programs

SFA requires first-time freshmen applicants to have completed the Recommended High School Program, the Distinguished Achievement Program, Endorsement Program with Algebra II or Distinguished with Endorsement Program to ensure they have received adequate preparation for college-level work.

Applicants who have not completed one of these programs will need to demonstrate that they have completed a high school curriculum more rigorous than what is required of the Minimum Graduation Plan, Basic Plan or Foundation.


Log on and set up your mySFA account right away. Financial aid awards, housing assignments and class registration are all done through mySFA.

Financial Aid

Get started early! You don’t have to be admitted to apply for aid and scholarships. Learn more about the different aid options that may be available to you, like grants, loans, scholarships and more.


State law requires that new students have a bacterial meningitis vaccine at least 10 days prior to enrollment. You must submit your shot record to the Office of Admissions by email, fax or mail using the contact information below.


Use mySFA to apply for housing. Early first-year applicants (Dec. 1 and earlier) can begin selecting their room assignments the week of Dec. 15, and other first-year students can start room selection the week of April 1.

Academic Quad of Rice University

It’s back to school! But for entering seniors, it’s an even more (exciting?) time as college applications are looming on the horizon. There are two, primary “common applications” which your Texas resident child should be concerned with – ApplyTexas for most Texas colleges and the Common Application for most every other college.

If your child is like most students nationwide, they’ll probably apply to five to eight colleges with a combination of Texas public institutions and non-Texas public and private universities. As such, they’re looking at writing at least 4 to 6 essays of approximately 2-pages in length each.

Some Writing Tips

After test scores and grade transcripts, the essays are easily the third most important part of the college application. Test scores supposedly identify whether or not students have the raw cognitive capability to excel, and school grades are supposed to demonstrate how well or not students took advantage of the classroom opportunities afforded to them.

Assuming that there’s more to a person than just test scores and books, essays are therefore the most human and intangible component; they enable students to use their own voice to fill in the rest of the picture of their candidacy.

At under 600 words each, these essays are more about concise marketing and good first impressions making than anything else:

  1. Market yourself. Who are you and what makes you unique and a good fit to the college that you’re applying to? You’ll need to make sure this theme comes out in your essays.
  2. Be specific. These essays are all about you; they need to include specific examples from your life experiences. If you step back and think the essay could apply to anyone, start rewriting.
  3. Be creative. Admissions officers are going to be reading thousands of essays in a short time span. Just as you would with a first, in-person meeting, you need to make a positive, memorable impression.

In a way, a good college essay is much like a 30-second Super Bowl television ad. You have a very valuable, limited space to pitch your product to an audience who’s jaded by all of the other really great ads.

ApplyTexas Application

The ApplyTexas application is accepted by all Texas public universities and many private ones including Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, and Trinity University.

There are as many five essay topics on which students can write; however, which topics and how many will depend on the school/s to which they’re applying.

For example, the University of Texas at Austin requires two essays for most students but only stipulates the topic for one (Topic ) while leaving the second essay topic up to the student’s choice. Texas A&M Requires at least two essays (Topics A and B) but recommends a third for most candidates. Below are the three, primary essay topics available through ApplyTexas.

ApplyTexas Essay Topics

Topic A (Required for A&M)
Describe a setting in which you have collaborated or interacted with people whose experiences and/or beliefs differ from yours. Address your initial feelings, and how those feelings were or were not changed by this experience.

Topic B (Required for A&M)
Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?

Topic C: (Required for UT, Recommended for A&M)
Considering your lifetime goals, discuss how your current and future academic and extra-curricular activities might help you achieve your goals.

Common Application

The Common Application is accepted by more than 500 colleges nationwide including state institutions like University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Colorado Boulder and prestigious colleges like Rice, Harvard, and Stanford. Most schools accepting the Common Application will require that students submit one essay in response to a topic of their choosing below.

Common Application Essay Topics

1. 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.

2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?

3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?

4. (New for 2015) Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.

5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

College Specific Topics

The ApplyTexas and Common Application are great tools because they decrease the amount of work required to apply to multiple schools. However, they don’t eliminate all of the hassle. In particular most schools accepting the Common Application will require a second essay of the college’s choosing. The topics usually ask students to write about why they’re a good fit for the college.

Sample College-Specific Essay Topics

Rice University – The quality of Rice’s academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What perspective do you feel that you will contribute to life at Rice? (500 word limit)

Stanford University – Virtually all of Stanford’s undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate—and us—know you better. (250 word limit).

University of Colorado at Boulder – The University of Colorado Boulder’s Flagship 2030 strategic plan promotes the exceptional teaching, research, scholarship, creative works and service that distinguishes us as a premier university. We strive to foster a diverse and inclusive community that engages each member in opportunities for academic excellence, leadership and a deeper understanding of the world in which we live. Given the statement above, how do you think you could enrich our diverse and inclusive community and what are your hopes for your college experience? (250-650 words)

General Academic can help students with their college essays from start to finish including brainstorming, outlining, and editing. Contact us at GeneralAcademic.com or at 713-838-7774.

Tags:College Admissions, college applications, college essays

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